One Woman Show Sheds Light On Serious Issues
by Tracy Bueno


Writer/ performer Kristina Wong shed light on serious issues surrounding Asian-American women but with a sense of humor in her show, “Wong Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,” held Thursday, February 7th at the MultiCultural Center Theater. Although it was not based on her life experiences, Wong opened up a dialogue about high rates of suicide and depression among Asian-American women that are often hidden or unheard of.

As part of the Asian American Mental Health Series, which includes an upcoming conference during Spring Quarter, this was an opportunity for people to forget typical stereotypes about Asian-American women and the idea of “perfection.” The truth is, we all have problems both emotionally and physically. But Wong brought it to the table with comedy and audience interaction, which made the audience, packed with a majority of people from various Asian communities, laugh.

One of the highlights was when Wong introduced “The Dramatic Arc of Fiction,” the visual depiction of a story, including the exposition, climax and most of all, a crisis. The show followed that format, and paid particular attention to what occurs when the crisis does not get resolved. The most chilling statistic was that 12.5 million Asians live in the United States, with half of them, mostly women, suffering from depression. Women want to be helped, but no one pays attention, which leads to their silence and not talking to someone about it. Throughout the play, Wong’s character discussed how Asian women are categorized into the “perfect” role or a pornographic one.

Wong’s performance was absolutely amazing and believable. At one point, she acted out a phone call to be considered for free therapy and mentioned being sexually assaulted, I was brought to tears. At first, I didn’t understand what this performance was going to consist of, yet when I walked out of there, everything clicked together. One of the important metaphors was knitting, the stage was covered in yarn and unfinished pieces, the dropped stitches represented untold stories. Many factors go into that pressure to be perfect and pleasing everyone, especially family. There is an idea that Asian-American women don’t have problems or issues and should not be discussed. The bottom line is that these issues should be open for discussion and debate, so that they are not discouraged. Nobody’s perfect and the Asian-American community, especially women, should not be left in the dark. It’s time to do something before it is too late.