Crossing Cultural Barriers with Humor

Posted on Oct 26, 2011

Ch’ing-lish

This is a delightful comedy for anyone that has travelled and struggled to communicate in a foreign language.  The cast is terrific and laugh lines real.  The play is performed in both English and Mandarin (with English subtitles). What did she say, and what did she mean?  Learning to read between the lines is just as important as the lines themselves; with playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly) exploring the cultural barriers between America and China – especially linguistic ones.

Daniel Cavanaugh, a Midwestern American businessman who’s desperately looking to score a lucrative contact for his family’s sign-making firm, travels to the provincial Chinese capital of Guiyang, only to learn how much he doesn’t understand: his translators are unreliable, his British-born consultant may be a fraud, and he is captivated by Xi Yan, the beautiful, seemingly supportive government official who talks the
talk — but what is she saying, anyway?

Share your communications challenges when traveling!  For additional reviews:

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