Year Zero

Vuthy Vichea is sixteen years old, Cambodian American. He loves hip hop and Dungeons and Dragons. He has thick-ass glasses. He is a weird kid in a place where weirdness can be fatal: Long Beach, California. And since his best friend moved and his mother died, the only person he can talk to is a human skull he keeps hidden in a cookie jar.

Year Zero is a comedic drama about young Cambodian Americans — about reincarnation, reinvention, and ultimately, redemption.

Year Zero began life as Heartbreaker, a ten minute play. After being expanded to a full-length, Year Zero was first publicly read in New York City with Second Generation.

Year Zero was developed at Chicago Dramatists through its Many Voices Project, and was selected as its Grand Prize Winner. It was also a finalist for the 2009 Eugene O’Neill Theater Conference. Year Zero was also nominated for a Jeff Award for Best New Work.

Year Zero world premiered at Chicago’s Tony Award-winning Victory Gardens Theater in September 2009 and had its New York City premiere at Second Stage Theater in Spring 2010; its West Coast premiere arrived at the Colony Theatre in Summer, 2011.

Year Zero is published and licensed by Samuel French, and is available directly from Sam French or from

[A] tenderly observed play… These characters are cut from familiar molds, but Mr. Golamco and his appealing cast bring fresh nuances, tempering the earnestness with unassuming charm.

The New York Times

A very smart, sweet, honest and uncommonly moving new play… Michael Golamco is a significant new dramatic voice.

The Chicago Tribune

Often surprising, invariably touching… Captures the emotionally complex lives of children of survivors who never quite feel “worthy,”… And the lure (and price) of assimilation.”

The Chicago Sun-Times

Subtle and engrossing… Director David Rose meticulously charts its shifting shades of feeling. [Critic's Pick!]

Backstage West

Superb… Every bit as entertaining as it is dramatic and thought-provoking. Powerful performances, entirely winning.

Stage Scene LA

Extraordinarily perceptive… Humor packed with electric direction and a remarkable cast.

Broadway World

[A] fresh, moving take on conflicted cultural identity… Golamco writes with insight and compassion.

Los Angeles Times

Brilliantly directed… A tender story filled with beautifully calibrated, incendiary performances. [GO!]

LA Weekly

Simply great theatre… Full of endearing, likeable characters and a sweet story, Year Zero is a simply marvelous play.

Arts Beat LA

A delicate portrait of lost souls attempting to discover their roots and navigate awkward relationships with one another… Incisive, both dramatically and thematically, leading to a haunting and hopeful climax. [Critic's Pick!]

Backstage Magazine

Keenly observed… Golamco has crafted a strong, character-based piece that has moments that sparkle with originality.


Year Zero is an incisive, deeply moving play that gets a ten in my book.

NY Theatre

Jeff Recommended.