FORMOSA: A Show about Beauty, Body, Culture, and...Barbie (Asian Pacific American Heritage Month)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 6:30pm to 8:30pm

HAUS 623 S Wabash Ave, Chicago IL 60605


A Show about Beauty, Body, Culture, and…Barbie
featuring Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai

Inspired by the history of Barbie doll manufacturing in Taiwan, FORMOSA weaves a tragicomic tale across time and space tracking Vega, a failed Spanish colonizer in Taiwan during the mid-1600s; Harajuku Barbie Maybe, a present-day Nicki Minaj-knock-off Asian American femcee; Pinky, a present-day 8-year-old Chinese American adoptee in Manhattan; and Hsiu-Mei, a Taiwanese factory worker in the Barbie doll factory during the late 1960s-1980s. FORMOSA fuses spoken word, movement, and theater exploring the ways that Barbie, beauty, body, culture, and labor connect.

Chicago-born artist Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai is an award-winning spoken word poet, playwright, and
filmmaker whose work has been featured at over 500 venues worldwide
including the White House, Apollo Theater in Harlem, Kennedy Center,
Lincoln Center, BAM, Tyra Banks’ Flawsome Ball, & three seasons of
“HBO Def Poetry.” Award recipient of the Illinois Arts Council, Asian
American Arts Alliance, New York Foundation for the Arts, Asian Women
Giving Circle, and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Kelly has been
profiled on Idealist in NYC’s Top 40 NYC’ers Who Make Positive Social
Change,’s “30 Most Influential Asian Americans Under
30,” and HBO’s “East of Main Street: Asians Aloud.”,

No tickets required

This Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Chicago Roots event is brought to you by Asian American Cultural Affairs at Columbia College Chicago and co-sponsored by Columbia College Chicago's Asian Student Organization, One Tribe, and Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media.


Event Type

Performance, Theatre


Students, Student Diversity and Inclusion, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences




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