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Gateway Theatre presents Jasmine Chen’s JADE CIRCLE

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 12:25 PST, Thu February 8, 2024

Get ready to experience culture and familial legacy like never before as visionary artist Jasmine Chen unveils her highly anticipated multidisciplinary performance, Jade Circle, at Gateway Theatre. Running from March 6 to 17, this world premiere promises a heartfelt experience through powerful music, captivating movement, and a narrative that seamlessly weaves between Mandarin and English. This show is accessible to individuals who can understand only Mandarin, English, or both. As part of the show, subtitled text will be projected for audiences. 

Jade Circle is more than just a performance; it's an exploration of identity, language, and the ties that bind us to our heritage. Jasmine Chen, known for her evocative storytelling, shares, "Don't wait to learn and don't wait to ask. Whatever your language is, spoken or unspoken, it can bring you closer to who you are." This sentiment serves as the guiding light for Jade Circle, a deeply personal exploration of identity, connection, and the power of language.

After the death of her grandmother, Jasmine recalls the fragments of Taiwanese children's songs she was taught as a child. As a second-generation immigrant, she lost connection with her mother tongue through cultural assimilation. Feeling the loss of being unable to connect with her grandmother while she was still alive, Jasmine begins her journey of relearning Mandarin. Through interviews with her mother, she travels through memory to learn the hidden story of her grandmother.

"We invite audiences to experience Jade Circle in Studio B at Gateway Theatre as we partner with rice & beans theatre and Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre to share this world premiere," said Barbara Tomasic, Gateway Theatre's executive artistic director. "Jade Circle is a poignant celebration of the enduring bonds that tie generations together, as Jasmine finds her place within the legacy of her matriarchs. We are honoured to provide space for audiences to embrace their own cultural tapestry through the work presented in Jade Circle. This is a unique and powerful experience that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt the call to reconnect with their roots."

Jade Circle showcases the playwright and performance work of Jasmine Chen. Derek Chan directs this beautiful story with Katie Voravong as assistant director. They are joined by movement/mandarin consultant Johnny Wu, set/props/costume designer Julia Kim, video designer Daniel O'Shea, lighting designer Jonathan Kim and visual artist Jessica Chen. Assisting them are stage manager Karen Chiang and production manager Jamie Sweeney.

Produced by rice & beans in association with Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre, this beautiful story will inspire you to rediscover and reclaim your mother tongue.

General Admission tickets for Jade Circle are $30 and can be purchased online. Performances are from March 6 to 17 with Opening Night on Thursday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m. Gateway Theatre aims to make theatre accessible to all and is proud to offer special performances including a Pay-What-You-Will Preview on Wednesday, March 6 and a VocalEye Live Audio Description performance on Saturday, March 16.

On Sunday, March 10 following the 4 p.m. performance, join Gateway for a special Post-Show Community Dinner, "Conversations Around the Table". This intimate family-style meal celebrating Jade Circle's themes of community, family, and memory, invites guests to share a table and come together for an evening that feels like a cherished gathering of friends and family. Tickets are pay-what-you-will, ranging from $8 to $48.

For info and tickets 

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