THE CHINESE LADY
22 23 Season
By Lloyd Suh
Directed by Marjorie Chan
Studio 180 Theatre and fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company in association with Crow’s Theatre
May 2–21, 2023
Tuesday- Saturday at 8:00 PM; Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM
Please note that masks are mandatory at all Tuesday evening and Sunday matinee performances, in accordance with Crow's Theatre's Health & Safety Commitment.
Studio Theatre, Streetcar Crowsnest
345 Carlaw Ave, Toronto, ON M4M 2T1
Afong Moy is 14 years old when she’s brought to the United States from Guangzhou in 1834. Purportedly the first Chinese woman to set foot in the U.S., she has been put on display for the American public as “The Chinese Lady.” As the decades wear on, her celebrated sideshow comes to define and challenge her very sense of identity. Alternatingly dark, poetic, and whimsical, the play is a searing portrait of Western culture seen through the eyes of a young Chinese woman.
A CANADIAN PREMIERE
Dora Award Nominations: Outstanding Direction, Marjorie Chan; Outstanding Performance by an Individual, Rosie Simon
Dora Award Winner: Outstanding Costume Design, Jung-Hye Kim
Written by Lloyd Suh
Directed by Marjorie Chan 陳以珏
Featuring Rosie Simon and John Ng 伍健琪
Stage Managed by Kai-Yueh Chen 陳楷岳
Assistant Directed by 郝邦宇 Steven Hao
Lighting Design by Kimberly Purtell
Set Designed by Echo Zhou 周芷會
Costume Designed by Jung-Hye Kim
Sound Designed by Gloria Mok 莫嘉詠
Production Managed by Charissa Wilcox
Props by David Hoekstra
Beyond the Stage events
Looked at long enough
May 2–21, 2023
Meet the Team
May 2–21, 2023
Continue the Conversation
May 7, 2023
May 21, 2023
See And Be Seen
May 14, 2023
“It is a beautiful thing to look at something long enough to really understand it. But it is so much more beautiful to be looked at long enough to be understood.”The Chinese Lady, Lloyd Suh
A tour de force by both actors.Operaramblings
[Director Marjorie Chan] smartly finds a way to let Moy’s story speak for itself.Intermission Magazine
Simon is fully compelling in the role—with subtle, telling shifts in demeanour as Moy’s purpose and identity are slowly eroded by years of strategic objectification… Ng beautifully conveys the emotional cost of this charade… With intelligence and empathy, The Chinese Lady encourages us to examine our place in a shameful continuum.Istvan Dugalin
Thanks to director Marjorie Chan’s deft and clear vision, The Chinese Lady uneasily reminds the audience if they might have witnessed or participated in such cultural exhibitions as these… an at times searing commentary on the Western world’s fascination with all things deemed cultural commodities… See The Chinese Lady and allow it to lead to further enlightenment and discussion.Our Theatre Voice
If you missed reading these articles while at the show, or if you’re looking for more resources about Asian history in the United States, please check out the links below.
Asian American Milestones: Timeline
Afong Moy: Uncovering the History Behind The Chinese Lady
Why We Must Learn Asian American History
Hells Canyon Massacre
The Long History of Racism Against Asian Americans in the U.S.
What Happened at the Spring Rocks Massacre?
Forgotten Los Angeles History: The Chinese Massacre of 1871
Daguerreotypes and Humbugs: Pwan-Ye-Koo, Racial Science, and the Circulation of Ethnographic Images around 1850
Remembering Afong Moy
To Dismantle Anti-Asian Racism, We Must Understand Its Roots
Chinese Exclusion Act
For Studio 180: debut. Lloyd Suh is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, and is the winner of the 2019 Herb Alpert Award for Theater and the 2020 winner of the Horton Foote Prize. His play The Chinese Lady premiered as a co-production by Barrington Stage Company and Ma-Yi Theater Company, and was hailed a New York Times Critics’ Pick during its NY run. The play now continues to have productions around the country. It returned to New York City in a co-production between the Public Theatre and Ma-Yi Theatre Company in 2022. This season, Lloyd’s play The Far Country premiered at the Atlantic Theatre and was also a New York Times Critics’ Pick, and his play The Heart Sellers will premiere at Milwaukee Rep. Lloyd’s play Charles Francis Chan Jr’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery was produced by NAATCO. His play The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go! debuted at the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis and Ma-Yi Theatre in New York. It received the AATE Distinguished Play Award and the Off Broadway Alliance Award for Best Family Show. His play Bina’s Six Apples premiered in a co-production between Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis and Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. Lloyd was presented with the National Asian American Theatre Company’s Lilah Kan Red Socks Award in recognition of an artist’s commitment to community service. He served on the National Steering Committee in creating the first National Asian American Theatre Conference and the first National Asian American Theatre Festival. He served as an official artist delegate to the 2007 World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya and the inaugural US Social Forum in Atlanta.
Marjorie Chan 陳以珏
For Studio 180: debut. Marjorie is an award-winning interdisciplinary artist, and currently the artistic director of Theatre Passe Muraille. Most recently, she directed The Year of the Cello (co-created with Njo Kong Kie), and the digital version of John & Waleed for Theatre Passe Muraille. Other directing credits include China Doll (Gateway Theatre) John & Waleed and Ultrasound (Cahoots Theatre/TPM), The Enchanted Loom (Cahoots/Factory), Late (Obsidian Theatre), I Call Myself Princess (Paper Canoe/Cahoots/Native Earth), Frankenstein’s Boy (Eldritch Theatre), Knives in Hens and A Doll’s House (Theatre du Pif – Hong Kong). She also assistant directed Maria Stuarda (Pacific Opera Victoria), A Synonym For Love (Volcano Theatre) and The Pirate Widow Cheng (Puppetmongers). Also a librettist, Marjorie’s new opera The Nightingale of a Thousand Songs with composer Serouj Kradjian will premiere in June with the Canadian Children’s Opera Company. www.marjoriechan.com
For Studio 180: debut. Select credits include: The Three Musketeers (RMTC), Lady Sunrise (Factory Theatre), John (RMTC), Dinner with the Dutchess (Next Stage Festival), acquiesce (Factory Theatre), Kim’s Convenience (Soulpepper), Cowboy Versus Samurai (Soulpepper), Urinetown (Firehall), The King and I (Gateway), A…My Name is Alice (VACT), The 25th Putnam County Spelling Bee (Arts Club/Belfry), Flower Drum Song (VACT). TV credits include: Star Trek: Discovery, Hudson & Rex, Good Witch, Slasher: Solistice, Shadowhunters, Carter, Killjoys, Motive In these uncertain times, Rosie is so grateful to be able to tell stories on stage and share her passion with the world. A big thank you to all who continue to support live theatre!
John Ng 伍健琪
For Studio 180: debut. John is a first-generation, Hong Kong-born actor of Toishanese descent. Selected theatre credits include Kuroko (Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre); Antigone (Young People’s Theatre); The Full Light Of Day (Electric Theatre Company); Nine Dragons (Vertigo/Gateway/Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre). He received a Dora-nomination for lead actor in Norman Yeung’s PU-ERH in 2010. Selected film and television credits include Rising Suns, The Swan and the reoccurring role of Mr. Chin on Kim’s Convenience. He studied theatre at the University of Ottawa and currently lives in Ottawa with his cat, Lady Toishan.
Kai-Yueh Chen 陳楷岳
For Studio 180: debut. Kai is a Toronto based stage manager. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, his parents sent him to a boarding school in Sussex, England at a very young age. He wanted to be a composer, and went on to Trinity College of Music in London to focus on his music. Kai transferred his study to McGill University in Montreal when his family immigrated to Canada. After completing his Bachelor of Music in Composition, he decided to apply for the Production Program at The National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal. Since graduating from the NTS, Kai has worked throughout Canada from St John’s Newfoundland in the East to Vancouver British Colombia in the West, and in London UK.
郝邦宇 Steven Hao
For Studio 180: debut. Selected Credits for Directing: Director, A Perfect Bowl of Pho, Toronto Fringe 2022; Director, I and You, Precipice Productions; Director, Constellations, Precipice Productions. Selected Credits for Acting: Cockroach, Cockroach, Tarragon Theatre; Duke of Burgundy/Gentlemen, The Tragedy of King Lear, Shakespeare Bash’d. Upcoming: Puck, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare in High Park 2023. @steven_haoby
For Studio 180: (selected credits) Indecent, Sweat, Oslo, My Name is Asher Lev, Clybourne Park, The Normal Heart, Stuff Happens. Kimberly is a Toronto based lighting designer for theatre, opera and dance and is thrilled to be working with Studio 180 once again. Her designs have been critically acclaimed across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Prague, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Moscow and Mongolia. She has designed for the Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival, Canadian Stage Company, Soulpepper Theatre, Mirvish Productions, National Arts Centre and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Pacific Opera Victoria, Opera Philadelphia, Arena Stage in Washington DC, Tapestry Opera, Hamilton Opera, Edmonton Opera, Theatre Calgary, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Citadel Theatre, Place des Arts, among many others. She has also designed productions for the Pan Am Games and the Vancouver and Beijing Cultural Olympiads. Kimberly has received three Dora Mavor Moore Awards, the Pauline McGibbon Award, a Sterling Award, and a Montreal English Theatre Award. She is the Vice President of the Associated Designers of Canada and IATSE ADC659.
Echo Zhou 周芷會
For Studio 180: My Sister’s Rage. Selected Credits: Benevolence (Benevolence Collective); Between a Wok and a Hotpot (Cahoots Theatre); The Year of the Cello (Theatre Passe Muraille); Every Brilliant Thing (Thousand Island Playhouse); White Girls in Moccasins (Manidoons Collective); Mr.Shi and His Lover, I Swallowed Moon Made of Iron (Music Picnic). Other: Echo is a Chinese immigrant, Tkaronto-based scenographer working in live performance. She has designed for Buddies in the Bad Times, Theatre Passe Muraille, Thousand Island Playhouse, Tarragon Theatre, Theatre by the Bay, Frog in Hand, The Theatre Centre, The Next Stage Festival, SummerWorks Festival, etc. www.echozhoudesign.com. For Grandpa.
For Studio 180: Clybourne Park (set design). Selected Theatre Credits: Hamlet-911 (Stratford Festival), An Imm-Permanent Resident (Why Not Theatre), Hilot Means Healer (Cahoots Theatre), Dry Powder (Evermore Theatre), Now You See Her (Quote Unquote Collective, Dora nomination for outstanding costume design), Shirley Valentine (Thousand Islands Playhouse), Prairie Nurse (Factory Theatre). Upcoming: The Nightingale (CCOC), Jesus Christ Superstar (Sheridan College Theatre).
Gloria Mok 莫嘉詠
For Studio 180: debut. Gloria (she/her) is a playwright, producer, production manager, designer, and theatre creator, who grew up in Mississauga, ON (Treaty 13 territory). She is settler and daughter of first-generation Chinese-Canadian immigrants from Hong Kong. Alongside Chinese-Canadian theatre creators Aaron Jan and Bessie Cheng, Gloria co-founded Silk Bath Collective in 2016; focused on creating multidisciplinary plays about the Chinese diaspora including Silk Bath, Yellow Rabbit, and Woking Phoenix. Gloria is the Producer at Nightswimming and has worked with performing arts organizations across Turtle Island, including: Nakai, The Guild, Gwaandak (Whitehorse); 2b, Keep Good (Halifax); Cahoots, Director’s Lab North, Driftwood, fu-GEN, Kaeja d’Dance, Native Earth, Paprika Festival, Shakespeare in the Ruff, SummerWorks, Soulpepper, Theatre Passe Muraille, Why Not (Toronto). Gloria is a graduate of the University of Guelph’s Theatre Studies and History program, the University of Toronto OISE, and the National Theatre School of Canada’s Production Design and Technical Arts program.
For Studio 180: The Nether. Charissa spent the last couple decades working at the Iconic Queer Canadian Art Organization, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (BIBT) as the Head of Production. Throughout her freelance career she has worked with such companies as Aluna Theatre, Tapestry, Modern Times, New Harlem Productions and Nightwood Theatre. Charissa is also the Artistic Producer and co-founder of FLYING SOLO and the lead designer and fabricator of FLYING SOLO’s cutting edge circus apparatuses.
Head of Props
For Studio 180: debut. David is an acquisitive props master and builder for hire, whose work has been
seen in most every theatre throughout Toronto over the last 30 years. David has
also been the props master for George Brown College Theatre School since 1997.
Known for his extensive collection of antique electric toasters, David’s also restores
vintage stage lights and has a fondness for ray guns, which surprisingly took a long
time for him to realize. David looks forward to retiring, possibly to an organic farm,
hopefully before the zombie apocalypse arrives. If you are interested in David’s extensive list of credits, somewhat out of date, and too boring to write about here, visit: https://ttdb.ca/people/david-hoekstra/
The Chinese Canadian National Council
The Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter (CCNCTO) is an organization of Chinese Canadians in the City of Toronto that promotes equity, social justice, inclusive civic participation, and respect for diversity. Since 1980, they have been organizing with the Chinese Canadian community to advocate for racial and economic justice and to build up their community’s capacity to engage in collective action for change. The knowledge and experiences of their members have informed their programming and advocacy efforts. Their work includes the Chinese Worker Organizing Project, Education Equity Project, Chinese Youth Capacity Building, and general membership and volunteer development. Learn more about CCNCTO’s work, including their second annual national report on Anti-Asian Racism here or donate to support their work here.
Cultural Media Partner
Fête Chinoise is a cultural platform that aims to empower individuals to deepen the connection between identity and Chinese culture. Through a curated lens and critical thinking, they present meaningful stories, artful experiences, and inspiring products and editorial content. Their mission is to move culture forward, through compelling editorial and design work surrounding the arts, tradition, lifestyle and community which are areas in the Chinese-Canadian community that suffer from the lack of representation and high-quality presentation.
Fête Chinoise Magazine has consistently been recognized for its exceptional work. Fête Chinoise Edition No. 7 has recently won the Gold Award for Best Feel Good Story, the Silver Award for Best Multicultural Story and Top 10 stories overall by The Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAs 2022). Learn more about Fête Chinoise here.