Sunday, February 8, 2009
Ching Chong Chinaman Play?!?!
OK! So when I first read the headline on this, I went, "HUUUUUUUUUUUUUH?!" At first thought, I was going to kick someone's ass. After reading the article, I feel a little better. Just a little. I wonder if the play will fulfill the writer's goal and not piss off people at the same time. Few excerpts after the jump.
“Ching Chong Chinaman”, written by Lauren Yee, directed by Jennifer Weir, was a finalist for the 2008 Princess Grace Award and winner of Kumu Kahua Theatre’s 2007 Pacific Rim Prize. It features Kurt Kwan, Maria Kelly, Sherwin Resurreccion, Katie Bradley, Eric Sharp, and Erika Danielle Crane.
“Ching Chong Chinaman was supposed to be the play about white people,” said Yee. “I had written so many ‘Asian American’ plays – plays about Asian American issues, plays requiring Asian American actors – and part of me simply wanted to show that as a writer, I could tackle anything with any set of characters and themes.”
“[They think] the phrases ‘ching chong’ and ‘chinaman’ are acceptable because they themselves are Asian American, yet at the same time, this act of attempting to ‘own’ these racist phrases demonstrates their gross lack of understanding of their own culture.”