Otherness and the American Dream

Chay Yew, in "Porcelain" and "Wonderland," examines various notions of "queer" through his characters, who desperately seek connections, and love, with the people around them. Their lives are marked by death, violence, and tragedy, which occurs not only because they are queer, but also because these events mark them as apart from the rest of society, which “queer” them. Above all, however, they are survivors--and like the word “queer” itself, escape one simple definition by having many definitions, or facets, to their diverse and interesting selves.

In Yew’s “Porcelain” the protagonist, whose name is John, murders his lover in a public bathroom. The storyline of this play is broken up by scenes of a tale that John’s father told him when he was a young boy, of a lonely crow that longed to be with the graceful, happy sparrows that lived across the field. The crow eventually flew across the field and lived with the sparrows, but was still an outsider because of the way it looked and acted. After realizing that it will never belong, it flies back home, but its experience has changed it--he is now different from the other crows. With that, it flies away to seek another life, with another family. Many of...

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