Ada Cheng “Not Quite: Asian American by Law, Asian Woman by Desire”
Ashley Petersen • August 21, 2017 • 2017 Boulder International Fringe Festival
Naturalization, immigration, transplantation. All are terms that society has deemed necessary for us to use in a case in which an individual simply wants move their location, their home base if you will. Where exactly is home? Is it where you were born? Where your family lives? Where you’ve lived the longest? Can one have multiple homes? Ada Cheng, world-traveling professor and stand up comedian, takes us on her journey of discovering just that. Her set needs no props but one: a document labeling her as a naturalized Asian American, AKA a legal member of this country. Upon this one document she notices a number beginning with the letter A. A standing for Alien, a label she must now carry with her for eternity.
With all of the political turmoil of this last year following our most recent election, we unfortunately have rediscovered the amount of hate and fear that is still ever present within our society today. Ms. Cheng uses witty banter, personal experiences and emotional quips to bring forth the thoughts and feelings of an individual who is judged purely because of how they speak, their physical features or the general way in which they communicate. Considering the deep nature of her content she does a fabulous job adding comedy to such a usually disheartening topic. In her post-show talk-back Ms. Cheng explains that she is still afraid, but that regardless of the violence of others she will continue with a loving heart and an open mind. As she lifts her US documentation she made a statement that gave the audience chills: “This I have to carry, but the hatred, the hatred I do not have to carry.”
You can experience “Not Quite: Asian American by Law, Asian Woman by Desire” at Trident Booksellers and Cafe