Using dance, documentary theatre, performance and drama, A Beautiful Country follows 150 years of Asian American history in vignettes, told through the eyes of Miss Visa Denied, a transgender drag queen, who guides the audience through the turbulent history of Asian peoples coming and living in the United States. Addressing issues of race, gender, and appropriation, the play also explores this country’s history of xenophobia toward Asian Americans, assimilation and the intersecting identities of immigrants, including what it means to be an American.
A Beautiful Country was first presented by Cornerstone Theatre Company in Los Angeles on June 5, 1998. The director was Chay Yew.
Company: Chu Kiet Au, José Casas, Tina Chao, Reggie Lee, Paige Leong, Armando Molina, Jeanne Sakata, Eric Steinberg, Jessica Wallenfels, Christopher S. Wells, John Lung Wen, Nancy Yee, and Gwendoline Yeo.
"Visa Denied: Chay Yew’s Theatre of Immigration and the Performance of Asian American History"" by David Roman (Queer Frontiers)
"Beyond Identity Politics: National and Transnational Dialogues in Anna Deveare Smiths Twilight: Los Angeles and Chay Yew's A Beautiful Country (Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism)
"Theoretical Analysis of A Beautiful Country" (Madeline Heath)
A Beautiful Country program and flier