Red Letters

June, 2009 - January, 2011
Vancouver, BC
Project Details

The Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (VACT) will produce and perform a musical production called "Red Letters" composed by the Chinese–Canadian playwright, Alan Bau. This musical, in English with Mandarin subtitles on video screens, is an artistic depiction of the impact of the Chinese Head Tax and Chinese Immigration Act of 1923, as told through the life of one man, Liang, who leaves his wife behind in China to come to Canada, hoping to make a better life for them. It is the first commemorative and educational project on this subject using art. This project will assist in educating Canadians about this important episode in Canada’s history in an entertaining and easily comprehensible format, especially for younger audiences. Mandarin subtitles will ensure Asian–Canadian and Chinese-Canadians who may not be comfortable in the English language will be able to take in a theatre environment. Early generations of Chinese-Canadians affected by the Chinese Head Tax and the Chinese Immigration Act will be honored and recognized. For non-Asian audiences, Canadian history told within a love story and a musical will attract their attention.