Soung Sopheak


Theater director

BIOGRAPHY   Life experience and background Soung Sopheak was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on 10 April 1978, a poor child in a war-torn country. Overcoming enormous odds Sopheak gained his Certificate of Pedagogy in 2003. In 2008 he graduated BA, Drama and Directing at the Royal University of Fine Art (RUFA). Intensive work on his final major coursework, a drama dealing with the poorest of the poor, showed him made not only the power of drama but the wealth of Cambodia’s human talent and its cultural richness. He went on to combine his learning and experience with an ambition to help rejuvenate and extend the impact of Cambodia’s culture and saw him become, in 2015, a founder member of an NGO, Khmer Art Action (KAA). While Sopheak helped many young Cambodian artists to express their potential within Cambodia, he also made an international mark. In 2012 he participated in the International Theatre Festival in Hamburg, Germany. In 2014 he contributed to a Media and Production event in Australia and in May 2019 Sopheak addressed over 200 artists from 40 countries at a workshop at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. This was followed by another international invent, this time hosted in Cambodia in 2022, the Asian Youth Theatre Festival which involved around 200 young artists from 13 regional countries. The subjects of Sopheak’s theatre productions always been relevant: the empowerment of Women, Drunk Driving and cultural memory among them, the latter project, The Courageous Turtle, was supported by Germany’s IFA (Institute fuser Auslandsbeziehungen),and the EU (European Union) together with the Ministry of Education in Cambodia, Meta House, Sopheak currently lecturers in History and Culture at the University of Puthisastra. He can safely claim to be one of the most influential people in the field of dramatic theatre and performance projects in Khmer Society.

TALK TITLE   Power of spoken theatre

TALK SUMMARY   Art and theater play crucial roles in enriching communities for several reasons:

1. Cultural Enrichment: Art and theater provide avenues for cultural expression, preserving traditions, and sharing stories that reflect the diversity of the community.

2. Community Building: Creating and experiencing art and theater together fosters a sense of belonging and connection among community members, strengthening social bonds.

3. Personal Development: Participation in artistic and theatrical activities promotes personal growth, self expression, creativity, and confidence building among individuals of all ages.

4. Education and Awareness: Art and theater can educate, inform, and provoke thought on various social, political, and environmental issues, raising awareness and promoting dialogue within the community.

5. Economic Impact: Cultural events, performances, and art-related businesses contribute to the local economy by attracting visitors, stimulating tourism, and supporting local artists and businesses.

Overall, art and theater serve as integral components of vibrant and thriving communities, enriching lives, fostering creativity, and promoting social cohesion.