Lady Sunrise

By (author): Marjorie Chan

From the glittering high-rise condos to the desperate streets of Vancouver, powerful stories told by women reveal the fraying social fabric among the wealthy and hangers-on in the city’s Asian Canadian community.

Lady Sunrise introduces us to six women who are risking everything, all motivated by the need for more money and the freedom it could buy, whether it’s the allure of expensive items and real estate to substitute what’s been lost or the safety of not being in abusive debt to anyone else just to survive. This heartbreaking examination of the effects of today’s hyper-consumerist society will challenge perspectives of strength and power, exposing painfully raw consequences.


Marjorie Chan

Marjorie is a multi-disciplinary theatre artist based in Toronto. As a writer, her works have been performed in the United States, Scotland, Hong Kong, Russia, and across Canada. She has been artist-in-residence with Tapestry New Opera, Cahoots Theatre, Factory Theatre (with Njo Kong Kie), Theatre Centre (with the 6th Man Collective), Theatre Direct Canada, SUNY (Geneseo, New York), Theatre du Pif (Hong Kong), and the Banff Playwrights’ Colony. A seven-time nominee, Marjorie is the recipient of four Dora Awards, one as an actor, and three as a librettist. She has also received the K.M. Hunter Artist’s Award in Theatre for the breadth of her work, as well as a Harold Award for her community contribution to the theatre industry in Toronto. Other notable nominations include the John Hirsch Directing Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award for her playwriting debut, China Doll, and the Canadian Citizen Award for her work with Crossing Gibraltar—a theatre program for marginalized communities. Most recently, she was awarded the George Luscombe Award for Mentorship in Professional Theatre. Marjorie has been Artistic Director of Cahoots Theatre Company since 2013, with a focus on new play development, mentorship, and accessibility.


“Seeing stories of strong and complex Asian-Canadian women on stage (or any other ethnic group, for that matter) is way overdue. What really stands out for me about Lady Sunrise is seeing all these women working together in telling these stories. They are finally able to control the narrative and bring these stories to life.”

“Its reluctance to sugarcoat harsh realities will leave audiences stinging from the engrossing narratives.”

“It was beautiful and tragic and left me breathless.”


  • Governor General’s Literary Award 2022, Nominated
  • Excerpts & Samples ×

    I got from her.
    So fast, she didn’t see.
    Didn’t care, maybe.
    Maybe she so much, she don’t care | Maybe she has so much, she don’t care.

    I see her, you understand?
    I see her, I know she go from club there, her home there. On top floor, very top I am sure.
    She live so high.
    Late night I know, I see her.
    Car come at night, I see her get out.
    Different man, but they’re polite.
    Hold her hand.
    So nice.
    Nice man.
    Rich man.

    I see her
    I see her every day.
    From massage place, back window I can see
    No one around see me, but I see

    I see her
    I think
    Give me
    I see her hair, so pretty, some one fix it yes? Give me, I think

    I see her I think
    Why can I no have this? | Why can’t I have this?

    These things she has
    These things I want
    Rings, and shoes, and sometime fur White fur, so clean like

    I want, she have, she have but I want, do you understand?

    Cars, taxis all night at night come home,
    Car because she come home so late at night, you know? So very late.
    But tonight –
    I see her,
    See her leaving club
    No car, you understand
    Walking, she’s walking.

    She’s walking, I see her I follow, okay?

    Penny appears, a memory, not ‘in’ the scene.

    Excuse me.

    She not stop, just like this with her hand. | She doesn’t stop, just like this with her hand.
    Like I have camera or want autograph. | Like I have a camera or want an autograph.
    No, I’m not a fan. Not a movie fan. Not me. So I walk with her.
    She walk faster.
    I say, why you no take taxi?
    Take taxi. Why you no take taxi? | Take taxi. Why no taxi?

    None of your business.

    I know, I see, she only take taxi when she has men.
    Men who go to her, understand?

    I say, where man? Where your man? No man tonight, lady?

    Go away.

    I know, I say, teach me, show me
    You can do, show me
    I want to do different

    Leave me alone!

    I can do too.
    Just lie on your back,
    What I do,


    Only different
    Nice shoe
    Nice dress
    Otherwise same like me!

    Shut the fuck up!

    I say
    Help me, okay?
    Help me I don’t come don’t follow | Help me then I won’t come, won’t follow

    Help me
    Give me some nice clothes

    Or some nice thing
    Some old thing you don’t want
    You have extra
    You have more
    You have to help me

    You teach me
    I want to do like you
    Live like you.

    Show me to be friends
    Friends with men
    Who pay but don’t hurt
    Who buy but don’t take

    Show me how to do!

    She stare at me, just stare

    I beg, okay? Okay lady.
    They are going to give me to a mean man.
    They give me to him.
    He’s mean, so bad, every one know this. | He’s mean, so bad, every one knows this.
    Bad, bad man.
    He pay, he pay a lot so they give me to him
    The man, he come and he say he want smallest, okay, me!
    That’s me!

    He bad very bad… | He’s bad very bad…

    She’s so stupid. She stare. She say nothing. I get mad. | She’s so stupid. She stare. She says nothing. I get mad

    She say nothing, make me so mad! | She says nothing, make me so mad!

    I scream, I scream!

    Just give me, give me something! You have so much!
    Give me something! Give to me give to me!

    I grab her bag, I grab her dress, I grab her hair
    I grab this thing, I grab to grab anything
    Anything I can, I grab, I grab, I grab, I GRAB!

    I grab and I pull close, you know.
    My face close to her
    Help me, I say

    Help me.


    Nothing. Nothing in her eyes okay.

    I see nothing, you understand?

    I am not so much, not so strong, no family here.
    But me?
    But I am not nothing.
    My eyes, can you see, still something!


    I take my hand off.

    How can she be nothing?
    She is all clean, and rich.
    On TV. Many friends, many things.

    But inside, in her eyes

    She dead, she dead already. | She’s dead, she’s dead already.
    I can’t see her.

    Reader Reviews



    128 Pages
    7.62in * 5.12in * .70in


    June 28, 2022



    Book Subjects:

    DRAMA / Women Authors



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