Two hours into surgery, Susan's mother loses oxygen to her brain and the plastic surgeon deliberately does not call 9-1-1 for fourteen minutes. Five days later, while in a coma, she flatlines. The surgeon is charged with medical negligence and her family falls apart; no one talks about what happened. Nineteen years later on her wedding day, Susan's mother's seat sits empty and Susan realizes she can no longer ignore what she's always wanted: to know who her mother was. Sifting through thousands of deposition pages and reaching out to the killer's family, Susan uncovers the painful truth of her mother, herself, and the impossible ideal of Vietnamese feminine beauty.
140 LBS: HOW BEAUTY KILLED MY MOTHER is a theatrical, autobiographical solo dramedy by Susan Lieu, a Vietnamese-American activist playwright and performer who tells stories that refuse to be forgotten. With a vision for individual and community healing—made possible through the interplay of comedy and drama—her work delves deeply into the lived realities of body insecurity, grieving, and trauma. 140 LBS has been featured in the LA Times, NBC News, NPR, The Lily (WaPo), American Theatre, CAAMFest 37, RISK! and The Moth Mainstage. The San Francisco Chronicle calls it "fascinating, touching, upsetting, poignant, startling, affecting, engrossing, emotional, informative and, more than anything, humane." Directed by Sara Porkalob.