About

Prince Gomolvilas is a writer, performer, and educator. He also likes to write about himself in the third person, which he is doing now. For the full story, brace yourself and read on....​

Theatre

Prince Gomolvilas is best known as the world's only Thai-American playwright. (He challenges you to find another!) His full-length plays include:

 

His most recent play, The Brothers Paranormal, a critically acclaimed comedy/horror/drama about Thai-American ghost hunters, premiered earlier this year at the Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row in New York City, in a production by Pan Asian Repertory Theatre. It was subsequently produced by Penumbra Theatre and Theatre Mu in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota, and it is slated for upcoming productions in Indianapolis, Portland, and Seattle. It will be published by Dramatic Publishing.​​

He frequently writes comedies with a supernatural twist, along with the occasional drama to shake things up. Recurring themes include the contemporary Asian-American (and, specifically, Thai-American) experience, the tension between immigrants and their offspring, the intersection of ethnicity and sexual identity, race relations in the United States, the trauma of displacement, the nature of loss and grief, and, in the words of Erasure, "the infinite complexities of love."

His work has been produced around the United States, as well as in Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, Singapore, and Thailand. Companies and venues include:

 

  • CoHo Productions (Portland)

  • The Drill Hall (London)

  • East West Players (Los Angeles)

  • Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Edinburgh)

  • INTAR Theatre (New York City)

  • International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival (Dublin)

  • King's Head Theatre (London)

  • Lorraine Hansberry Theatre (San Francisco)

  • Ma-Yi Theater Company (New York City)

  • New Conservatory Theatre Center (San Francisco)

  • Pan Asian Repertory Theatre (New York City)

  • Penumbra Theatre (Saint Paul)

  • Pork Filled Productions (Seattle)

  • The Producers' Club (New York City)

  • Singapore Repertory Theatre (Singapore)

  • SIS Productions (Seattle)

  • Theatre Diaspora (Portland)

  • Theatre Mu (Saint Paul)

  • Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (Vancouver)

  • Vertigo Theatre Productions (Manchester, UK)

 

His short plays include:

 

  • Cause and Effect on Clement Street [1997], Actors' Theatre (Santa Cruz)

  • Donut Holes in Orbit [1998], Ensemble Studio Theatre (New York City)

  • Cyclops [2001], Theatre Rhinoceros (San Francisco)

  • Bridges [2002], City Lights Theatre Company (San Jose)

  • The Last Gayorcism [2010], Chalk Repertory Theatre (Los Angeles)

  • Chunky Mary [2010], Ferocious Lotus Theatre Company (San Francisco)

  • ATM [2011], East West Players/Studio Lab Project (Los Angeles)

  • Heteronesia [2014], Impact Theatre (Berkeley)

His work has also been developed by:

 

  • American Conservatory Theater (San Francisco)

  • Bay Area Playwrights Festival (San Francisco)

  • Center Theatre Group (Los Angeles)

  • Geva Theatre Center (Rochester, NY)

  • Lark Play Development Center (New York City)

  • La Jolla Playhouse (San Diego)

  • Pan Asian Repertory Theatre (New York City)

  • South Coast Repertory (Costa Mesa, CA)

He has received new-play commissions from:

  • Geva Theatre Center (Rochester, NY)

  • Lorraine Hansberry Theatre (San Francisco)

  • New Conservatory Theatre Center (San Francisco)

  • Playwrights Foundation (San Francisco)

  • South Coast Repertory (Costa Mesa, CA)

Storytelling Performance and Jukebox Stories

As a storyteller, Prince has presented his funny but true stories at such venues as:

 

  • Space 180 at the APAture Arts Festival (San Francisco)

  • Barnes & Noble (Los Angeles)

  • A Different Light Bookstore (West Hollywood)

  • Intersection for the Arts (San Francisco)

  • [Inside] the Ford Amphitheatre (Los Angeles)

  • Los Angeles Times Festival of Books (Los Angeles)

  • Occidental College (Los Angeles)

  • Tell It on Tuesday (Berkeley)

  • University of California-Irvine (Irvine, CA)

He has also performed at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles), where he has twice shared the bill with legendary comedian Shelley Berman, as well as NPR personality Sandra Tsing Loh. His TEDx talk, "Mind the Gap," was presented at Chapman University (Orange, CA).

 

Prince also performs alongside musician Brandon Patton in the innovative storytelling/song-singing/bingo-playing theatrical extravaganza, Jukebox Stories. In addition to their three critically acclaimed full-length shows that ran for multiple weeks at Impact Theatre in Berkeley in 2006 (Jukebox Stories), 2008 (Jukebox Stories: The Case of the Creamy Foam), and 2013 (Jukebox Stories: The Secrets of Forking), they have also toured to theaters, bars, colleges, comedy clubs, coffeehouses, music venues, bowling alleys, and other weird performance spaces around the United States, as well as to the National Asian American Theater Festival. The show was hailed as one of the best of the year by both the East Bay Express and The Daily Californian, landed on the front page of the entertainment section of the San Francisco Chronicle, and was an "Editors' Pick" in Theatre Bay Area magazine.

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Plays for Youth

 

The Oskar Plays are an acclaimed series of shows for young audiences that deal with relevant and challenging subject matter—bullying, resilience and grit, diversity, gender stereotypes, etc.—in a humorous and imaginative fashion. For more than ten years, the plays have toured to hundreds of elementary schools, reaching hundreds of thousands of children in California, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana and receiving an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from students, teachers, administrators, and parents. Designed for kids in kindergarten through fifth grade, four Oskar plays were originally commissioned by the Tony Award-winning TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, California. Three additional Oskar plays were commissioned by the Tony Award-winning Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas. For more information, visit WhatWouldOskarDo.org.

His plays for middle and high schools include Outspoken, which was commissioned by the New Conservatory Theatre Center in San Francisco and which toured Northern and Central California for more than a decade, and Scrimmage, which was commissioned by East West Players and began touring this year.

Film

Out of 2,593 applicants, Prince was selected for a screenwriting fellowship with The Chesterfield Writer's Film Project, a program sponsored by Paramount Pictures.

He wrote the screenplay for Lunchtime, a short film directed by Keo Woolford, which was screened at many festivals, including:

 

  • Asian American International Film Festival (New York)

  • Boston Asian American Film Festival (Boston)

  • Frameline's San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival (San Francisco)

  • Hawaii Rainbow Film Festival (Honolulu)

  • Outfest: The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (Los Angeles)

  • San Diego Asian Film Festival (San Diego)

  • Sicilia Queer FilmFest (Palermo, Italy)

  • Thessaloniki International LGBTQ Film Festival (Thessaloniki, Greece)

  • Tokyo Asian Queer Film Festival (Tokyo, Japan)

He has also served on the jury of the South East European Film Festival.

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Awards, Grants, and Commissions

Prince has received many playwriting awards, some of which include:

 

  • East West Players' Made in America Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement for the Asian Pacific Islander Community

  • International Herald Tribune/Singapore Repertory Theatre Playwriting Award (selected by playwrights Philip Kan Gotanda and David Henry Hwang, theatre critic Sheridan Morley, and writer/scholar Woon-Ping Chin)

  • Julie Harris/Janet and Maxwell Salter Playwright Award

  • PEN Center USA Literary Award for Drama

He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group Residency Program for Playwrights and Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation.

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Publications and Other Writings

The Theory of Everything was published by Dramatic Publishing. Donut Holes in Orbit was published in Smith and Kraus's Ensemble Studio Theatre Marathon 1998: One-Act Plays. Some of Prince's monologues appear in the Smith and Kraus anthologies, Best Men's Stage Monologues 2002, Best Women's Stage Monologues 2002, and Audition Arsenal For Men In Their 20s.​

As a journalist, he was formerly the Associate Editor of Callboard magazine (now Theatre Bay Area magazine).​

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As a blogger, he created Bamboo Nation, where he has been writing about crazy Asian things for more than ten years.

As a creative-advertising consultant, he's worked on numerous projects for A&E Television, ABC, CBS Films, Fox Searchlight, and Showtime.

Teaching and Speaking and Community Organizing

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Prince teaches in the David Henry Hwang Writers Institute at East West Players. He is the former Associate Director of the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California, where he was also an Assistant Professor in Writing. 

He has also led writing workshops for both teenagers and adults at various institutions, including:

 

  • Center Theatre Group (Los Angeles)

  • Cerro Coso Community College (Ridgecrest, CA)

  • Kearny Street Workshop's Intergenerational Writers Lab (San Francisco)

  • New Conservatory Theatre Center's Playwrights Workshop (which he helped launch) (San Francisco)

  • Playwrights Foundation (San Francisco)

  • State University of New York-Geneseo (Geneseo, NY)

  • Theatre Diaspora (Portland)

  • TheatreWorks' Young Playwrights Project (San Francisco Bay Area)

He has moderated panel discussions for:

  • Asian Pacific Friends of the Theatre (Los Angeles)

  • Celebration Theatre (Los Angeles)

  • East West Players (Los Angeles)

  • Los Angeles Times Festival of Books (Los Angeles)

  • OCA-Orange County (Orange, CA)

  • Thai Association of Southern California (Los Angeles)

  • Theatre Bay Area (San Francisco)

  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles)

 

He has also been a guest speaker and/or panelist at

 

  • Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month Creative Writing Competition Awards Ceremony (Los Angeles)

  • Bay Area Playwrights Festival (San Francisco)

  • California College of the Arts (Oakland)

  • California State University-Fresno (Fresno)

  • California State University-Los Angeles (Los Angeles)

  • National Asian American Theater Conference (Minneapolis & Ashland)

  • Pomona College (Pomona, CA)

  • Portland State University (Portland)

  • San Francisco Arts Institute (San Francisco)

  • San Francisco State University (San Francisco)

  • Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC)

  • State University of New York-Geneseo (Geneseo, NY)

  • University of California-Berkeley (Berkeley)

  • University of California-Irvine (Irvine)

  • University of California-Los Angeles (Los Angeles)

  • University of California-Riverside (Riverside)

  • University of California-Riverside-Palm Desert (Palm Desert)

  • University of Colorado-Boulder (Boulder)

  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles)

As a member of the Thai-American community, he organized Customs & Departures: An Evening with Thai-American Writers, the first event of its kind, in partnership with PEN Center USA and the University of Southern California; served on the planning committee for the first national Thai-American Conference, in partnership with the Thai Association of Southern California; was the lead script consultant for The SERI Project’s theatre component, The River and the Raft, in partnership with the Thai Community Development Center (Thai CDC); and emceed and produced the entertainment program for the Thai CDC's 20th Anniversary Gala. And for reasons he still doesn't fully understand, he has met the Prime Minister of Thailand, and keeps getting invited to the Royal Thai Consulate General's house in Los Angeles.

 

Personal History

 

Prince spent the first part of his thrilling life in Indianapolis, Indiana (where his kindergarten teacher couldn't pronounce his Thai name "Khamolpat" or his nickname "Bin" and arbitrarily crowned him "Prince"); Bangkok, Thailand (where he learned to eat foods spicy enough to kill most people); and Monrovia, California (where he played with stuffed animals obsessively). After spending 12 years living in San Francisco (where he received his BA in Film and MFA in Playwriting from San Francisco State University), he now lives in the Los Angeles area with his beloved cat, Pork Chop, who has blossomed into somewhat of an Internet sensation. (Seriously.)​