Lloyd Suh brings his newest play, The Far Country, off Broadway. Get The Far Country tickets on New York Theatre Guide.
The Far Country is a play set in the immediate aftermath of the Chinese Exclusion Act, which prevented all Chinese people from immigrating to the U.S. in 1882. What was originally written as a 10-year ban extended longer with the 1892 Geary Act, which made extremely limited exceptions for certain occupations, and the 1943 Magnuson Act, which re-allowed only 105 Chinese immigrats per year. Chinese immigration restrictions weren't fully lifted until 1952.
Suh's show is set in those early years, shortly after the initial Chinese Exclusion Act's creation. It tells the story of one family who, like so many others in history, dared to defy the law. This family begins their journey in a rural part of Taishan, China and endeavors to make it out to the American West, to California. The Far Country tells one story of bravery and perseverance amid discrimination.
Directing The Far Country in New York is Eric Ting, who won a 2013 Obie Award for helming Jackie Sibblies Drury's We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as South West Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884 - 1915 at Soho Rep. He recently directed another play of Suh's, the children's play Bina's Six Apples, in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Far Country is a follow-up to Suh's last Off-Broadway play, The Chinese Lady, which also tells a historical story of a Chinese person's journey to America. That show went up at The Public Theater in winter 2022, and presented the story of Afong Moy, widely believed to be the first Chinese person to come to America. Unlike the family in The Far Country off Broadway, she was welcomed (that is, purchased by American importers), but paraded around for decades as the centerpiece of a living museum exhibit of "Chinese culture" for the American public to gawk at.
That show was one of the most produced plays across the U.S. in the 2021-22 season, and the Off-Broadway production was met with acclaim. The New York Theatre Guide review calls it "an evocative and eye-opening excavation of difference and a seductive appeal for greater understanding."
Tickets to The Far Country off Broadway are on sale now.
Photo credit: Karin Shook