EXCLUSIVE: Seann Miley Moore is Bringing Asian Queer Excellence to Miss Saigon and Beyond

EXCLUSIVE: Seann Miley Moore is Bringing Asian Queer Excellence to Miss Saigon and Beyond


It’s different in the best way. Seann Miley Moore talks to MEGA as they redefine the role of the Engineer to “EnginQueer” in the latest rendition of Miss Saigon

“My pronouns are he, she, they. Call me whatever you want as long as you call me.” With an introduction as grand as it is seducing, whether he’s backstage under fluorescent lights or surrounded by four corners trapped in beige wardrobes, Seann Miley Moore sets the scene for a conversation that’s as empowering as it is illuminating. As the electrifying star of the latest rendition of Miss Saigon, the Filipino-Australian singer-actor crackles with a spirit of unapologetic authenticity and boundless passion, sending shockwaves through societal norms and embracing the full spectrum of human identity.

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Introducing: the EnginQueer

Pink three-piece set by EHRRAN MONTOYA and Jewelry by EIRIN

“This is how the role should have always been done,” Moore asserts. With a mischievous twinkle in their eyes and hands moving animatedly, their lips curl into a knowing smile, “Let’s keep that controversy alive.” In the actor’s portrayal, the Engineer’s fight for home and identity takes place, paving the way for a new tradition in theater.

With a non-traditional take on the Engineer, the actor sparks a revolution in representation. “It’s definitely been a journey as a queer person,” Moore reflects. “But it’s meant to be this way from now on, which is fabulous.” Their portrayal of the Engineer, whom they affectionately term “EnginQueer”, is epitomized with flamboyance and genuineness, capturing the character caught between societal expectations and personal truth.

The Filipino-austrailian actor is bringing big #slaysian energy to the stage
White gown by EHRRAN MONTOYA and Jewelry by EIRIN

Pausing for a moment to collect their thoughts, their gaze flickers with intensity as they explore their character research. “But, you know,” they continue, the actor’s tone shifting to one of introspection, “when I think about it and when you guys see the show, you’ll understand his fight to find his home and people.”

In that moment, surrounded by the trappings of the theater world, Moore embodies the spirit of defiance and innovation, daring to challenge the norms of tradition and light the way for a new era of portrayal on the stage.


Pink three-piece set by EHRRAN MONTOY and Jewelry by EIRIN

There’s a raw honesty in Moore’s words, a vulnerability that speaks to the challenges they faced and the strength they discovered within themselves. “I mean, everyone understands you probably have to fit and play a character to fit in society, act a certain way, dress a certain way, talk a certain way, play the character,” they admit. “But when I realize I don’t have to play that character and I get to be myself, that’s when everything beautiful opened up,” the actor’s voice is tinged with emotion. “So I inject everything that is me into the role and into life.”

White gown by EHRRAN MONTOYA and Jewelry by EIRIN

There is a nexus of possibility at play—a space where performance transcends sheer entertainment to become an effective catalyst for social change. As the light bathes them in its warm glow, each step they take on the stage is imbued with purpose and possibility. They keenly grasp the significance of their position: a platform teeming with the potential to advocate for greater inclusivity in the community.

“I have been a lone wolf in this industry,” they concede. “But the world has caught up.” Through it all, they remain unapologetically themselves, allowing the way for others to do the same. As they pay homage to previous Engineers like Cocoy Laurel and Leo Valdez, Moore emphasizes the importance of authenticity. “But as I say, it’s exciting to bring a new fresh take to the production,” the actor adds with anticipation. When you’re true to yourself, even the weightiest burdens become feather-light.

Pink three-piece set by EHRRAN MONTOYA and Jewelry by EIRIN

His words echo the wisdom of someone who has walked a path mostly traveled, yet faced adversity with courage and resilience. “I always say be brave and be you, because being you is be-you-tiful,” Moore continues as their voice grows stronger with each syllable.

Being authentic carries the weight of a thousand spotlight moments and a million whispered doubts. It’s like wearing your heart on your sleeve while dancing through a minefield of expectations. But you know what they say? Heavy is the head that wears the crown, but fabulous is the soul that dares to shine in its own brilliance.

A Flamboyant Truth

Pink three-piece set by EHRRAN MONTOYA and Jewelry by EIRIN

Moore traces the lines of history and struggles into the convoluted parallels between the tumultuous world of Miss Saigon with the stark realities faced by today’s generation. “When I look at the show, we are living in a world of war,” they remark with weighted recognition. “And this character, Engineer, and the people of the show, they’re trying to get out for a better life.”

The actor draws a poignant comparison between two pivotal moments in history—the Vietnam War and the Stonewall riots. These events symbolize the complex interplay of identity and belonging. Moore reflect on the fall of Saigon in 1975, a time of upheaval and displacement, juxtaposed with the Stonewall riots of 1969, a trigger for the gay rights movement. Through this comparison, they underscore the shared struggle for freedom across different communities and eras.

White gown by EHRRAN MONTOYA and Jewelry by EIRIN

As Moore delves deeper into the character’s plight, their tone grows solemn, stressing the consequence of historical injustice. They describe the Engineer’s experience of living under communist control, where individual identity is suppressed and stripped away. “Having to hide, almost go back in the closet because if you are who you are, you will get killed,” they lament with sadness and indignation. “And this is very real in the world we’re living in today. We’re living in a world of war-queerness, living in a world of war-refugees. You can’t be who you are.”

Despite the hardships highlighted, Moore discovers a source of hope in the universal human longing for connection. They see the similarities between the themes of the show and the current state of the world as significant and deeply resonant. “The point is,” the actor asserts with conviction, “we all want to belong and be with our people.” In their flamboyance, they find truth, offering a mirror to the struggles of today.

A Spotlight For Everybody

Red cape and pants by EHRRAN MONTOYA and Jewelry by EIRIN

The spotlight isn’t just for the chosen few—it’s a perpetual moment where every say deserves to be heard and celebrated. Moore recognizes the pivotal role of diversity in shaping the future of musical theater. Their insistence on giving platforms to performers of color, queer artists, and Asian talent isn’t just a suggestion, but a call to action for producers to recognize the richness of human experience and the value of diverse perspectives. If all the world’s a stage, where every entrance and exit is but a part of the grand performance, does it not follow every voice?

Pink three-piece set by EHRRAN MONTOYA and Jewelry by EIRIN

As Pride Month approaches, Moore reminds us that the celebration of LGBTQ+ identity is not confined to a single month, but is a daily affirmation of self-worth and dignity. They accentuate the importance of visibility and representation, identifying the power of every individual to inspire and uplift others. “However you can do it through any medium, you will give that inspiration to everyone.” They believe in encouraging others to embrace their joy, beauty, and pride without fear or hesitation. “I contribute it to every day.”

Red cape and pants by EHRRAN MONTOYA and Jewelry by EIRIN

There is a trail of glitter leaving a step in their place that’s as bold as it is beautiful. This iteration of Miss Saigon has become a form of queer liberation, shaking the foundations of tradition. It’s a match made in heaven, sung with the flair of a diva hitting her high note, and the swagger of a rockstar owning the stage. When you combine passion, authenticity, and a killer pair of heels, you’ve got a glorious uprising. Seann Miley Moore champions a future where all voices are heard and all identities are celebrated. “Because we deserve our main stages. We deserve to be here because Miss Saigon is a smash.”

Miss Saigon runs from March 23 – May 12, 2024 at The Theatre At Solaire. To book tickets, click here.

Photography DOOKIE DUCAY. Art Direction ANDREW ENCAPAS. Fashion Direction SEAN CASTELO. Beauty Direction MIA CASTRO. Styling ROKO ARCEO, assisted by GISELLE BARNACHEA. Sittings Editor MIA CASTRO. Makeup GERY PENASO for ESTÉE LAUDER. Hair MYRENE SANTOS. Shoot Coordination JOANA FERNANDO and MELISSA TAN. Shot on Location at SOLAIRE RESORT ENTERTAINMENT CITY. Special thanks to GMG PRODUCTIONS

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