“CHINATOWN IS BURNING!”

HUGH LIANG: EYEWITNESS TO THE 1906 EARTHQUAKE AND FIRE

Sunday, April 9, 2006, 2 pm, premiere performance in Chinatown, Chinese Culture Center , free for Chinese Historical Society of America and CCC members, $5 general public

Fifteen-year-old Hugh Liang woke up abruptly at 5:13 AM on April 18, 1906 as pieces of plaster and wood fell from the ceiling in the back room of his family’s grocery store. Caught in an extraordinary moment in a city in crisis, Hugh embarks on a courageous journey of survival during the Great 1906 Earthquake and Fire.
Historical re-enactor Charlie Chin recreates the amazing life of Hugh Liang, who witnessed the rebuilding of Chinatown and then went on to a career on the vaudeville stage and the radio airwaves with the Chung Wah Quartet.

This historical re-enactment is an educational format given in three parts. In the first section, the character tells his/her life story. In the second section, the audience asks questions while the performer remains in character. In the third section, the performer steps out of character and the audience asks questions of the performer that the character may not have been able to answer.

For more information please contact Leonard Shek at (415) 391-1188 x 107 or email lshek@chsa.org

Charlie Chin Bio:

A Musical and Theater Celebration of the Chinese American Experience William David Chin, better known by his nickname, “Charlie,” has been performing, composing, writing, and teaching for over 30 years. The emerging Asian American Movement caught his interest in 1970 and he teamed up with musicians and political activists, Chris Iijima and Nobuko Miyamoto to form a trio that would tour the U.S. and record “A Grain of Sand,” the first Asian American musical album. They have recently reunited to perform Reunion Concerts in California and Massachusetts.

In 1989, the Smithsonian Institute presented him with the “Community Folklore Scholar Certificate” in recognition of his work in Asian American Studies. He is a frequent consultant on Asian American communities for the Smithsonian Office of Folk Life and Folkways and is a member of the American Folklore Society.

His interest in collecting and interpreting Chinese and Chinese American Folktales has led to performances of his collection at libraries, museums, and schools in the U.S. and Canada over the last two decades. These include: The American Museum of Natural History NYC; The Brooklyn Museum NYC; The China Institute NYC; The Philadelphia Folk Festival PA; The Mariposa Folk Festival; Toronto Canada; the Japanese Community and Cultural Center; and The National Portrait Gallery, DC.