Tea is a play centering the story of Japanese war brides, women who had married American soldiers and relocated to the United States after World War II. Following the death of one of their own, four women come together to clean the house of the fifth as they reflect upon how her tragic suicide has upset the balance of life in their small Japanese immigrant community in the middle of the Kansas heartland. The spirit of the dead woman returns as a ghostly ringmaster to force the women to come to terms with the disquieting tension of their lives and find common ground so that she can escape from the limbo between life and death, and move on to the next world in peace—and indeed carve a pathway for their future passage.

Forty years after the play was first written, the themes of Tea have gained a newfound relevance in the recent upsurge of violence against Asians and Asian Americans—especially women—as their belongingness and even personhood are once more called into question. This production, directed by professional guest director Sonoko Kawahara with an ensemble cast led by Megan Pan ’22, aims to explore the oft-unknown stories of the Japanese war brides from nearly seven decades ago through the lens of contemporary society, in the hopes of both honoring the legacy of our collective history as well as closely examining its resonances in our modern-day world. Featuring scenic design by Princeton senior Felix Chen.

Content warning: Includes themes and depictions of war, suicide, sexual violence, racism, and sexism.

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The performance is open to Princeton students, faculty and staff. Free tickets are required. To reserve a seat, log-in with Princeton net ID to the University Ticketing website, then select your tickets.

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Presented By

  • Program in Theater

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