On December 12th, Land of Smiles opened to enthusiastic audiences at the Gate Theater Group in Chiangmai, Thailand. The show ran for four sold-out performances and received standing ovations every night.
Land of Smiles is a fictional, full-length musical about the trafficking and migration of women in Thailand. Inspired by extensive field research including over 50 interviews, Land of Smiles presents a broader look at how the story of trafficking is told, and shows that finding a solution to this problem is much more complicated than it seems. The cast included actors from Thailand and the United States, and members of the production crew hailed from France, the US, Thailand and Burma.
Audiences for Land of Smiles included ex-pats and tourists from around the world. As the project was designed to be a platform for dialogue around the complex issues of trafficking and migration, the production team hosted migrant and NGO groups at each performance, followed by focus groups in which participants discussed the issues raised in the piece.
Prior to its Chiangmai debut, the musical was performed twice in Los Angeles where it was well-received among scholars, anti-trafficking practitioners and members of the public. The production team hopes to bring the show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland in summer, 2014.