Coming-of-age tale set to open at Gateway Theatre

A local performer appears onstage in Gateway Theatre’s next production.

China Doll, written and directed by Marjorie Chan, is onstage at the Richmond theatre from Oct. 17 to 26.

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The play is set in early 20th-century Shanghai and follows the story of Su-Ling (Jennifer Tong), whose grandmother, Poa-Poa (played by former Burnaby resident Manami Hara) is determined that she will marry well and bring prosperity to them both. But when Su-Ling learns to read, her intellectual awakening sets her on a path to independence.

The play, nominated for both a Dora and the Governor General’s Literary Award, is set at a time when the practice of foot-binding had reached its peak in popularity. It’s a coming-of-age story that tells of one girl’s journey trying to honour her family’s values in a changing world.

It also features Jovanni Sy as Master Li and Donna Soares as Ming/Ma-Ma.

China Doll will be performed in English, with surtitles in traditional and simplified Chinese characters at all performances.

The Gateway Theatre is at 6500 Gilbert Rd., Richmond. Tickets start at $29, available at or 604-270-1812.

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