Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
Francis Tanglao Aguas
My play and performance of The Specter: A First Generation Play views the experience of the Vietnamese-American diaspora from the perspective of the generation after the refugee generation and examines the effects of refugee trauma across multiple generations. Over the course of a year faced with obstacles such as a worldwide pandemic caused by COVID-19, I was able to write, perform, film, and edit a production of a play about the experience of a child of Vietnamese refugees under the direction of Sabera Shaik, owner of the Masakini Theatre Company in Malaysia. Throughout this process, my research in intergenerational and refugee trauma allowed me to craft more realistic characters based on data collected on those affected by the Vietnamese diaspora. I also studied other refugee populations, which gave me a broader perspective on the situations and outcomes of the refugee experience. My research into the effects of trauma on mental health also inspired the ways that I represent the mental state of the characters in The Specter. In this paper, I will first give background on the literature of refugee and intergenerational trauma. Then, I will explain how my research helped me write each of my characters. Through this play, I want to add my perspective as the child of Vietnamese immigrants to the current theatre canon, and to increase awareness of intergenerational trauma and its effects on mental health. I hope that others who have had the same or similar experiences may find it and know that they are not alone.
Chau, Quan, "Performing Generational Trauma: Quan Chau's The Specter" (2021). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 1695.
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