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the chinese lady

WRITTEN by Lloyd suh
Directed by robin tynes-miller
Starring Amy Wada

August 4-19, 2023

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8 p.m.

Sundays at 2 p.m.​

Performances will be held at the Arts Factory at West End Studios

Flex Passes Available Now!

Single tickets coming soon

This show contains adult language and themes, including trauma to Asians and Asian-Amerians, recommended for ages 14+

"If only I could have shown you how we are so alike in many beautiful ways. And how we are so different in beautiful ways as well."- Afong Moy, The Chinese Lady

 

In 1834, 16-year-old Afong Moy sailed into New York Harbor and was immediately put on display for a paying public who were mesmerized by her exotic ways and horrified by her tiny bound feet. Allegedly the first Chinese woman to set foot on U.S. soil, she has been put on display for the American public as “The Chinese Lady.” For the next half-century, she performs for curious white people, showing them how she eats, what she wears, and the highlight of the event: how she walks with bound feet. As the decades wear on, her celebrated sideshow comes to define and challenge her very sense of identity. Inspired by the true story of Afong Moy’s life, Lloyd Suh's critically-acclaimed play presents a dark, poetic, yet whimsical portrait of America’s shameful colonial history through the eyes of a young Chinese woman. Nominated for Outstanding Play at the 2022 Drama Desk Awards.

This show contains adult language and themes, including trauma to Asians and Asian-Amerians, recommended for ages 14+

What People Are Saying
New York Times
*Critics Pick*
“…piercing and intimate…this quiet play steadily deepens in complexity as we trail the idealistic Afong and the more knowing Atung through the decades…by the end of Mr. Suh’s extraordinary play, we look at Afong and see whole centuries of American history.”
Time out (New York)
“It takes only minutes of THE CHINESE LADY to see that…playwright Lloyd Suh [has] constructed the dramatic equivalent of a perfect cabinet. Every hinge moves smoothly; the herringbone joins are a low-key marvel. You can almost see yourself in its hard-won polish…Suh’s version of Afong Moy is wonderful.”
The Front Row Center.com
“…Afong Moy might not have fulfilled her intention of educating and connecting the world in her life, but THE CHINESE LADY sure has the promise and potential [to] do so.”

Meet the Artists

Robin Tynes-Miller
Robin Tynes-Miller

Director

Robin Tynes-Miller co-founded Three Bone Theatre in Charlotte in 2012. She has served as its Founding Artistic Director over the first nine years, recently stepping into the Artistic and Operations Director role. Born and raised in the mountains of North Carolina, she attended Catawba College and earned her BFA in Musical Theatre Performance before moving to Charlotte. In Charlotte, she has spent her career working with local theatre organizations as a teaching artist, and marketing and ticketing professional. She is also a local actor and director. Favorite directing credits include THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES (2013), THE (CURIOUS CASE OF THE) WATSON INTELLIGENCE (2016), EVERY BRILLIANT THING (2018) and THE CHILDREN (2022). An avid student of and advocate for racial justice, she believes that while the industry has a long way to go, anti-racism and anti-oppression work is the only way forward. She currently lives in Charlotte with her husband, their baby, and a plethora of pets.

Amy Wada
Amy Wada

Afong Moy

Amy is so grateful to be on stage again with Three Bone Theatre! It's been too long! Over the years, Amy has worked with Theatre Charlotte (Miss Firecracker Contest, You Can't Take It With You, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), the former Carolina Actors Studio Theatre (When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?, Metamorphoses), OnQ Productions (Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992), the former Warehouse Performing Arts Center (Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Fuddy Meers), CPCC (Almost, Maine, The Trip to Bountiful), Actor's Theatre of Charlotte (The Mermaid Hour), and Three Bone Theatre (Love/Sick, The Actress). It is such an honor to share the story of Afong Moy with you all. Thanks to Willie B. and thanks to you, the audience, for supporting the arts.

Lloyd Suh
Lloyd Suh

Playwright

Lloyd Suh is the author of The Chinese Lady, Charles Francis Chan Jr.'s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery, American Hwangap, The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!, Jesus in India, and others, produced with Ma-Yi, Magic Theatre, EST, NAATCO, PlayCo, Denver Center, Milwaukee Rep, ArtsEmerson, Children's Theatre Co, and more, including internationally at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and with PCPA in Seoul, Korea. He has received support from the NEA Arena Stage New Play Development program, Mellon Foundation, NYFA, NYSCA, Jerome, TCG, Dramatists Guild, and residencies including NYS&F and Ojai. He is an alum of Youngblood and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and was a recipient of a 2016 Helen Merrill Award and the 2019 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts. From 2005-2010 he served as Artistic Director of Second Generation and Co-Director of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, and has served since 2011 as the Director of Artistic Programs at The Lark, and since 2015 as a member of the Dramatists Guild Council.

Learn More

What ‘The Chinese Lady’ Can Teach Us About Asian America, Then And Now

American Theatre Magazine

Lloyd Suh’s play, which will be the most-produced of the coming season, speaks directly both to our tangled past and our complicated present.

What ‘The Chinese Lady’ Can Teach Us About Asian America, Then And Now
The Unknowable You: An Interview with Playwright Lloyd Suh

Mochi Magazine

An in depth interview with playwright Lloyd Suh about the inspiration for The Chinese Lady and his perspective as an Asian-American artist.

The Unknowable You: An Interview with Playwright Lloyd Suh
The Life of Afong Moy, the First Chinese Woman in America

Literary Hub

Contending with the Orientalist Fears and Fantasies of a Young Nation

The Life of Afong Moy, the First Chinese Woman in America