THE STORY: Afong Moy is fourteen years old when she’s brought to the United States from Guangzhou Province in 1834. 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, THE CHINESE LADY is a dark, poetic, yet whimsical portrait of America through the eyes of a young Chinese woman.
“…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” —The New York Times.
“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.” —Time Out New York.
“…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.” —The Front Row Center.