Vi Tran

Vi Tran

Vi Tran is a storyteller, performing artist and arts advocate.

Born in Vietnam and raised in Kansas, Vi began performing as a toddler in the refugee camps of southeast Asia. Other refugees took pity on the young (and literally starving) artist, giving him what food they could spare.

Vi earned his MA in Theatre Directing and BA in Theatre/English, both from Kansas State University. Theatre credits: Starlight Theatre, Coterie Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, Crossroads Theatre Company, Playhouse on the Square, and the Kennedy Center of Performing Arts’ Summer Playwriting Intensive. Kansas City Star theatre critic Robert Trussell selected him as an Emerging Theatre Artist of 2007.

As a proud resident of Kansas City and a working artist himself, Vi is passionate about arts advocacy and spreading art’s role in the community at large. He has served as a facilitator for Artist, INC, a professional development seminar for local artists, for Coterie Theatre's "Reaching the Write Minds" playwriting-in-the-schools program, was the managing editor and lead columnist for “The Steady,” a music and culture column at, and host of Hello Art's monthly First Friday art tours of the Crossroads Arts district.

As a both a solo musician and bandleader of the Vi Tran Band, he has garnered a warm reception from Kansas City audiences as well as The Kansas City Star, INK Magazine, and Present Magazine. The Pitch, Kansas City's alternative press weekly, nominated the Vi Tran Band as Emerging Act of 2011 for their annual Pitch Music Awards. Goodbye, Summer, his debut recording, was included in Best of 2010 lists by KCUR 89.3 FM and KKFI 90.9 FM and led to his invitation to play the Kauffman Center for the Performing Art’s 1Year2Go Celebration, headlined by Chaka Khan.

Vi’s original work has been described as earnest, intimate, and inspiring. He considers it an open-ended refugee story and All-American tale, full of sea salt and wheat fields, landlocked sailors and broken lovers, discovery and loss, but most of all, hope.


Role   Show
Dr. Reed ..................... Surfacing, Episode 2
Performer ..................... The Human Experience 01: Love
Performer ..................... The Human Experience 02: Fear
Contributor ..................... The Human Experience 02: Fear