Dallas Theater Center (DTC) presents The Supreme Leader, a new comedy by Don X. Nguyen. The world premiere performances run Oct. 28-Nov. 21 at the Kalita Humphreys Theater. The Supreme Leader is the first live production produced by DTC at their historic, Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home theater since March 1, 2020.
Plot Synopsis: While in boarding school in Switzerland, Kim Jong-Un learns he’s next in line as The Supreme Leader after his older brother’s career-ending trip to Tokyo Disneyland. But he must prove himself. Under the watchful eye of his minder, he sets his paintbrush aside to spy on his pretty American friend Sophie. Will “Oony” get the girl? Will he make his father proud? Set in the snow globe world of stinky cheese and mountain climbing, this coming-of-age comedy imagines Kim Jong-Un’s final throes of youth before his fateful return to North Korea.
Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty
“I loved Don X. Nguyen’s play from the first moment I encountered it as a reading at the Alley Theatre’s New Play Festival in 2019,” said Kevin Moriarty, Enloe/Rose Artistic Director. “The plot is inspired by the historical fact that, in the 1990’s, while a teenager, Kim Jong-Un attended an international boarding school in Switzerland. From that small bit of fact, Don has written a fictional teenage coming of age story that is witty, funny, surprising and, ultimately, emotionally moving. I’m thrilled that DTC is introducing such a smart, funny play to audiences for the first time.”
Nguyen was born in Saigon, Vietnam and grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. He has written several plays including Hello, From The Children Of Planet Earth, Sound, Red Flamboyant, The Commencement Of William Tan, and The Man From Saigon. He is the recipient of the 2015 GAP Prize from the Aurora Theatre and New York Stage & Film Founder’s award. Although he currently lives in New York, he has been in Dallas since the first day of rehearsals and will stay through opening weekend.
Playwright Don X. Nguyen
“I started this play about seven years ago when Kim Jong-Un had only been in power for a few years and the world didn’t really know much about him. It’s been a long and winding road to get to this moment but we’re finally here and I couldn’t be more thrilled to share this play with audiences,” Don X. Nguyen, playwright The Supreme Leader. “There are very few places like DTC that would or could host an out of town playwright throughout the entire process. It speaks to DTC’s ongoing commitment to new work.”
The production is especially significant for Oscar Seung, who plays Kim Jong-Un. Seung was born in Switzerland, but raised in Arlington, and studied opera at TCU. He created, produced and starred in American Dynasty. His short film won prizes at four domestic film festivals, including Best Actor nomination for Seung at the Ouchy Film Festival in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is the first Asian American leading man to be featured at DTC. This is also the first time Seung has been privileged to share a scene on stage with another Asian American actor.
“Growing up as an AAPI (Asian-American Pacific Islander) immigrant, I’ve always wanted to be an actor but never saw a face like mine on stage or on screen. I remember telling myself that it simply wasn’t an option for someone who looked like me. I’ll forever be grateful to Kevin and Don for proving me wrong,” Oscar Seung, The Supreme Leader. “From our very first rehearsal, Kevin created a warm and inclusive space that empowered me to share my stories and bring my full and authentic self to this production. I’m blown away by the extraordinary staff and creative team at DTC who welcomed this cast with such open arms. Their effusive enthusiasm and excitement for this play were palpable. I know I speak for the rest of the cast when I say we are ecstatic to share this story with audiences.”
The Supreme Leader
Dallas Theater Center will offer social distance seating during their live performances of The Supreme Leader. Guests are welcome to select the option of being placed in the social distance section during the checkout process when purchasing tickets online. Performances will also forgo intermission to allow additional comfortability for guests.
The Supreme Leader runs from October 28 – November 21 at the Kalita Humphreys Theater. To get more information or to buy tickets, visit dallastheatercenter.org/show/the-supreme-leader.
Dallas Theater Center (DTC)
One of the leading regional theaters in the country, Dallas Theater Center (DTC) performs to an audience of more than 100,000 North Texas residents annually. Founded in 1959, DTC is now a resident company of the AT&T Performing Arts Center. DTC presents its Mainstage season at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, and at its original home, the Kalita Humphreys Theater. Dallas Theater Center is one of only two theaters in Texas that is a member of the League of Resident Theatres, the largest and most prestigious non-profit professional theater association in the country.
Under the leadership of Enloe/Rose Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty and Managing Director Jeffrey Woodward, DTC produces a year-round subscription series of classics, musicals, and new plays. They also produce an annual production of A Christmas Carol, and extensive education programs. The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award-winning Project Discovery, a partnership with Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts; and many community collaborations, are included.