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The Chinese Lady

The Chinese Lady

By Lloyd Suh
Directed by Jess McLeod

Not Currently Playing
Rosenthal Shelterhouse

About the Show

Afong Moy is 14 years old when she’s brought to the United States in 1834 and placed on public display as “The Chinese Lady” — thought to be the first to step foot on U.S. soil. Decade after decade, she performs as a living exhibit, showing curious white people how she eats, what she wears and — the highlight of the event — how she walks with bound feet. Time wears on, and eventually the lines between her performance and her own identity become blurry. Inspired by the true story of Afong Moy’s life, The Chinese Lady is a darkly poetic yet whimsical portrait of our collective past through the eyes of a young Chinese woman.

Content Advisory

The Chinese Lady is suitable for ages 13 and up. As Afong Moy tells her story, she doesn’t shy away from authentic and unfiltered descriptions of historical violence and cultural exotification.

Running Time

The show runs approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes, with no intermission.


View the Program

You can view the Digital Program now online.

Digital Program


Beyond Stereotypes

How has the relationship between the U.S. and its Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) citizens changed? One way to dive deeper into these parallels is to look at the historical and ongoing perception of the AAPI community in the United States.

Read More

Watch Her Story Unfold

Director Jess McLeod delivers artistic insight about Afong Moy and the timely significance of The Chinese Lady by Lloyd Suh.

Read More

Look Closer

Striking a rare balance between poetic darkness and humorous moments of whimsy, The Chinese Lady blends historical accounts with a deep exploration of character and culture.

Read More




Sami Ma (she/her)

Afong Moy

Albert Park (he/him)


Jess McLeod (she/her)


Se Hyun Oh

Set Designer

Hahnji Jang (they/them/형)

Costume Designer/Cultural Consultant

Lee Fiskness (he/him)

Lighting Designer

Fan Zhang (she/her)

Sound Designer/Compositions

Stephanie Klapper, CSA (she/her)

Casting Director

Brandon T. Holmes (he/him)

Stage Manager



Photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.
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