The Chinese Lady makes Indiana Premiere at the IRT in its 50th Season
A Hoosier playwright, a national acting and design team, and a global message
Indianapolis, Ind.— The Indiana Repertory Theatre is honored to produce the Indiana premiere of Lloyd Suh’s critically acclaimed play, The Chinese Lady. Inspired by a true story of the first Chinese woman to come to America in the 1800s, this piercing and poetic portrait runs on the IRT Upperstage October 11 – November 6, 2022. This is the first of two productions in the IRT’s 50th Anniversary Season that is part of the INclusion Series, which celebrates diverse storytelling and hidden stories of our shared history.
Beginning in 1834, The Chinese Lady follows 14-year-old Afong Moy through the decades as she spends her life traveling across the country as a living exhibition for a paying public. A look at identity and perspective, her story unearths hidden history as a displaced woman and a young nation’s struggle with how to define itself.
“The play is wildly and amazingly theatrical, spanning many years of Afong’s time in this country, her often piquant responses to what she sees in the West, and how she filters what she experiences through her own cultural lens with more than occasional humor and constant revelation,” said Margot Lacy Eccles Artistic Director Janet Allen. “She sees clearly things that our history has muted or ignored, and we benefit hugely from her clarity.”
This production at the IRT brings together many key partners from the initial development process of this remarkable play. Janet Allen first learned about The Chinese Lady from collaborator (and the show’s scenic designer) Junghyun Georgia Lee, who had been working on it for several years with director Ralph B. Peña. Peña is the artistic director of Ma-Yi Theater Company in New York City and had originally developed the work with playwright Lloyd Suh—a Greenwood, Indiana native.
In addition to the creative team’s connection to the work, both actors have previously performed their roles in other productions across the country. Mi Kang, who plays Afong Moy, made her professional Chicago theatre debut in The Chinese Lady at TimeLine Theatre earlier this year. Trieu Tran, who plays Atung, also performed in the show at the Artists at Play/Greenway Court Theatre in Los Angeles.
“I have always thought Lloyd’s play to be timeless. Today, I think of it as timely,” Director Ralph B. Peña said. “Afong Moy considered it her mission to bridge the gap between America and China, and to foster greater empathy between their peoples. This is a continuation of that mission.”
Tickets are available now for this Indiana premiere!
WHERE: Indiana Repertory Theatre, 140 W. Washington Street, IRT Upperstage
RUN DATES: October 11 – November 6, various times. The Chinese Lady is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, with no intermission. Tickets and performance schedule available at IRTlive.com.
TICKETS: Tickets start at $25. Click to buy.
CAST & CREATIVE TEAM:
MI KANG | Afong Moy
TRIEU TRAN | Atung
LLOYD SUH | Playwright
RALPH B. PEÑA | Director
JUNGHYUN GEORGIA LEE | Scenic Designer
LINDA CHO | Costume Designer
OLIVER WASON | Lighting Designer
FABIAN OBISPO | Composer
RICHARD J ROBERTS | Dramaturg
MATT SHIVES | Stage Manager
For more information contact Kerry Barmann, Associate Director of Marketing, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317.916.4824.
ABOUT THE IRT
Founded in 1971, the Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT) is the largest professional not-for-profit theatre in the state and one of the leading regional theatres in the country. The mission of the Indiana Repertory Theatre is to produce top-quality, professional theatre and related activities, providing experiences that will engage, surprise, challenge, and entertain people throughout their lifetimes, helping us build a vital and vibrant community.
Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA): The IRT strives to celebrate and serve the diverse people and cultures that make up our whole community. The IRT is committed to providing access for all; to creating and maintaining an antiracist theatre that is inclusive, safe, and respectful.
The IRT produces top-quality, professional theatre that engages, surprises, challenges and entertains people throughout their lifetimes, helping to build a vital and vibrant community.
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