SEPTEMBER 2019 | Volume 183


Production image


China Doll
by Marjorie Chan
Gateway Theatre, Richmond
Oct. 17-26
From $29 or 604-20-1812

The daintier the foot, the more marriageable the girl.

In Marjorie Chan's China Doll, Su-Ling is bound by tradition. Her grandmother is determined that she will marry well and bring prosperity to them both. But when she learns to read, Su-Ling's intellectual awakening sets her on a dangerous path to independence.

This Dora and Governor General's Literary Award-nominated play is set in early 20th century Shanghai, when the practice of foot-binding had reached its peak in popularity. This universal coming-of-age story tells of one girl's journey trying to honour her family's values in an increasingly changing world.

"Su-Ling's decision to forge her own path is beautiful yet powerful," says Barbara Tomasic, Gateway Theatre's Interim Producer. "Her struggle to fit into society's norms and expectations draws a striking parallel to that of modern times, and I think this will resonate with the audience."

China Doll will be performed in English, and to welcome a wider audience, surtitles in traditional and simplified Chinese characters will be presented at all performances.

Gateway Theatre's production kicks off its 2019/20 season and marks the Western Canadian premiere of China Doll. Toronto playwright/librettist Marjorie Chan's work has been performed in the USA, Scotland, Hong Kong, and Russia. She is the Artistic Director of Toronto's Theatre Passe Muraille, recipient of four Dora Awards, one for Outstanding Performance and three for Outstanding New Opera.

Manami Hara, Donna Soares, Jovanni Sy, and Jennifer Tong

Playwright/Stage Director: Marjorie Chan
Set Design: Heipo Leung
Costume Design: Amy McDougall
Sound Design: Mishelle Cuttler
Lighting Design: Chengyan Boon
Video/Projection Design: Sammy Chien
Surtitle Translation: Johnny Wu
Stage Manager: Yvonne Yip
Assistant Stage Manager: Jenny Kim

Dates: October 17-26, 2019
Venue: Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond, Main Stage
Tickets: From $29 online at Box Office: 604-270-1812

Preview: Thursday, October 17 @ 8pm / Opening: Friday, October 18 @ 8pm
Times: 8pm nightly (except Sunday and Monday)
Matinees: Saturday, October 19 & Sunday, October 20 @ 2pm / Tuesday, October 22 @ 1pm
Traditional and Simplified Chinese Surtitles will be provided for all performances.

Special Performances/Events:

Thursday, October 17, pre-show – Pizza Preview
Enjoy a free slice of pizza before our Thursday Preview Show.

Sunday, October 20, 1pm – Gateway Forum:
Dangerous Books: When Reading is Seen as a Subversive Act
At certain points in history, reading has been considered rebellious or even dangerous; why is that? Why are some books banned, and by whom? What is the power in reading that makes some people thirsty for knowledge and others anxious to censor it?
Moderator: Barbara Tomasic, Interim Producer, Gateway Theatre.

Gateway Forum is free and open to the public, no tickets required.

Tuesday, October 22, pre-show at 12pm – Tea Matinee
Enjoy complimentary tea, coffee, and cake before the show

Wednesday, October 23, pre-show – Wine Wednesday
Join us pre-show for a complimentary wine tasting, presented by a local Richmond family winery.

Wednesday, October 23 & Friday, October 25, post-show – Afterplay
Share your thoughts and experience with fellow audience members during this facilitated, informal discussion.

Thursday, October 24, post-show – Talkback Thursday
Join us for an intimate conversation with the cast and/or creative team after the show.
We thank the Hamber Foundation and Y. P. Heung Foundation for their support of China Doll.

About Gateway Theatre
Gateway Theatre enriches the quality of life in Richmond and surrounding communities by creating outstanding professional theatre and serving as a dynamic hub for the performing arts. Incorporated in 1982, Gateway is a vital member of the professional theatre scene in the Lower Mainland. The theatre offers a six-show English-language Signature Series, plus theatre education and performance training classes for youth ages 6-18 via the Gateway Academy. As a venue, Gateway Theatre provides a much-needed rental space for professional and community producers.

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