Mark Your Calendar: Jasmine Chen explores matriarchal legacy in multidisciplinary show “Jade Circle”

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      Identity is a funny thing. We’re constantly learning more about ourselves, whether that’s through our own lived experiences or through the stories and memories of those who come before us. Our identities aren’t stagnant—they change shape like water.

      Such is the inspiration for artist Jasmine Chen’s new work, called Jade Circle.

      After the death of her grandmother, Chen—a second-generation immigrant—set out to reclaim her Taiwanese identity. Through Mandarin lessons and interviewing with her mother, she began to grasp a now-lost connection to her grandmother, and thus to herself.

      Produced by rice & beans theatre, the resulting multimedia show combines movement, music, and spoken word to weave a story of familial legacy, belonging, and understanding. 

      “Don’t wait to learn and don’t wait to ask,” Chen says in a statement. “Whatever your language is, spoken or unspoken, it can bring you closer to who you are.”

      This world premiere, taking place at the Gateway Theatre in Richmond, is accessible to those who understand just Mandarin, just English, or both; subtitled text will be provided. On March 10, there will be a post-show community dinner, with a pay-what-you-will model offering seats from $8 to $48.

      Jade Circle

      March 6 to 17

      Where: Gateway Theatre, Studio B (6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond)

      Tickets: $30, available here (students can rush day-of for $25)