Herschel: Portrait of a Killer

Seattle, 1983. Something is haunting the waters of the Ballard Locks, and it's hungry for endangered steelhead trout. Can the intrepid scientists of the Department of Fish and Wildlife stop this remorseless predator?


Third Reading 

U. of Washington, Seattle
May 5, 2017

Second Reading 

Ensemble Studio Theatre, NYC
February 23, 2017

First Reading 

Ma-Yi Theater, NYC
June 4, 2016


Andrew Tsao



Rachel Dart




Moritz von Stuelpnagel


4M / 2F


This is the first play that I ever wrote about my hometown. It's based off of the real struggles between the government agents of Fish & Wildlife and a group of California sea lions who had migrated north. What started as a vague memory of a local interest story blossomed into a love letter to Seattle as well as a sobering look into conservation efforts that are very much raging on to this day throughout parts of the Pacific Northwest.

I developed this script over a month at the University of Washington thanks to a Mellon Fellowship via the Ma-Yi Theater Company. UW put me on a seaplane to visit their Friday Harbor Labs, a marine biology Valhalla in the San Juans.  


Originally commissioned by
The Ensemble Studio Theatre /
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
& Technology Project