The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin

During the Chinese Exclusion Act, Harry Chin, a Chinese national, entered the U.S. by buying forged documentation. Like other “Paper Sons,” Harry underwent a brutal detention and interrogation, and lived the rest of his life keeping secrets – even from his daughter. Told through the eyes of a middle-aged Chin, THE PAPER DREAMS OF HARRY CHIN reveals the complicated loves and regrets of this Chinese immigrant who...
During the Chinese Exclusion Act, Harry Chin, a Chinese national, entered the U.S. by buying forged documentation. Like other “Paper Sons,” Harry underwent a brutal detention and interrogation, and lived the rest of his life keeping secrets – even from his daughter. Told through the eyes of a middle-aged Chin, THE PAPER DREAMS OF HARRY CHIN reveals the complicated loves and regrets of this Chinese immigrant who wound up in Minnesota. Through dreamlike leaps of time and space and with the powerful assistance of ghosts, the story of the Chin family reveals the personal and political repercussions of making group of people “illegal.”

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The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin

Recommended by

  • Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin:
    11 Jun. 2019
    This is a memory play, a ghost play, a play about paper sons and the ramifications of immigration policy. A deeply political work but not on the nose, a deeply moving play but not overwrought. Great roles for actors and opportunities for beautiful design moments. On the whole, it's theatrical, accessible, and lyrical. I'm a huge fan.
  • Gina Femia:
    29 Apr. 2019
    Adding to the chorus of love for this beautiful play that is so deep and so now and so necessary. Excited to follow its journey.
  • Christopher Bryant:
    4 Oct. 2018
    "The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin" is a beautiful piece that treads a knife-edge between moments of hilarity and moments of heartbreak. It offers something for everyone: meaty roles for an actor to tear into, an intellectual challenge for a director to get their hands on, and a brilliant and emotive story for an audience. Prescient and wonderful.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    TimeLine Theatre
    ,
    2017
  • Workshop
    ,
    History Theatre
    ,
    2016
  • Commission
    ,
    History Theatre
    ,
    2015
  • Reading
    ,
    History Theatre
    ,
    2015

Production History

  • Professional
    ,
    History Theatre
    ,
    2017

Awards

Kilroy List
,
2017
Nominee - Susan Smith Blackburn Prize
,
2017
Best of the Week
,
Minneapolis Star Tribune
,
2017