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Self Evident: Asian America's Stories

Jan 18, 2022

For so many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Spam is a beloved classic food, showing up in everything from musubi to fried rice. But behind that nostalgia is a history of war and colonization, and the inheritance of both favorite foods and hidden traumas.

Korean American playwright Jaime Sunwoo’s surreal new play, Specially Processed American Me, takes a close look at Spam’s legacies, and the lost stories of her own family — who’ve migrated twice over two generations, from North Korean to South Korea, then from South Korea to the United States.

While sharing behind-the-scenes previews of the play, Jaime and Cathy talk about the challenges and rewards of interviewing older generations, and how those conversations have helped her process her own identity as an Asian American.

Specially Processed American Me is co-produced by Dixon Place, Ping Chong and Company, and Free Rein Projects. You can learn more about Specially Processed American Me and find tickets to the show (debuting Jan 27 - Feb 19 in New York City) at

Resources and Reading


  • Produced by James Boo
  • Edited by Julia Shu, with help from Harsha Nahata
  • Fact checked by Tiffany Bui and Harsha Nahata
  • Sound mix by Timothy Lou Ly
  • Self Evident theme music by Dorian Love
  • Our Executive Producer is Ken Ikeda

Specially Processed American Me co-produced by Ping Chong and Company and Free Rein Projects (production photos by Toby Tenenbaum