Q&A: Vichet Chum (“M. Butterfly”)

I chatted with actor Vichet Chum about his career and his time exploring Baltimore.

Q: Talk about your childhood, where you grew up, etc.

I grew up in a suburb of Dallas, TX. My parents emigrated from Cambodia. They were sponsored by a church group to come over. I lived there until I went off to college.


Q: When did you know you wanted to be an actor?

My first taste of theater was in “The Sound Of Music” at a very young age. I got the bug from that experience. It opened my eyes to a lot of things. In terms of acting as a career, I knew once I moved to New York. I began to be immersed in the world of acting when I got there.


Q: What is “M. Butterfly” about and who do you play?

The play is about a French diplomat in the 1960’s who is sent to China to do some work, and there he meets a Beijing Opera singer. They fall into a relationship of sorts. I play the Beijing opera singer, Song Lilling, who is actually a man disguised as a woman. She’s a victim of her own circumstances. She’s a gay man in Communist China in the 1960’s. She has some secrets of her own.The play rifles through their entire relationship beginning to end.  The plot is kind of convoluted. ::laughs::


Q: What has your time been like in Baltimore so far?

“It’s been wonderful! I haven’t worked in Baltimore before. I’ve fallen in love with the people. Everyone at the Everyman Theatre has been very supportive! I haven’t had a lot of time to explore yet because of rehearsal, but the city certainly has a rich history and the architecture is interesting. It’s great to be here.”

“M. Butterfly” is NOW PLAYING at The Everyman Theatre until October 8th!

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