The Chinese Lady
Intriguing, powerful, and based on a true story, The Chinese Lady is a play unlike anything you’ve seen before.
The year is 1834 and 14-year-old Afong Moy is the first Chinese woman mainland America has ever seen. For a fee, spectators watch her eat shrimp and vegetables with chopsticks in an “exotic” habitat. They watch her walk. They gawk at her tiny bound feet. But she is honored to share her culture in a land bustling with opportunity.
Her translator, protector, and only interlocutor is Atung, a Chinese man who has been living in America for decades. Under the watchful eyes of Atung and the viewing public, Afong grows up and tours the U.S. as part of a traveling sideshow.
Together, our two protagonists make poetic, pithy observations about culture, imperialism, and western philosophy as they watch a young nation struggle to define itself. Visually stunning and undeniably clever, The Chinese Lady shines a light on parts of our history that aren’t so black-and-white.