PAPER DAUGHTER tells the story of a family in San Francisco’s Chinatown during the 1900 Bubonic Plague. Our story begins on Lunar New Year as a Grandson lights incense for his Mother. Grandfather tells the tale as he remembers it— beginning with patient zero through the quid pro quo shook on in the Oval Office to suppress the news and blame the Chinese. This play provides insight into the arduous immigration process the paper sons and paper daughters had to go through to get in through Angel Island. PAPER DAUGHTER provides an insight into the timelessness of family relationships, prejudice and violence, politicians and oppression and of course, illness.
Composer Whitney George and librettist Bea Goodwin have worked on three pandemic-themed radio dramas since 2020: HOME; an adaptation of Charlotte Perkin’s Gilman essay during the tuberculosis crisis (2020), AXEMAN; the tale of a New Orleans axe-murder during the Spanish Flu (2021), and most recently PAPER DAUGHTER; the cautionary story of racial hate alongside the bubonic plague outbreak in turn of the century San Franciso’s Chinatown (2022-23).
The tradition of community oral storytelling has aided in the remembrance of events past, and serves as foreshadowing events future.These three stories in IN THE THROES OF DEATH dissect the power of fear mongering in three separate times and locations. Echoes of current day issues of racism, capitalism, and consumerism are prevalent in each of these three narratives.
music by Whitney E. George
text by Bea Goodwin & Yutong Yang
Recorded at Pinch Studios - New York
Chris Pace / Caio Carvalho
Mixing Engineer: E Scott Lindner