By Sarah Cho    

Directed by Lava Alapai

Dramaturg: Paul Adolphsen

Masks are required following CDC guidance for Jackson County and in accordance with Actor’s Equity Covid Protocols. At the door, please also be prepared to show photo ID and either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test (PCR test taken within 72 hours or negative rapid antigen test taken within 6 hours). Photocopies or digital photos are fine.

Saturday, July 9, at 7:30 pm & Sunday, July 10, at 1:30 pm
Southern Oregon University’s Music Recital Hall
450 S Mountain Avenue, Ashland


stains is a coming-of-age comedy about a teenage girl whose family sees her first period as a burden. An autobiographical play about growing up poor, female, and Korean American in Los Angeles, stains is in development as part of Moving Arts Theatre’s 2021 MADlab Playwriting Development Program and was selected to participate at the 2022 Great Plains Theatre Commons New Play Conference.

Playwright Perspective

When I was 8 years old, my mother noticed my body changing. Instead of having the “birds and the bees” talk, she tossed me a training bra and told me I was getting too fat. (By the way, Korean moms will pressure their daughters to stay slim, while also raising them on an “All-You-Can-Eat” Korean Barbecue diet). But I didn’t truly understand my family’s financial struggles until I was 10 years old and had my first period. For many young women, having their period is an important step in discovering their womanhood. To my family, it just meant another expense. I had to wear adult diapers donated from a Korean church because my mother couldn’t afford tampons.

For years, I kept asking myself “WHY DID THEY MAKE ME WEAR ADULT DIAPERS?!” This was the dramatic question that I needed answers to so I began to write STAINS. I knew I wanted to write a comedy about the hurdles I experienced growing up, but I also wanted to tackle larger societal issues: the lack of resources for low-income families, the “pink tax” on women, and the power of American television on immigrant kids. I struggled to write this play because I didn’t know how I would approach the truth with comedy. By the end, I believe STAINS is a love story to honor mothers who left everything they knew to make it on their own in America. I want to honor not only that entrepreneurial spirit because I believe it is that spirit that makes America so beautiful… but also my period. My period is beautiful, too, and deserves all the attention it can get after what it’s been through. Jeez!


Christine Nina Pamintuan
Soo-Hyun Park Annie Yim
Halmoni Cho Janet Song
Melissa Joan Hart Leta Dolores Marcellus
Stage directions Nicole Villavicencio Gonzalez


The vibe is 1999-2002. Think before, during, and after the turn of the millennium.

A small, one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment above an all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ restaurant in Koreatown, Los Angeles. The stage is split in two. One side includes the kitchen, dining area, and living room. The other is the bedroom.

Poster art by: Kendyll Hillegas

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Playwright Image

Sarah Cho is a Los Angeles-based comedy writer and playwright. Her select plays include Koreans Eat Dog (2013 Richard Maibum Playwriting Award), Family Dinner (2015 KCACTF’s Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award), and Grace and Janette Like White Guys (2020 Finalist, Seven Devil’s Playwright Conference). Her play stains was developed as part of Moving Arts’ MADlab New Play Development. More recently, it was selected as part of 2022 Great Plains Theatre Commons PlayLab. She received the IRAM New Play Award and Iowa Arts Fellowship, and was also named the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights 2019-2020 Diversity Fellow. Sarah studied comedy at iO, Second City, and Pack Theater. She has performed at Green Gravel Comedy Festival, Laugh Riot Grrrl Festival, and LA Scripted Comedy Festival.

Her sketch comedy work has been featured on ComedyCake, WhoHaHa, Funny or Die, and currently writes for house team Galaxy Cat at Pack Theater. When she’s not writing plays, she’s talking plays on the playwriting podcast Beckett’s Babies with playwright Sam Collier.

Sarah earned her BA from UC Santa Barbara and MFA from Iowa Playwrights Workshop.

Learn more about Sarah in her ANPF playwright profile:

Director Image

Lava Alapai is a photographer, playwright, and director born in Okinawa and raised in Honolulu. She has been creating theatre in Portland for over a decade, and some of her recent directing credits include School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play for Portland Center Stage; Is God Is for Washington Ensemble Theatre; The Chinese Lady, The Revolutionists and An Octoroon (co-direction) for Artists Repertory Theatre; Columbinus, Charlotte’s Web and Locomotion for Oregon Children’s Theatre.

She is a proud member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society (SDC).

Dramaturg Image

Paul Adolphsen is a dramaturg, writer, and educator originally from Seattle. He currently serves as the Literary Manager and Dramaturg at Seattle Rep, where he moved after serving as Literary Manager at Oregon Shakespeare Festival for three seasons. Prior to that, was the Literary Manager and Dramaturg at Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Florida.

As a dramaturg, Paul has worked with Arena Stage, Hartford Stage Company, Book-It Repertory Theatre, and Five College Opera, among others. He was a founding producer of the UMass New Play Lab, and from 2015–2016 served as a Fulbright Student Research Fellow at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa.

Paul’s writing about theatre and performance has been published in Theatre Journal, on, and by Penumbra Theatre Company. He holds an MFA in Dramaturgy from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Nicole Villavicencio Gonzalez Ashland New Plays Festival stains Sarah Cho
Nicole Villavicencio Gonzalez
Leta Marcellus Ashland New Plays Festival stains Sarah Cho
Leta Dolores Marcellus
Nina Pamintuan Ashland New Plays Festival stains Sarah Cho
Nina Pamintuan
Janet Song Ashland New Plays Festival stains Sarah Cho
Janet Song
Annie Yim Ashland New Plays Festival stains Sarah Cho
Annie Yim

2022: Sarah Cho was selected to participate at the 2022 Great Plains Theatre Commons New Play Conference. STAINS was read as part of the PlayLabs series (May 28-June 6th, 2022).

2021: Reading as part of Moving Arts 8th Annual MADlab’s First Look Reading Series. Directed by Jully Lee, received a public reading on Saturday, October 9.

Broadway World Article “Moving Arts Presents 8th Annual MADlab’s First Look Reading Series This Weekend”

2021: Sarah Cho selected as one of the cohort for MADLab 2021 at Moving Arts Theatre. “I submitted an idea for a Los Angeles play I wanted to write,” shares Cho on her website. “I was so fortunate to have my idea selected and now, I’ll be part of a 9-month journey to write a fully-realized play from idea to page to stage.”

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