PRESS RELEASE: Film Screenings Added to Events for "Year Zero"

CONTACT: Kate Brandt,
PR CONTACT PHONE: 978-654-7595
BOX OFFICE: 978-654-4678


Lowell, MA
– Merrimack Repertory Theatre has scheduled several audience engagement events surrounding its production of “Year Zero” by Michael Golamco, to further dialogue with audience and community members. All of the events are free to the public - though some require RSVPs due to limited capacity - and do not require a ticket to a performance. These additional events are funded, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Information about these events can be found at

Tuesday, September 23 – 7:30 pm – “Monkey Dance”
MRT will be screening Julie Mallozzi’s 2004 documentary “Monkey Dance”, following three Cambodian-American teens in Lowell’s Angkor Dance Troupe at the Luna Theatre at Mill No. 5 (250 Jackson St. Lowell). Tickets are free, but space is limited and reservations are recommended. Make reservations online.

"Monkey Dance" is a documentary film about three teens coming of age in Lowell, Massachusetts. Children of Cambodian refugees, they inhabit a tough, working class world shadowed by their parents’ nightmares of the Khmer Rouge. Traditional Cambodian dance links them to their parents’ culture, but fast cars, hip consumerism, and good times often pull harder. For the parents, Lowell held the hope of safety, employment, and a chance to finally rebuild some of what was shattered by the Khmer Rouge. But for their children, the city offers a dizzying array of choices – many of them risky. Monkey Dance is the story of how three kids navigate the confusing landscape of urban adolescence and ultimately start to make good on their parents’ dreams.

Tuesday, September 30 – 7:30 pm – “Still I Strive”
MRT’s second film screening will be James Lee and Adam Pfleghaar’s film “Still I Strive” which blends dance and documentary footage to tell the true story of a Cambodian orphanage transformed by the arts. Tickets are free, but space is limited and reservations are recommended. Make reservations online.

There will be a brief introduction by Dr. Teri Tan, PhD, Missions Coordinator of the Cambodian Health Professionals Associations of America (CHPAA), and Ambassador of the movie "Still I Strive." A reception will follow the screening.

At one orphanage in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the performing arts are the path to healing and transformation. Guided by their matriarch Peng Phan, a renowned actress in her own right, the children aspire to achieve one of the highest honors in Cambodian society, to perform in front of Princess Bopha Devi as a symbol of their culture and heritage.

Wednesday, September 17 and Wednesday, September 24 – 9:30 pm. Following the 7:30 performance, George Chigas, Lecturer in Asian Studies and Director of International Partnerships for Cambodia at UMass Lowell will moderate a discussion among panelists connected to the Cambodian and Southeast Asian communities in Lowell, who will discuss themes of the play, followed by a Q&A session.

Discussion and Book Signing -Sunday, September 21, 5:00 pm. Seng Ty, author of the book “Years of Zero: Coming of Age During the Khmer Rouge” will discuss his experiences escaping from the Cambodia and his life in the United States. At Merrimack Repertory Theatre. A book signing will follow the presentation.

Angkor Dance Troupe Presentation and Discussion - Sunday, September 28, 5:00 pm – Members of the Angkor Dance Troupe will give a presentation and discuss the performance traditions of Cambodian culture. At Merrimack Repertory Theatre.

MRT will also be hosting their regular Post-Show Discussions following each Thursday evening performance (September 11, 18, and 25. October 2) featuring members of the cast and creative team discussing the process of creating this production, moderated by a member of the artistic staff.

“Year Zero” is a comedic drama that centers on Vuthy, a 16-year old Cambodian-American living in Long Beach, California in the early 2000’s. After the death of his mother, this first-generation teenager struggles to find his place in a community that doesn’t truly accept him and a family that seems to be disappearing. The play runs through October 5 and will be performed in the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre, located at 50 East Merrimack Street in historic downtown Lowell. Tickets range from $60 - $20 and are on sale now through or by calling 978-654-4678.

“Year Zero” is supported by Production Sponsor Enterprise Bank and Media Sponsor KhmerPostUSA. This production is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Merrimack Repertory Theatre is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and the 2014-15 Season is sponsored by Sage Bank.

Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) has been Merrimack Valley’s professional theatre company since 1979, and is an integral part of Lowell’s identity as the cultural heart of the region. Under the artistic direction of Charles Towers since 2001, MRT is known for its high production standards and for creating compelling new plays and regional premieres that reflect the lives and emotions of its audiences. It is one of the 74 members nationwide of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT.)

MRT 2014-15 SEASON
Year Zero by Michael Golamco
September 11 – October 5, 2014

Dusk Rings a Bell by Stephen Belber
October 23 – November 16, 2014

13 Things About Ed Carpolotti
Book, music and lyrics by Barry Kleinbort, based on a play by Jeffrey Hatcher
November 28 – December 21, 2014

The Best Brothers by Daniel MacIvor
January 8 – February 1, 2015

Oceanside by Nick Gandiello
February 12 – March 8, 2015

Out of the City by Leslie Ayvazian
March 19 – April 12, 2015

The Outgoing Tide by Bruce Graham
April 23 – May 17, 2015

Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Performance Space: The Nancy L. Donahue Theatre
(In Liberty Hall, adjacent to Lowell Memorial Auditorium)
50 E. Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01852
Box Office: 978-654-4678

Image Download
1. Visit the Year Zero photo collection on Flickr
2. Select a photo from the Photo Stream or the Albums
3. Click on the thumbnail and let the image load in your browser on the Flickr site.
4. Click the " . . . " button in the lower right-hand corner of the window and select View All Sizes.
5. Select the size you wish to download from the choices listed across the top of the image.
6. Click the "Download the ___ size of this photo..." link at the top. The image will download to your computer.