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Zhou B Art Center

1029 West 35th Street

Chicago, IL 60609

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Intrigue, love and double crossing abound as these one-time celebrities' stories are woven together to reveal the power of family and the beginnings of modern China. Set in 1940s war torn Shanghai, Mickey (Emily) Hahn is commissioned to write a book on the ruling family elite, the Soong Sisters. Notorious for her cigar smoking brand of feminism and for her love affair with Chinese poet Sinmay Zau, she's a questionable fit for the task. The three sisters, along with their financial wizard brother T.V., seemingly control their husbands and the future of China. Or do they? Look forward to intrigues, love and humor because otherwise history would be boring...

Reception: 6-7pm

Performance of Staged Reading: 7pm

Q&A following performance addressing the play and diversity in theater with the primarily Asian cast

The location of the staged reading, in the elegant Moongate room of the Zhou B. Art Center, is an apt setting for Swan Soong. It was created as a site of exchange between local artists and the global art community while promoting the contemporary convergence of Eastern and Western visuality in the United States.

For Asian-American actors, the dearth of opportunities compounds itself. “An Asian person who is competing against white people, for an audience of white people, has to train for that opportunity like it’s the Olympics,” Ms. Constance Wu said. “An incredibly talented Asian actor might be considered for a leading role maybe once or twice in a lifetime. That’s a highly pressured situation.” ~ New York Times

Directed by Marc Rita and starring Lina Jean Fritz as Ai-ling Soong, Eunice Park as Ching-ling Soong, Carolyn Plurad as May-ling Soong, Flavia Pallozzi as Mickey Hahn, Daniel Ahn as Sinmay Zau & Generalissimo, and Leo Zhu as T.V. Soong & Big Eared Tu.

Jyl Bonaguro, the playwright and sculptor, creates plays that focus on history and women with the desire to create strong female characters that explore the nuances of male and female relationships.

The staged reading of Swan Soong by playwright Jyl Bonaguro is made possible thru the generous support of Zhou B. Art Center, the Zhou Brothers, Louis Yingduo Liu, Austin James of Mako James Gallery, Amber Lee Olivier and Steve Cox of Asylum Theater and the Chicago Chinese Cultural Institute. It will be dedicated to the memory of Chesley Adler, friend and gifted designer, 1967-2018.

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Zhou B Art Center

1029 West 35th Street

Chicago, IL 60609

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