2012 Process Series Reading

The Life and Times of Chang and Eng: Inescapable Truths of Love That Binds

By Philip Kan Gotanda

8 p.m., Nov. 9 & 10, 2012, Gerrard Hall, UNC Chapel Hill campus (near Campus Y and Memorial Hall)


  • Performance photographs



  • Rehearsal photographs

    Director Joseph Megel and playwright Philip Gotanda hard at work.


  • Preview discussion

    A brief audio snippet of Professor Heidi Kim’s English 270 course, covering The Lives of Chang and Eng in preparation for this weekend’s reading.


  • Director Joseph Megel and the Process Series

    Learn more about the indefatigable Joseph Megel, director not only of The Lives of Chang and Eng but the entire Process Series, here.

    The Triangle Indy had a great article on the Process Series, including some insightful comments from Megel, in 2009. Read it here.

  • Philip Gotanda’s work and career

    A past interview with Philip Gotanda at Northwestern University:


  • Philip Gotanda’s play on the Bunkers to be performed at UNC

    The Life and Times of Chang and Eng

    Inescapable Truths of Love That Binds 

    By Philip Kan Gotanda

    8 p.m., Nov. 9 & 10, Gerrard Hall

    Part of the UNC Process Series.


    Master playwright Philip Kan Gotanda reworks one of his newest plays, an epic and fictional reimagining of the lives of the original Siamese twins, Chang and Eng Bunker. Originally brought to America to be exhibited as freaks, Chang and Eng took over management of their own careers and set about touring the world. Internationally famous and financially independent, they retired to North Carolina, becoming gentlemen farmers where they met and married the Yates sisters, fathering 21 bi-racial children between them. The writing of this story has been a 25-year project of Gotanda’s. “I abandoned this project many times over the years,” said Gotanda. “Finally, I let go of everything and wrote. This is what came out.” 

    Gotanda has been a major influence in the broadening of our definition of theater in America. Through his plays and advocacy, he has been instrumental in bringing stories of Asians in the United States to American theater as well as to Europe and Asia. Among his recent works are After the War, Love in American Times, #5 Angry Red Drum, and the opera Apricots of Andujar. His plays have been produced by American Conservatory Theater, Asian American Theater Company, Berkeley Repertory Theater, Campo Santo+Intersection, San Jose Repertory, East West Players, The Gate Theatre, Huntington Theater, Manhattan Theater Club, Mingei Geikidan, New York Shakespeare Festival among others. Gotanda is also a respected independent filmmaker, his works having been seen in film festivals around the world. His three films The Kiss, Drinking Tea and Life Tastes Good have all been presented at the Sundance Film Festival. Life Tastes Good, which Gotanda wrote and directed, is available on Netflix.


    Artist website: www.philipkangotanda.com


    Additional support for this event is provided by UNC’s First-Year Seminar Program and the Department of English and Comparative Literature with additional support by Teatro Latina/o Series.