Pan Asian Repertory Theatre Presents CITIZEN WONG As Part Of 150th Golden Spike Celebration
Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, in collaboration with Ogden Union Station, Utah Valley University, and Salt Lake City Public Library, as part of the 150th Golden Spike Anniversary Celebration, presents Citizen Wong, a new play by Richard Chang, inspired by true events and real people. Citizen Wong is sponsored by the Lawrence T. & Janet T. Dee Foundation, with special support from Lucy & Victor Kan.
Citizen Wong will play three performances only: May 7, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. at Ogden Union Station (2501 Wall Avenue, Ogden, UT), May 8, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at Noorda Center for the Performing Arts ( 800 West University Parkway, Orem, UT) and May 9, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at Salt Lake City Public Library (210 East 40 South, Salt Lake City, UT). All performances are FREE and open to the public. Each presentation will be followed by Q&A with the playwright, actors & co-director.
Directed by Pan Asian Rep favorites Ernest Abuba and Chongren Fan, the 6-member cast will feature Kristina Auten as Eliza Stanhope, Bonnie Black as Helena Blavatsky, Alex Carroll as Denis Kearney, Richard Chang as Wong Chin Foo, Zach Lusk as Charles Parslow, and Eric Mead as Wong Kim Ark.
Citizen Wong is a powerful new play inspired by the life and times of Wong Chin Foo ( , 1847 1898), a celebrity speaker-writer-social rights activist in the American Gilded Age, who mysteriously disappeared from history and is being rediscovered as the First Chinese American and Asian-American Martin Luther King, Jr.
The play dramatically captures the essence of an era when Wong campaigned against calls for an anti-Chinese wall, the Chinese Exclusion Act, and federal government efforts to deny birthright citizenship. The fictional drama is based on 15 years of research by veteran Reuters journalist and actor Richard Chang.
Wong (www.firstchineseamerican.com), who was naturalized in 1874, had visited Ogden and probably elsewhere in Utah on his nationwide lecture tours about the Chinese. Californian-born Wong Kim Ark, who won in the landmark 1898 U.S. Supreme Court case on birthright citizenship, is also a character in the play.
The free public presentations celebrate the joining of East-West as symbolized by the transcontinental railroad and interracial romance at the heart of Citizen Wong, and described in the U.S. Constitution as our quest for a more perfect union.