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The Shadow War is a play exploring the interaction between Hmong, Lao, and American perspectives of the CIA's Secret War in 1970s Laos. It is the story of five characters whose lives and destinies were woven together by the tragic circumstances of America's "shadow" clandestine war in Laos, the Vietnam War's "shadow" second front. With the U.S. government maintaining the secrecy of its military involvement in "neutral" Laos, the CIA trained the mostly Hmong Secret Army to fight the communist Pathet Lao and repel the invading North Vietnamese Army. A CIA station chief and his wife, their Hmong housekeeper, the Pathet Lao agent working with the station chief, and the housekeeper’s combatant brother tell their personal stories of the war.

Written by: Amy Russell
Directed by: Teresa Mock
Created by: Sandy’Ci Moua, Erik Hoover, Song Kim, Flora Bare, Gregory Yang, Kristi Ternes, Mike Grogan, Britni Totzki, and Nathan Schilz. In collaboration with the Center for Hmong Studies and the Lao Assistance Center.

Performances: April 16 – 27, 2014

The Wellstone Center, 179 Robie Street E, St. Paul, MN. Map.

Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Matinees on April 19 and 27 at 2 p.m.
ASL Interpreted Performance: April 19                                                                                                  
Audio Described Performance: April 26   


Purchase online
$15, $10 (students/seniors/veterans) and Pay-What-You-Can on April 22
For group sales, email 

Opening night: April 16
Hmong veterans of the Special Guerrilla Unit who served in the Secret War in Laos will perform an honor guard ceremony before the play begins. A community panel discussion (see below) and reception will follow.

Community Panel Discussions: April 16, 17, 18, 19
Members of the SGU Veterans and Families Development of USA will participate in community panel discussions after performances on April 16, 17, 18, and 19. Merl Pugh, a former White Star CIA operative, will also be participating in panel discussions on April 16 and 17.                                                                       


The Shadow War is made possible by an Arts Activities Support Grant through The Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.