Now Playing

Chicago Premiere

May 8 - Jun 18

This story of the first Chinese woman to arrive in the United States unearths hidden history with humor and insight, asking us to explore the way we consider both ourselves and others.

Brought to the United States at age 14 from China in 1834 by enterprising American merchants, Afong Moy is put on display so the American public can get its first view of an authentic “Chinese Lady.” Over the course of 55 years, she performs an ethnicity that both defines and challenges her own views of herself, as she witnesses stunning transformations in the American identity. As these dual truths become irreconcilable, Afong must reckon with herself and the history of her new home with startling discovery and personal revelations.

During this piercing and darkly poetic portrait of America as seen through the eyes of a young Chinese woman, “this quiet play steadily deepens in complexity,” wrote The New York Times. “By the end of Mr. Suh’s extraordinary play, we look at Afong and see whole centuries of American history. She’s no longer the Chinese lady. She is us.”

Runs approximately 90 minutes, with no intermission

Use Your FlexPass


Production Team


* Member of Actors Equity Association

# Member of United Scenic Artists

~ Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

+ TimeLine Company Member

^ TimeLine Associate Artist

§ TimeLine Playwrights Collective

Discussions & Events

  • THE CHINESE LADY: Post-Show Discussions
    Various Dates

    Join us for informal post-show discussions with members of the production team and cast.

    Read More
  • THE CHINESE LADY: Virtual Post-Show Discussions

    Join via Zoom for informal discussions with members of the production team and special guests.

    Read More
  • THE CHINESE LADY: PRE-Show Discussions

    Join us for an informal sneak peek into this production with members of the production team.

    Read More
  • THE CHINESE LADY: Company Member Discussion
    Sunday, June 5 at 3:30pm

    Join us for an informal chat with TimeLine’s Company Members after today’s performance.

    Read More
  • Open Captioned Performances of THE CHINESE LADY
    Various Dates

    Featuring a text display of words and sounds heard during the performance.

    Read More
  • THE CHINESE LADY: Virtual Sunday Scholars Panel Discussion
    Sunday, June 12 at 7pm

    A one-hour online panel discussion featuring experts on the themes of the play.

    Read More
  • Audio Described Performance of THE CHINESE LADY
    Friday, June 17 at 8pm

    Featuring audio description of visuals during the performance via individual headset.

    Read More

THE CHINESE LADY is supported in part by