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Richmond production explores immigrant women's lives on stage

Vancouver Ladies will hit the stage at Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre on April 27

A director and long-time Richmond resident is bringing his observations of the local immigrant community to the stage.

Yu Sun, who has nearly 40 years of experience in filmmaking and theatre production in Canada and China, is presenting his latest theatrical production, Vancouver Ladies next Saturday.

The show explores the life of immigrant women from China, especially those in “astronaut families” where the husband works or runs a business in China and the wife looks after the children in Vancouver.

“They constantly face the questions: what’s the point of immigration if the family has to be separated, should we keep the family or not, how much longer are we going to live apart, is it for better or worse to have the husband being away so he can make more money to support the family,” said Sun.

These are not easy questions, especially for those who have businesses in China, according to Sun, because it's not easy for them to just close down their businesses, leave everything behind and move to Canada to unite with their family.

“Many wives went through the stages from being frustrated and missing their husband every day, to getting used to it, to the point that they are no longer used to living with their husband. These are some of the themes we explore in the show,” said Sun.

“And their child, who grows up in Canada, formed values that are completely different from theirs."

There is a large number of “astronaut families” here in Metro Vancouver, Sun said.

The show, which he has been working on since last year, will feature stories of three immigrant families living in Metro Vancouver.

Most actors had no previous experience on stage and many of them are from Richmond, including Katherine Chen, a master’s student.

“Immigrants of different ages and different life stages can all see themselves in the show, which may remind them of themselves or people they know, and the time when they first moved to this new country,” said Chen.

Vancouver Ladies will be shown in Mandarin at the Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre in Vancouver at 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 27.

For ticket information, message 604-727-1078.

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