“The Latehomecomer”: a solo production based on the award-winning novel
Based on the memoir by Kao Kalia Yang
Adaptation: Aurea Tomeski & Elise Thoron
Direction: Elise Thoron
Actor: Gaosong Heu
Born in a refugee camp in Thailand, Kao Kalia arrived in the U.S. at age six. The story follows her journey from a student struggling to speak English to a self-empowered young woman telling the untold story of her people.
Told with the immediacy of the author as a young girl, born in the Ban Vinai Refugee camp in Thailand, Kao Kalia arrives in the United States when she is six. The story follows her journey from a quiet, reticent student struggling to speak English while facing racial discrimination, to a self-empowered young woman claiming her voice to tell the untold story of her people. In search of a place to call home, thousands of Hmong families made the journey from the war-torn jungles of Laos to the overcrowded refugee camps of Thailand, finally emigrating to America; but lacking a written language of their own. Driven to tell her family’s story after her grandmother’s death – the Hmong experience has been primarily recorded by others – The Latehomecomer is Kao Kalia Yang’s tribute to her remarkable grandmother whose spirit held them all together. It is also an eloquent, firsthand account of a people who have worked hard to make their voices heard.
Gaosong V. Heu is a Hmong American performance artist, musician, vocalist, published writer, educator, arts administrator and entrepreneur based in Saint Paul, MN. Gaosong has over 15 years of training in Western Classical music, as well as training in traditional styles of Hmong folk music. As a lover of all art and advocate for diversity, access and inclusion within the cultural sector, Gaosong received her B.A. in Theater Arts from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and her Masters of Arts in Arts Administration from Columbia University, class of 2020. Gaosong is currently starring in The Latehomecomer, a solo production based on the award-winning novel by beloved Hmong author, Kao Kalia Yang. This show is being produced by Literature to Life based in New York City. The Latehomecomer had its virtual premiere in the Spring of 2021 as part of the NEA’s Big Read program and is currently available for national tours across the U.S. When Gaosong is not performing or working as an arts administrator and educator, she is the Chief Operating Officer of Marc Heu Patisserie Paris, St. Paul’s premier destination for french desserts and pastries.