Chinatown Theatre As Transnational Business Summary

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Analysis on Chinatown Theatre As Transnational Business This essay is about my understanding on the article Chinatown Theatre As Transnational Business. The article illustrates the rise and fall of Chinatown Theatre, and how significant it is to Chinese migration as a transnational business. The author shows us the recruitment of Chinese actors at early stages, and the life the had in North America; historical invisibility of the actors who were recruited from China, and how did transnational mobility and people in North America’s neglect to Cantonese opera had caused this situation; and how did the wealthy merchants create and manage the Chinese Theatre, and what difficulties they have encountered due to racial discrimination. In order…show more content…
The initiators of Cantonese opera in Vancouver Chinatown was some well respected and considerably wealthy merchants, they identified themselves as impresario, control the recruitment of actors and all the other performance details. Those merchants selected Cantonese opera actors from Hong Kong or Guangdong and other areas of South China, and helped them to immigrate to Canada, after the actors landed in Canada, merchants then had the complete control over those actors. Beside letting the Cantonese opera troupes perform in the Chinatown theatre, merchants also let them perform at fundraisers to support local charities or provide China-bound relief(32). At that time, the theatergoers were not as enthusiasm, so the ticket selling was up and down, according to the table of Wing Hong Lin’s income from ticket sales over two seasons, 1916-18, when the season start, it was usually the time the Chinese theatre sold most tickets, and the Chinese New Year was also a peak of ticket selling, but when people watch enough of these operas, the ticket sales fell down(P38). Another difficulty the merchants encountered was because of racial discrimination. When the opera troupe was heading to Honolulu, when they sought entry into the United States in Seattle, their credentials were rejected and they were detained by the local immigration officials, so the merchant sent directors to the United States to solve the problem, but the appeal was dismissed, after seeking help from the Chinese Legation in Washington and Chinese diplomats in Canada, the problem was finally solved, but they also suffered considerable loss(P48). The reason why those Chinese actors’ credentials were rejected is because the immigration inspectors were under assumptions about race and citizenship, they believed that Chinese were very likely

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