Directed by Andy Maton
Music and Lyrics by Alan Bau
Book by Kathy Leung
Musical Director: Yawen Wang
Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (VACT) presents Red Letters, an original, touching musical set in the 1900s. The Gold Rush and the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway brought thousands of poor Chinese immigrants to Canada. Red Letters tells the heartbreaking story of Shen, a man who leaves his wife in China in hopes of becoming wealthy. He works tirelessly in an effort to save enough head tax money to bring his wife over to the new country.
This dream was not to be as the Federal Government suddenly increased the Head Tax from $100 to $500 and implemented the Chinese Exclusion Act on July 1, 1923. This Act only allowed merchants, diplomats and foreign students to enter the country. The families left in China were forced to fend for themselves and the Chinese immigrants were overcome by loneliness, despair and discrimination. Shen and his wife’s hopes are dashed and they are separated interminably.
The production of Red Letters is made possible by an incredible team of people. The talented Alan Bau has over twenty years of experience composing music and this is his first produced musical. Book writer, Kathy Leung was previously nominated for a Leo Award as well as two Gold Sheaf Awards for her script, Lily’s Crickets. Musical Director, Yawen Wang is a Vancouver-based multi-faceted artist who was awarded the exlorPERFORMANCE Award in 2005 and was once nominated for the Future Generation Millennium Award. Director Alan Maton is a seasoned actor who has worked with celebrities such as Sir Anthony Hopkins, Brad Pitt and James Caan.
Red Letters is opening at the Roundhouse Performance Centre in Vancouver with a preview of the musical on November 25 and will run from November 26 to December 4. Tickets are available online now. Upcoming performances include the Gateway Theatre Studio in Richmond from December 29 to January 8 as well as the Metro Studio Theatre in Victoria from January 12 to January 16.