Four Korean Christian girls are on a mission trip in Thailand with their Pastor when they find a webcam pointing up from the toilet in their bathroom. Upon inspection, they realize that the camera is property of the church and, therefore, they begin to suspect their spiritual leader and companion. That is the premise of MAN OF GOD, now presented by East West Players (EWP) at the David Henry Hwang Theater in Little Tokyo.
Appropriate for this time of the #MeToo movement, this play by Anna Moench and directed by Jesca Prudencio makes you think about the various and individual reactions that women have to sexual harassment, and about the support system (or lack thereof) that they can count on when it’s time to accuse a predator.
Katherine Ko is Kyung Hwa, SunHee Seo is Samantha, Sandy Nguyen is Mimi, and Michele Selene Ang is Jen. Each has her own personality, and each is at a different level of faith; but they all must determine what to do about the “Man of God” (played by Roy Vongtama) that they’re traveling with.
There are three fantastic scenes in which the audience can see the girls’ inner thoughts – what they would do to the Pastor if they only could. These scenes are enhanced by sound, neon lights, and even an amazing ninja fight (by Howard Ho, Rebecca Bonebrake, and Andy Lowe, respectively) and are some of the best moments of the play. There is also a long silence towards the end, during which the audience sees the girls moving about on the stage without saying a word. It’s perhaps the loudest silence you will ever hear, as so many thoughts, and so many questions, fill your mind.
A most thought-provoking play, it gives you no precise resolution; perhaps because it wants you to make one up yourself.
MAN OF GOD is one hour and twenty minutes long, without an intermission. It performs at 8 pm on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and at 2 pm on Saturdays and Sundays, through Feb. 24. Tickets range $25 to $50 and can be purchased at eastwestplayers.org or by calling (213) 625-7000. The David Henry Hwang Theater is located at the Union Center of the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso Street, in Los Angeles CA 90012.