Artwork Design by Melissa Nigro.

Artwork Design by Melissa Nigro.

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Bay Area Children’s Theatre world premiere
Photography by Joshua Posamentier

Inside Out & Back Again

Theatre for Young Audiences
Stage Adaptation by Min Kahng
Based on the National Book Award-winning novel by Thanhha Lai
A commission by Bay Area Children’s Theatre

Recipient of 1 and Finalist for 8 Theatre Bay Area Awards!*

Ten-year-old Hà and her family flee from Vietnam to Alabama, where she dreams of her beloved papaya tree and struggles to adjust in a strange new land. Thanhha Lai's award-winning book of poetry comes to life in this on-stage retelling of a young girl and her family's journey to find a new home.


This adaptation primarily uses Lai's original poetic text as dialogue - save for a few verb tense or pronoun changes. In a time when asylum-seekers are portrayed as unwanted pests, Hà's journey helps put a human face to the label "refugee." By looking at a story from our past, I hope Bay Area young audiences and their families will be able to gain insight and understanding for those facing similar hardships today.

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Inside Out & Back Again is available for licensing!
Contact Min to request a perusal script or for further information!

Cast: 5 actors (3 Female - 2 Asian American, 1 African American; 2 Male - 1 Asian American, 1 Caucasian)
60 minutes, no intermission (optional intermission version available)


  • Mar-May 2018, World Premiere: Bay Area Children's Theatre, Second Stage, Berkeley, CA


  • Dec 2017, Staged Reading: Bay Area Children's Theatre, Berkeley, CA

  • Aug 2017, Developmental Reading: Bay Area Children's Theatre, Berkeley, CA

*Theatre Bay Area Awards
Recipient: Projections Design – Michael Doppe
Finalists: World Premiere Play – Min Kahng, Director – May Liang, Ensemble of a Play, Principal Actor – Krystle Piamonte, Featured Actor – Benjamin Nguyen, Props Design – Joan Howard, Lighting Design – Kevin August Landesman, Sound Design – Michael Kelly