THE STORY: FOB is told in a style that moves quickly between myth and reality, with the characters occasionally speaking directly to the audience. Grace and Dale are cousins, living in the Los Angeles area and attending college. Dale is fully American, second generation. Grace is first generation and holds the customs of China in higher regard. The arrival of Steve, an exchange student and a newcomer from China, fresh off the boat, forces them to confront a number of conflicting feelings about America, China and themselves. Dale is very confrontational with Steve, mocking his English and manner. And in turn Steve is defiant and even provocative. Grace tries to keep the conflict from escalating but finds herself increasingly drawn to Steve. Grace decides to go with Steve to a school dance and an uneasy truce, of sorts, is reached between Dale and Steve.
Meaning “fresh off the boat,” this striking play explores the conflicts and similarities between two Chinese Americans and a Chinese exchange student still steeped in the customs and beliefs of the old world.