GALLERY: “A Deal” by Chuang Stage

Actresses from Emerson College getting ready for the premiere of "Secret Love for Peach Blossom Land" on April 9, 2022. (Photo by Maggie Wen/BU News Service)

By Maggie Wen
Boston University News Service

Chuang Stage, founded by Alison Qu, a 2020 graduate from Emerson College, is the first nonprofit Asian American theater company in Greater Boston. Chuang Lab, associated with Chuang Stage, is a Mandarin Chinese student theater group at Emerson College with a team of 32 members.  

The productions “A Deal” by Chuang Stage and “Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land” by Chuang Lab both took place on April 9, 2022.

“A Deal” is created by Zhu Yi, an award-winning New York City-based playwright born and raised in Shanghai. The play is about a young actress from China who brands herself as an orphan and human rights victim to enter the mainstream theater in America. Her parents smuggle 1 million dollars in cash from Shanghai to buy her an apartment in Manhattan.

“Secret Love for Peach Blossom Land ” is created by Stan Lai, an American-born Taiwanese playwright. The original play focuses on the conflict that happens during the rehearsal of two theatrical troupes. Chuang Lab’s adaptation of the play retains most of the story structure and dialogues while changing the setting to a Boston-based Chinese community. 

Tianding He, the director of the show, talked to the actors before filming. (Photo by Maggie Wen/BU News Service)
Nick Ning, Xu Gun and Scott Liu play Mr. Li, Ms. Li, and Peter in “A Deal.” (Photo by Maggie Wen/BU News Service)
Mr. Li, starring Nick Ning, in the “A Deal” is the father of the Columbia University graduate and actress Li Su, who is currently pursuing an acting career in New York. (Photo by Maggie Wen/BU News Service)
Huang Bowen, a second-year BFA student in Musical Theater at Emerson College, plays Li Su in “A Deal.” The play talks about a conflict faced by international students from China who major in the arts in the United States and dealing with their parents’ expectations while trying to figure out their own identities. (Photo by Maggie Wen/BU News Service)
Characters Peter and Mr. Li represent certain beliefs commonly adopted in the Chinese culture. Chuang Stage has been extremely successful in creating an open platform for people who live somewhere in between cultures to explore and come to terms with issues they face. (Photo by Maggie Wen/BU News Service)
Producer Cynthia Wang (Wang Yiran), a senior BFA Film Production student at Emerson College, went to Chinatown to buy dinner for the Chuang Lab crew. She said that it is still hard to find Asian representation in theater productions in the states. Chuang Lab acts not only as a safe space but also a platform for more Asian students to advocate for their voices as they embrace their upbringings. (Photo by Maggie Wen/BU News Service)
The crew announced that another production will be presented at the Chinatown Gate in June in an open air setting. (Photo by Maggie Wen/BU News Service)

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