Pan Asian Repertory Theatre celebrates the 100th birthday of Anna May Wong with the world-premiere of China Doll, written by Elizabeth Wong and directed by Tisa Chang. The play is inspired by the life of Anna May Wong, the world's first Asian-American superstar.
For American and European audiences, Wong was synonymous with exotic, languid sexuality and style. In a career spanning over 4 decades, she starred in Technicolor's first two color-strip movie, The Toll of the Sea (1922), was personally selected by Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. as his co-star in The Thief of Bagdad (1924) and co-starred with Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Express (1932). Though Wong's "Dragon Lady" persona was forever emblazoned into the world's consciousness with her film roles, she also starred on Broadway in the comedy On the Spot (1930), on the London's West End stage in A Circle of Chalk, and was the first Asian American to ever have her own television show. But even after managing to achieve international stardom, Anna May Wong continued to struggle with both the limited perception of Western audiences and the confining traditions of her own heritage.