A tale weaving Chinese mythology and contemporary Austin inspired by the 1875 U.S. Supreme Court case Chy Lung v. Freeman, 92 U.S. 275
All shows 8pm
FRI 2/28 SOLDOUT!
SAT 3/1 SOLDOUT!
FRI 3/7 See note below
SAT 3/8 See note below
Salvage Vanguard Theater
2803 Manor Rd, Austin, TX
NOTE: All remaining show nights are sold out online, sorry for the inconvenience. If you come by the Box Office on show nights from 7.15pm, you can sign up to be on the standby list if pre-sold tickets are not claimed by show time. Thank you!
How is a court case where 22 Chinese women judged unjustly to be “lewd and debauched” over 140 years ago relevant to Asian American women living in Austin in 2014? In this original play, follow the stories of three women as the tale dances between Chinese mythology and contemporary Austin.
At times funny, at times heartbreaking, at times uncomfortably funny. .
In 1875, 22 Chinese women disembarking a steamer at the San Francisco harbor were judged by the California commissioner of immigration, and later upheld by state court, to be “lewd and debauched” and therefore, prostitutes. They were ordered to pay a bond of $500 each (of which the commissioner receives 20%) before they were allowed to disembark. Main reasons for the judgment included ‘evidence’ such as “travelled without husbands or children,” and “wore flowery, gaudy garments.” The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. This case was cited in debates in recent years over Arizona’s controversial immigration law which touched on state and federal power, anti-immigration sentiments and public perception of immigrants.
In a play told with vulnerability and humor, we experience the psychological weight of maintaining the Model Minority exterior, the angst of a first-time mother who desires to be the best mother she could be to her young biracial daughter, and the timeless yearning to live in a society free of judgment. These 3 storylines touch on some of the same debates and challenges that faced our 19-century society and pushes the envelope to challenge the "hush hush" attitudes about race and ethnicity (our own and those of others).
Written and performed by Christine Hoang, Alice Liu Cook, LiLan Ren and Leng Wong, as inspired by the 1875 court case Chy Lung vs Freeman based on personal experiences. Directed by Leng Wong. Also in the cast is Vivianna Chan (March 8).
We will never know the stories of those 22 women in 1875, but here’s the opportunity to hear the stories of three Austin women and experience their journey of self-discovery, doubt and resilience with some (sometimes uncomfortable) humor thrown in.
Producers: Christine Hoang and Leng Wong
Assistant Director: Vivianna Chan
Lighting: Gene Joe
Sound: Jen Dorsey
Stage Personnel: Suny Ader
Voice Actors: Jeff Britt, Allen Lea, Steve Rogers, Gene Joe, David Wells
Original Poetry : Allen Lea
Sound Engineering: Jeff Britt, David Wells, Leng Wong
Photography: Steve Rogers Photorgraphy
$15. Seats are limited so reserve yours online here.