The Latehomecomer

A woman looks up and away from the camera with light flooding her face. She wears blue and black robes and a red belt.

Park Square Theatre and Theater Mu present the Literature to Life stage presentation of


Streaming for Students
April 18-24, 2022

Recommended for grades 4 and above

By Kao Kalia Yang
Performed by Gaosong Heu
Adapted by Aurea Tomeski & Elise Thoron
Directed by Elise Thoron

Based on the novel The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir by Kao Kalia Yang, © 2008, published by Coffee House Press

Price: $150 per school
No student or classroom limit

Educators will receive a link to the film on Monday, April 18.

A prerecorded Zoom post-show talk-back with performer Gaosong Hue is available for FREE to all schools who purchase the stream.

Supplemental pre and post-show workshops with teaching artists also available for an additional fee.
Contact Amanda Hestwood at for more information.

“I fell from the clouds into my grandmother’s hands.” – from The Latehomecomer

Told with the immediacy of the author as a young girl born in the Ban Vinai refugee camp in Thailand, Kao Kalia arrives in Saint Paul when she is six. The story follows her journey from a 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.

Recommended Grade Levels: 4-12

Suggested Areas of Study and Discussion: American History, Current Events, Immigration, Hmong Culture, Memoir, Theatre

Performance Length: 60 minutes

Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong-American writer. She is the author of the memoirs The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir, The Song Poet, and Somewhere in the Unknown World. Yang is also the author of the children’s books A Map Into the World, The Shared Room, The Most Beautiful Thing, and Yang Warriors. She co-edited the ground-breaking collection What God is Honored Here?: Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss By and For Native Women and Women of Color. Yang’s work has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Chautauqua Prize, the PEN USA literary awards, the Dayton’s Literary Peace Prize, as Notable Books by the American Library Association, Kirkus Best Books of the Year, the Heartland Bookseller’s Award, and garnered four Minnesota Book Awards. Kao Kalia Yang lives in Minnesota with her family, and teaches and speaks across the nation.

Headshot of Gaosong V. Heu

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 United States. 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.

LITERATURE TO LIFE (LTL) is a performance-based literacy program that presents professionally staged verbatim adaptations of American literary classics. LTL’s mission is to perform great books that inspire young people to read and become authors of their own lives. LTL was founded more than three decades ago as the educational program of the American Place Theatre. Now an independent organization, this mighty collective of artists and educators brings the voices of diverse authors to thousands of students and audiences nationwide, giving them the tools to become the empowered “voices worth hearing” of our future.


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