The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin by Jessica Huang will run on the San Francisco Playhouse Mainstage from May 4 through June 18, 2022. Jeffrey Lo will direct.
During the Chinese Exclusion Act, Harry Chin, a Chinese national, entered the U.S. by buying forged documentation. Like other “paper sons,” Harry lived the rest of his life keeping secrets – even from his daughter.
Told through the eyes of a middle-aged Chin, The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin reveals the complicated loves and regrets of this Chinese immigrant. Through dreamlike leaps of time and space and with the powerful assistance of ghosts, the story of the Chin family reveals the personal and political repercussions of making a group of people “illegal.”
“In this time when there has been so much focus on immigration—and now with so many Ukraine refugees flooding into new lives—our story about Harry Chin is achingly universal,” said Bill English, Artistic Director. “This country is full of people who came from somewhere else. That fact has been, for several centuries, our glory and our shame. How those who migrate to a new land grieve the loss of their home and adapt to the new breaks our hearts with empathy.”
The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin is based on the true story of Liang Cheng Yu, who immigrated to the United States from Taishan, China in 1939 under the name Harry Chin. Through hours of interviews with Chin’s daughter, Sheila, and pages of archival interviews with Chin himself, Jessica Huang retells the story of this one man’s internal struggle.