UC Irvine’s Department of Drama presents “The Brothers Paranormal”

Costume Design Mood Board by Rebecca Shepherd

Prince Gomolvilas’ ghost-hunting play explores the intersection of genre, race and displacement 

Irvine, Calif., April 18, 2024 UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts Department of Drama presents The Brothers Paranormal, a story about two Thai American brothers who set out to launch a ghost-hunting business after a nationwide rise in sightings of “Asian-looking ghosts.” The play is written by Prince Gomolvilas and guest directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera. The show will be presented from April 27-May 4, 2024

Guest director Jon Lawrence Rivera joins the UCI drama department from the Playwright’s Arena where he serves as the artistic director. The organization was founded by Rivera with the commitment to discover and produce innovative works written exclusively by Los Angeles playwrights. “I've always admired Prince's writing. He is one of the most prolific Asian American playwrights we have today. When I had the opportunity to direct this play, I jumped on it right away,” shares Jon Lawrence Rivera, guest director. The play, The Brothers Paranormal, follows brothers Max and Visarut as they investigate paranormal activities in the home of an African American couple displaced by Hurricane Katrina. As the story unfolds, perceptions of reality and fantasy clash, revealing shocking truths tied to traumatic pasts. 

The Brothers Paranormal delves into themes of grief and memory, also highlighting mental health issues among Asian immigrants in a poignant narrative of loss and connection. Rivera, deeply connected to the material, adds, “It's interesting how deeply I understood grief during the production period. My mother passed unexpectedly last Thanksgiving. As I processed my own grief, I understood Max's journey better. Without giving away too much of the plot, grief is a long process. And our desire to communicate with our loved ones who have passed is real.” 

For more information about The Brothers Paranormal and the spring season, visit the Department of Drama website: drama.arts.uci.edu

Performances and Ticket Information

Evenings: April 27, May 2, 3, 4 at 8 p.m. 
Matinees: April 28, May 4 at 2 p.m. 
Evening: May 1 at 7:30 p.m. 

General Admission $25/ Senior Age 62+ $22/ UCI Faculty, Alumni, Staff, Emeriti and Retirees: $22/ Arts Packages (3+ events): $21/ Groups 10+ $20/ UCI Students & Children under 17 $10. Box office (949) 824-2787 or arts.uci.edu/tickets

The UCI Department of Drama production team will host a TalkBack with the cast & crew after the Sunday, April 28 matinee performance. 

About the Claire Trevor School of the Arts: As UCI’s creative engine, the Claire Trevor School of the Arts has proven itself to be a national leader in training future generations of artists and scholars who go on to inspire audiences in theaters, galleries and concert halls – as well as in entertainment and technology-related venues throughout the world. CTSA combines artistic training with a top-ranked liberal arts education. It is home to the departments of art, dance, drama and music, offering 15 undergraduate and graduate degree programs and two minors. CTSA is currently ranked No. 1 in affordable fine arts, drama/theater and music degrees by the College Affordability Guide. Courses include extensive studio, workshop and performance experiences; theoretical and historical studies; and arts and technology practices. CTSA’s nationally ranked programs begin with training but culminate in original invention. The distinguished, international faculty work across a wide variety of art forms and forge interdisciplinary partnerships with others across the campus. For more information, visit arts.uci.edu.  

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The campus has produced five Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 224-degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. For more on UCI, visit uci.edu