The Barrington Stage Company and Ma-Yi Theater Company Production

Inspired by the true story of the first Chinese woman to step foot in America, Lloyd Suh’s critically-acclaimed play, The Chinese Lady, is a tale of dark poetic whimsy and a unique portrait of the United States as seen through the eyes of a young Chinese girl. In 1834, 16-year-old Afong Moy sailed into New York Harbor and was immediately put on display for a paying public who were mesmerized by her exotic ways and horrified by her tiny bound feet. As audiences follow Moy’s travels through America as a living exhibit for decades, The Chinese Lady reveals centuries of America’s shameful colonial history.

The Chinese Lady premiered at Barrington Stage Company in July 2018, featuring Daniel K. Isaac (“Billions”) and Shannon Tyo. In a co-production of Ma-Yi Theater Company and Barrington Stage Company, the show premiered in New York in November 2018.

Photo by T. Charles Erickson from the Long Wharf Theatre production of The Chinese Lady.

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

Effective January 21, 2022, until further notice, we will require proof of a complete COVID-19 vaccination AND proof of a booster dose (for those eligible in accordance with CDC guidelines) by the date of attendance for access to the facility, theaters, and restaurant. Approved face masks will be required at all times, including while watching a performance, with exceptions for attendees in Joe’s Pub and The Library at The Public while they are actively eating and drinking.

Public Theater and Ma-Yi Theater Company staff and artists are subject to a mandatory vaccination and booster policy, in addition to onsite testing protocols when working within our facilities.

We recognize that guidelines may change again in the coming months and we thank you for your patience as we adjust.

CDC approved vaccines currently include: Pfizer Bio-NTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen
Failure to show proof shall bar the patron from entering the theater venue. No exceptions.

About the Playwright

Lloyd Suh | Playwright

Lloyd Suh is the author of Charles Francis Chan, Jr...; American HwangapThe Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!Jesus in India and others; produced with Ma-Yi, The Play Company, Ensemble Studio Theare, Magic Theatre, Denver Center and more, including internationally at the Cultural Center of The Philippines in Manila, and with PCPA in Seoul, Korea. He has received support from the NEA, Mellon Foundation, NYFA, NYSCA, Jerome, TCG, The Roe Green Award from Cleveland Play House and NYCT’s Helen Merill Award. He is an alum of EST’s Youngblood and the Soho Rep Writer Director Lab, and from 2005-2010 served as Artistic Director of Second Generation and Co-Director of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. He has served since 2011 as Director of Artistic Programs at The Lark, and since 2016 as a member of the Dramatists Guild Council.

About the Director

Ralph B. Peña | Director

Recent Off-Broadway: The Chinese Lady, Among The Dead, House/Rules, and Wong Kids in The Secret of the Space Chupacabra, Go! Ralph has been Ma-Yi Theater’s Artistic Director since 1996, and has been instrumental in establishing Ma-Yi Theater Company as the country’s leading incubator of new works by Asian American playwrights, reaping numerous Obie and Drama Desk Awards, a Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical (KPOP), and most recently, the 2018 Ross Wetzsteon Obie Award. Apart from Ma-Yi Theater, his work has been seen on the stages of Ensemble Studio Theater, the Public Theater, Long Wharf Theater, Victory Gardens, Laguna Playhouse, Children’s Theater Company, and La Mama ETC, to name a few. This is for Damien, always and forever.


Design Team

  • Junghyun Georgia Lee | Scenic Design
  • Linda Cho | Costume Design
  • Jiyoun Chang & Elizabeth Mak | Lighting Design
  • Fabian Obispo | Sound Design & Composer
  • Shawn Duan | Projection Design

Donate To Ma-Yi Theater Company

Your contributions allow us to continue to produce and develop innovative, exciting new work by Asian American playwrights and to keep theater tickets affordable.