Golden GateSM is our flagship storytelling production about the San Francisco Bay Area. It connects local stories about early Chinese communities with the experiences of immigrants in San Francisco Chinatown today. Weaving together handed down family memories and personal stories, the multimedia theater work threads past and present into a rich, multi-dimensional tapestry.

Golden GateSM stories are culled from oral history interviews with community elders, and from immigrant storytelling workshops we held in collaboration with the San Francisco Chinatown YMCA. Built from interviewees’ actual words, the non-linear script by Chinese Whispers Director Rene Yung pays tribute to the unsung heroes of the everyday, who paved the way for later generations in this country of immigrants.

Golden GateSM premiered in March 2016 at Southside Theater, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, in a sold-out run. The evening-length production included an intergenerational cast of nine storytellers, with 84 year old community stakeholder Ford Lee on stage telling his own stories. Golden GateSM is directed and artistically directed by Rene Yung, with co-direction by Fe Bongolan, an original soundscape by Jeremiah Moore, lighting design by Stephanie Anne Johnson, and projection design by Yung.

Chinese Whispers: Golden GateSM is made possible by generous support from the San Francisco Arts Commission, California Humanities, the Fleishhacker Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, Open Circle Foundation, and individual donors.


Chinatown YMCA

Major Donors

  • Daniel Fong
  • Margaret Yung
  • Thomas Escher
  • Carol Potter Peckham


Virginia Stearns, Penny Ablin, Daisy Kwok, Dorothy Mak, Dylan Thieu, Kimberly Collins, Kevin Lee, Eva Palli, Rex Yung, Keith Lee, Kerstin Marie Wheale, Yosef Aelony, Grace Mak, Julian Thorne, Elaine Michaud/Charlie Stott, Jeff Kan Lee, Linda J Kee, Hung Liu, Nancy Chen, Robert Lee, Susan Boeckmann, David P Fan, Kari Lee, Pat & Ford Lee, Thomas Chan, John Chong, Sally Chen, John Paolini, Joanne Winship, Brant Lee, Evelyn Thorne, Sheena Beeson, MJ Bogatin, Jennifer Chu, Jack & Cea Soares, John B. Hill

San Francisco Arts Commission The San Francisco Foundation Zellerbach Family Foundation The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Fleishhacker Foundation CalHum
Photos from the premiere theatre performance of Chinese Whispers: Golden Gate

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