A young woman, Ponleu Samnang, lost her parents to the Khmer Rouge. An elderly man living in a pagoda taught art to Samnang and the other youth of her village, to help heal after the war.

The story is inspired by the experiences of the former refugees who co-founded Phare Ponleu Selpak non-profit school. While in the refugee camp, a teacher from France used drawing classes to help them overcome the trauma. Together with their teacher, their intent was to use art to heal the community after the war. “Ponleu Samnang” includes elements of other Phare Circus shows, such as “Sokha” and “See You Yesterday” and presented in a new way.

Original artwork hand-painted by Phare Ponleu Selpak graduate, artist Heng Serey Sokun

Special thanks:
Photos by Scott Sharick

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NOTE: Phare, The Cambodian Circus’ shows are inspired by the real-life experiences of its creators and performers and deal with themes such as war, discrimination, relationships, poverty and ghosts. Some performances contain smoke, loud noises & music and strobe lights. Please consult with a member of the ticketing staff if you have any concerns or you have very young children.