"Chaguan" (Teahouse) is set in a typical, old Beijing teahouse and follows the lives of the owner and his customers through three stages in modern Chinese history, from approximately 1898 to 1948. It brings a cast of over sixty characters together in the Yutai Teahouse to reflect the changes that took place in Chinese society during that tumultuous period.
The play offers snapshots of the seismic forces of modern Chinese history by looking close-up at three key times in the modern era. It opens in 1898, under the Empire, when reformists failed to strengthen the Qing dynasty. Act Two leaps nearly twenty years, to the period after Yuan Shikai's death, when the warlords, at the instigation of the imperialist powers, set up their separatist regimes and there were continual civil wars. The play ends in 1948, during the intrigues of the Post-WWII civil war.