On the second day of the violent repression at Tiananmen Square, just before Chinese soldiers broke down the door to his hotel room, American photojournalist Joe Schofield captured a piece of history: the moment a man stood alone before the row of tanks rolling across Beijing. His face is not visible; his identity and fate remain a mystery. Immortalized on June 5, 1989, this image would captivate the world. Twenty-three years later, Joe Schofield learns that the tank man is still alive, and it seems he is in America. Putting his career, relationships, and ethics on the line, he heads out on an obsessive quest to find the unknown hero.
Chimerica explores the complex and changing relations between the U.S. and China, taking this iconic piece of history and weaving around it a fictional narrative filled with twists and turns.
Written over the course of five years, this epic work by British playwright Lucy Kirkwood (The Children, 2016) has us travel between continents and eras, adeptly highlighting the cultural contrasts between the two superpowers. It explores the true nature of heroism and the cost of an uncompromising fight for ideals. Created in 2013, Chimerica – a contraction of “China” and “America” – earned five Olivier Awards. This fascinating story is told by a large cast, half of which is of Chinese origin, and the elaborate sets deliver an exhilarating experience.
“In Chimerica, one giant awakens, and one goes to sleep. But empires rarely like handing over their rule… To tell this story, I wanted to work with Mandarin-speaking actors of Chinese origin to broaden the discussion and our perspectives.” — Charles Dauphinais, director