Red Letters is a Canadian Musical about love, family, tragedy and a dark time in Canada's history


Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre is doing their part to contribute to the Canadian theatre repertoire.  Red Letters is an original musical about love, family, history and tragedy.  The story spans decades, continents and generations.  It is also set during Canada's pre-multicultural age, when Canada had a discriminatory head tax against any person of Chinese ancestry, which forcibly kept families apart.

I was fortunate to see the stage reading, while the musical was still in development.   Producer Joyce Lam had assembled a very talented collection of actors to help workshop the work.  The music was lyrical and soaring.  Kathy Leung wrote the book, and had interviewed many people whose lives and families were affected by the head tax, and crafted a story which Alan Bau has set to music and song.

I am looking forward to seeing the full production of Red Letters, which will run ambitiously in Vancouver, Richmond and Victoria.  If VACT's production of Flower Drum Song set their standard of excellence, then you will want to bring your friends and see this show!

Vancouver:
Roundhouse Performance Centre

November 25 to December 4, 2010

Richmond:
Gateway Theatre Studio

December 29, 2010 to January 8, 2011

Victoria:
Metro Theatre

January 12 to 16, 2011



For
Immediate Release

MEDIA RELEASE
 
VANCOUVER
ASIAN CANADIAN THEATRE PREMIERES ITS FIRST ORIGINAL MUSICAL, ‘RED
LETTERS’

 
VANCOUVER,
BC

(November 1, 2010) – Following the success of 2009’s production Rodgers and
Hammerstein’s FLOWER DRUM SONG, Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (VACT)
is set to present the Canadian Premiere of its very first original production, a
musical by creator and songwriter Alan
Bau
and writer Kathy Leung. RED LETTERS is a period romance between
a young Chinese couple both separated by distance and torn apart by Canada’s
imposing of a head tax on new immigrants and eventually, the Exclusion Act of
1923.

 
The
story begins in present day as Ping rediscovers the love letters that his
parents wrote to each other when his father Shen immigrated to Vancouver from
China in 1922. Young Shen leaves his wife behind with the high hopes of making
his fortune in Canada, or “Gold Mountain” as it was coined, and earning enough
money to pay the head taxes to bring over his childhood sweetheart, Mei, and
their new baby son, Ping. Once in Vancouver, he finds support from all the
bachelors in Chinatown, but especially from his employer and sponsor, Boss. But
Shen also has to struggle against the harsh reality of language and racism. As
the final act unfolds, the main characters show their resilience as they strive
to maintain the dream of a better life in Canada for their
son.

 
VACT
has assembled a strong cast of local Asian-Canadian talent under the leadership
of producer Joyce Lam and director
Andy Maton, with musical direction
by Yawen Wang and choreography by Vincent Tong. The cast includes FLOWER
DRUM SONG alumni Rosie Simon, Jimmy Yi and Isaac Kwok and newcomers to VACT, Alan Wong, Alvin Tran, Christopher Kim Sing and Ryan Erwin. Rosie Simon has recently
been seen in the highly successful Arts Club Theatre Company run of THE
25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE.

 
“RED
LETTERS humanizes what many people in Canada may only see as a historical
political policy,” say director Andy Maton. “To portray the emotional life of
individuals as the effect of a governmental or bureaucratic decision is very
exciting.”

 
ABOUT
VACT:

Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre is dedicated to showcasing Asian-Canadian
cultural stories and actors in a contemporary setting. VACT uniquely displays
“surtitles” transcribed in Cantonese to encourage Vancouver’s Chinese immigrant
population to enjoy English-speaking theatre.

 
RED
LETTERS performances:

Vancouver:
Roundhouse Performance Centre

November 25 to December 4, 2010

Richmond:
Gateway Theatre Studio

December 29, 2010 to January 8, 2011

Victoria:
Metro Theatre

January 12 to 16, 2011

For
more info: www.vact.ca or call (604) 638-5537  | For tickets: www.vact.ca  or 
ticketstonight.ca

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