Trying to Find Chinatown and Bondage
THE STORIES: TRYING TO FIND CHINATOWN. Lost on his way to Chinatown, Benjamin asks Ronnie for directions. Ronnie, playing his violin on the street for money, is offended that just because he looks Asian he automatically knows where Chinatown is. Caucasian looking, Benjamin was adopted by an Asian-American family at birth. He revels in his heritage and is looking for the house where his father was born. Ronnie, on the other hand, throws himself into all things American and finds it hard to sympathize with Benjamin who, when he finds his father's house, is filled with a special elation. (2 men.) BONDAGE. In a Los Angeles S&M parlor, a dominatrix and her client are clad head-to-toe in leather costumes that conceal their faces and ethnicities. These elaborate disguises allow them to play out fantasies based on racial stereotypes and sexual mythologies: She pretends to be an African-American woman to his white, liberal man; he transforms into an Asian-American and she into a blond WASP, etc. Exchanging biting social observations with stinging humor, they progress through their power games to expose the arbitrariness of racially minded thinking. All the while, however, they are haunted by an awareness that in spite of their efforts, they may be moving towards the most terrifying reality of all—a true intimacy that transcends the bounds of race. (1 man, 1 woman.)
"…the author of M. Butterfly proves to be a wry observer of contemporary mores and racial stereotypes." —NY Times. "BONDAGE is an intriguing piece of writing by one of the most intelligent and original…voices in the American theater." —Detroit News.