Flower Drum Song | Feb 7, 8, 14, 15, 2017
Music by Richard Rodgers; Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Book by David Henry Hwang; Directed by Randy Reyes
Co-Production with Mu Performing Arts
Recommended Grade Level: 8-12
The Setting: San Francisco’s Chinatown in the 1950s
Suggested Areas of Study and Discussion: The Immigrant Experience in the US, Refugees, Generational Differences in Immigrant Communities, American Chinatowns, Cultural Differences, Cultural Identity, Stereotypes as Humor, Musical Theatre, Rogers and Hammerstein
The Story: Forced to leave China to escape political oppression after the death of her father, Mei-Li emigrates from China to San Francisco where she seeks the help of Wang, her father’s former colleague from the Chinese Opera. Mei-Li finds herself working in Chinatown at a theatre that hosts traditional opera, directed by Wang. Here she meets Wang’s son, Ta, who is trying to bring his father’s theatre into the modern era through cabaret-style performances on off nights. As Mei-Li begins to navigate the cultural expectations as a young Chinese woman in America, she and Ta fall in love. Through their relationship Ta begins to see Chinese culture and opera in a new way just as his father begins to give up on the art form, yielding to a vaudevillian style cabaret of musical numbers, jokes, and sketches that bring in huge box office profits. As Ta and his father clash and then reverse roles, the struggle of immigrant parents to help their American children to claim their cultural identity is revealed and explored. Immigrants from many cultures may find parts of their own struggle in this story.
Running Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Location: Park Square Theatre’s Proscenium Stage
The guides contain a plot summary, character information, and activities and articles that help establish the historical, literary and cultural context of the play. Study Guides are designed to be classroom-ready, allowing educators to duplicate materials for easy distribution to students.
We also offer modified Guides to help prepare EL students.
Mainstream Guide — view/download
Student Matinee Ticket Pricing
Student Tickets: $15
Chaperone Tickets: One free for every 20 students (Additional chaperones $15)
- To assist you with your planning we can divide your school’s invoice into two easy payments.*
- Payments can be made by check or credit card
- Credit cards accepted are Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover
- Please note that Park Square Theatre cannot accept individual checks from students
*dependent on time of booking
Please contact Quinn Shadko