Monday, September 21, 2009

Falling Leaves

South Coast Repertory and the Philharmonic Society of Orange County will present a staged reading of Adeline Yen Mah’s play Falling Leaves, based on her best-selling book Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter, on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m.

The reading is part of the Philharmonic Society’s Ancient Paths, Modern Voices: A Festival Celebrating Chinese Culture. The six-week festival, presented in partnership with Carnegie Hall, celebrates China’s diverse culture and influence. It includes musical and theatrical performances, art exhibits and film screenings.

Falling Leaves recounts the story of the author’s life in China, England and America, and how she overcame the hardships of her childhood. A compelling, heartrending, and ultimately triumphant story of a girl's journey into adulthood, Mah’s story is a testament to the most basic of human needs: acceptance, love and understanding.

Mah was born into a wealthy Chinese family in 1937. Her mother died two weeks after giving birth to her, leaving her to be raised by her father’s beautiful but cruel new wife. After winning a playwriting competition at age 14, she went to study in England. Eventually, she became a doctor and established a thriving medical practice in Southern California. The book version of Falling Leaves proved so popular – selling more than one million copies – that she quit medicine to devote more time to writing. She has since published Chinese Cinderella; China: Land of Dragons and Emperors and Watching the Tree.

SCR’s staged reading of the play Falling Leaves takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 17. Tickets are $15 and are available online at or by calling the box office at 714-708-5555.

For more information about the Philharmonic’s Ancient Paths, Modern Voices: A Festival Celebrating Chinese Culture, including a complete schedule of events, visit

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