A tale weaving Chinese mythology and contemporary Austin inspired by the 1875 U.S. Supreme Court case Chy Lung v. Freeman, 92 U.S. 275 (1875).
Only 4 shows : Fridays and Saturdays (2/28, 3/1, 3/7 and 3/8) at 8pm
How is a court case where 22 Chinese women judged unjustly to be “lewd and debauched” over 140 years ago relevant to Asian American women living in Austin in 2014? In this original play, follow the stories of three women as the tale dances between Chinese mythology and contemporary Austin. At times funny, at times heartbreaking, at times uncomfortably funny.
Listen to NPR/KUT interview of our show! http://kut.org/post/lewd-asian-women-take-over-salvage-vanguard-theater
In 1875, 22 Chinese women disembarking a steamer at the San Francisco harbor were judged by the California commissioner of immigration, and later upheld by state court, to be “lewd and debauched” and therefore, prostitutes. They were ordered to pay a bond of $500 each (of which the commissioner receives 20%) before they were allowed to disembark. Main reasons for the judgment included ‘evidence’ such as “travelled without husbands or children,” and “wore flowery, gaudy garments.” The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. This case was cited in debates in recent years over Arizona’s controversial immigration law which touched on state and federal power, anti-immigration sentiments and public perception of immigrants.
Written by Christine Hoang, Alice Liu Cook, LiLan Ren and Leng Wong as inspired by the 1875 court case Chy Lung vs Freeman based on personal experiences. Directed by Leng Wong.