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Directed by Hui Tong, Kelly Ng

If you missed the 10/24 LIVE Q&A with directors Hui Tong and Kelly Ng, and subject Charlotte Wang, a bonus recorded version will be available immediately after the feature is screened.

If you’ve wondered how our children have fared growing up in an increasingly scary and hostile world, CURTAIN UP! is proof that they have a lot to sing about, and are ready to dish insights into life as a new generation of Asian Americans. In a renowned New York City Chinatown theater club, a group of elementary-aged Chinese American kids live out theater dreams unfathomable to their adult counterparts. In this club–which mounts condensed adaptations of popular Disney Broadway hits–Chinese students have the opportunity to play Anna, Kristoff, and Queen Elsa, belting “Let It Go” in the pilot production of Disney’s Frozen KIDS.

The talent featured is exceeded only by the students’ impressive self-reflection while discussing race in America, parental expectations, and career possibilities as they prepare for escape from their elementary school bubble into the unknown world of middle school. Co-directors Hui Tong and Kelly Ng create a scenario of freedom from shame and expectation, allowing these children to express themselves onstage and off. These are kids keenly aware of participating in a predominately white industry and larger world they will soon be entering. Through tears, laughter, and perseverance, they unleash unbottled performance chops. All we can do is behold the possibilities and build a world that allows them to shine on the stage they deserve.

–James Paguyo

Co-Presented by Chinese School of San Diego