Jun 3, 2022 - Things to Do

"The Chinese Lady" amazes

Girl holding tea cup
Mi Kang stars in "The Chinese Lady," presented by TimeLine Theatre. Photo courtesy of TimeLine Theatre

TimeLine Theatre's "The Chinese Lady" tells the story of Afong Moy, a woman brought to the U.S. from China in 1834 to be displayed as "an authentic Chinese lady."

  • Actress Mi Kang brilliantly transforms from excited teen to embittered senior after 55 years of touring and broken promises.

Driving the news: We caught up with the talented Kang, who is still in grad school at Northwestern, to talk about the play, which runs through June 18.

The attraction: "I love how it shares the Asian American experience …. It's a beautiful story about hope, perseverance and connection."

Her aspiration: "I hope audiences walk away with hope and a desire to connect with another human … to see someone else and get to know them as a human instead of what they can potentially represent based on how they look. I also hope they don't forget Afong Moy."

Secret to aging on stage: Kang credits her breathtaking transformation to "trying to be as specific in pitch and physicality as possible at each age."

  • "Our dialect director, Eva Breneman, provided a lot of tools for me to anchor myself in. I also think costuming and lighting play a huge part."
  • "The costume designer, Izumi Inaba, and lighting designer, John Culbert, designed the clothes, accessories and lighting to illustrate where the character is at in life and where we are in the story."

What's next: "The Chinese Lady" is presenting a special production captioned in Chinese on Thursday, June 9, at 7:30pm.

  • The translations will be visible in real time to a portion of audience seats. Interested patrons should request those seats when ordering. More info here.
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