Marty Chan visits Kogawa House with Forbidden Phoenix costume designer

Marty Chan visits Kogawa House with Forbidden Phoenix costume designer

Playwright Marty Chan came to a special evening reception at Historic Joy Kogawa House on March 30, to discuss his new play The Forbidden Phoenix, currently being produced by Gateway Theatre in Richmond.

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“They are the best costumes” that Marty Chan has seen, of the three different productions for The Forbidden Phoenix.  Marty Chan and Todd Wong are impressed with the “Phoenix” costume for the musical play “The Forbidden Phoenix” written by playwright Marty Chan. They both love Chinese Canadian history, and Chan has written a fascinating father and son story, while incorporating both the story of Chinese building the railway in Canada, and a visit from The Monkey King to Canada.

Todd, president of Historic Joy Kogawa House, facilitated the evening's
fascinating conversation, and drew out the importance of the Monkey
King's famed “Journey to the West”, as actually visiting not North
America, but to go West from China to India.  Monkey King is credited
with “discovering Buddhism” and bringing it back to China.  But in North
American culture, we think of “The West” as Western Canada and the USA,
where many Chinese pioneers came to seek gold in “Gum San” or “Gold
Mountain”.  In a wonderful turn of Chinese North American Identity, Todd
and Marty discussed the graphic novel American Born Chinese, which interweaves 3 different stories and incorporates The Monkey King.

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Todd Wong and Marty Chan “ham it up” by standing behind the wonderful costumes created for “The Forbidden Phoenix”.  Todd stands behind the Monkey King costume and Marty is behind the Phoenix costume.

Last May 2010, Todd Wong, as vice-president for Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop, presented Marty Chan with the ACWW Community Builder's Award, recognizing his work for plays, television and children's novels.  Wong first met Chan in 1986 during the first production of “Mom, Dad, I'm Living With a White Girl” was first produced at Firehall Arts Centre.  Wong wrote this article for the Peak Student Newspaper at Simon Fraser University: http://www.peak.sfu.ca/the-peak/96-1/issue7/chan.html

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Here is the brilliant costume designer

More pictures here on Flickr

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