A Robe for the Moon
was read at:
The Page-to-Stage New Play Festival
The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
September 5, 2005
Written and Performed by Qian Yi
with Patrick Zeller
Direction: Anna Catherine Rutledge
Choreography: Kerry Stickweh
Lighting and Project Enthusiast: Beverly Emmons
Special Thanks to: Beverly Emmons, Nancy Reale, Aventurina King, Caitlin
Ward, Judith Frank, Davis McCallum, Maeve Butler, Charles Wilson, Zhang
DongQing, June Huang, Alice Lau, Pedro Salazar and Leonard Porter.
A husband leaves his wife for 18 years to serve in the army. She is poor
and unattractive yet manages to survive in her husband’s absence.
Finally, he comes back for her. This poor, lonely woman dressed in ironed
silk and decorated with silver jewelry sings of her bitterness for hours
on stage. Or, by magic, a young man finds a piece of poetry in a brook.
After endless struggles, he meets the poetess, a beautiful (how could
it be otherwise?) woman and marries her.
These are a few among the most popular stories of Chinese opera. 400 years
ago, their characters enjoyed the same status as a rock star does today.
They do not anymore. As a performer that started out as a Chinese opera
singer, my own experiences of living and struggling in New York, an international
city, a thousand miles away from China and working with many artists from
allover the world, has brought me much closer than ever to my own culture.
However, A Robe for the Moon
is not a Chinese opera. But it draws inspiration from two Chinese operas
that have always been very touching to me. "The Eternal Palace",
is the tragic love story of the Tang emperor, XuanZong and his beautiful
concubine Yang GuiFei and "Maiden Qian Leaves her Spirit", tells
the story of a girl who leaves her body at home while her spirit travels
around with her lover for three years. In the end the lovers are finally
I wanted to tell a new story of creating one’s own future from an
The DVD records a rough sketch of the play staged at the Kennedy Center
in Washington, DC in September 2005. The show left a lot of space for
further development and growth.