After interviewing 100+ Chinese "leftovers," I developed a stage-play called "The Leftover Monologues" as a way of passing the microphone back to the women who had granted me their time and trust. Try as I might to capture their stories in a book, the experience would never be the same as allowing a live audience to experience how funny they were, how plucky they were, how graceful, brave, and candid they were -- and so, I got them on stage!
The play debuted in Beijing to a packed house of over 100 people, and was performed 5 more times to increasingly larger crowds, including the 500+ people that assembled one muggy, but supremely memorable August evening at the 77 Theater near the Forbidden City. 14 women and and three men bravely took to the stage to share their tales of lost innocence, embarrassing blind dates orchestrated by bumptious matchmaking mothers, and electrifying, but ill-fated love stories. Candidly, viscerally, and ardently, they conveyed their battles with duty and desire, passion and practicality, and provided an earful of the triumphs, travails and tribulations of being/fearing/or totally loving - being a leftover.
It should be noted that although leftover women are a driving force of the play, it is "leftover" more broadly defined -- as in "leftover topics," or things that don't get discussed openly, but should. It is a bilingual show, and well-suited for both Chinese and foreign audiences. Since its Beijing debut, the play has since been performed in Shanghai and New York City. For more details about the play, press coverage, photos, and news about upcoming performances, please click here.