1834. A 14 year old Afong Moy brought to New York Harbor from Guangdong Province. Immediately, she is put on display for the American public as “The Chinese Lady. ” For the next half century, believing herself an ambassador to life in her native China, she performs under the gaze of curious white people. Lloyd Suh’s poetic and subversively comedic tale offers a portrait of the United States, giving voice to our country’s hidden history.

The Chinese Lady is produced in partnership with CHUANG Stage.


The Chinese Lady will include brief use of herbal cigarettes during the performance. As sensitivities vary from person to person, please call 617-576-9278 x1 or email us at tickets@centralsquaretheater.org if you have specific questions.

View the Production Content Advisory  for The Chinese Lady

…piercing and intimate…this quiet play steadily deepens in complexity as we trail the idealistic Afong and the more knowing Atung through the decades…by the end of Mr. Suh’s extraordinary play, we look at Afong and see whole centuries of American history
— New York Times
It takes only minutes of THE CHINESE LADY to see that…playwright Lloyd Suh [has] constructed the dramatic equivalent of a perfect cabinet. Every hinge moves smoothly; the herringbone joins are a low-key marvel. You can almost see yourself in its hard-won polish…Suh’s version of Afong Moy is wonderful.
— Time Out New York
…Afong Moy might not have fulfilled her intention of educating and connecting the world in her life, but THE CHINESE LADY sure has the promise and potential [to] do so.
— TheFrontRowCenter.com