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‘The Heart Sellers’ monologues elevate the voices of Asian immigrants

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Two Asian American women in a recording studio reading a monologue.

May marks Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a time to honor and celebrate the many contributions made by individuals of Asian and Pacific Islander descent. To help amplify those voices, we’re teaming up with the Milwaukee Repertory Theater to feature monologues from The Heart Sellers.

The play written by Lloyd Suh and directed by Jennifer Chang gives voice to the Asian immigrant experience in the 1970s, when the landmark Hart-Celler Act granted thousands of professional workers a new path to citizenship.

N’Jameh Camara, Milwaukee Rep’s education and engagement director of programs, visited several
Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander organizations in Milwaukee, talking to members about a monologue project accompanying the play. From there, four elders volunteered to share their stories with us: Celine Wong, Delia Plaga, P. Emraida Kiram and Reino Lesada, who all moved to the United States in the 1960s and 1970s.

For this Uniquely Milwaukee episode, we bring you those insightful monologues accompanying the play to highlight the unique perspective and experiences of Asian Immigrants. These stories — written by the elders but read by a younger generation — reveal more about their personal lives, history and experience moving to the United States.

Audio Storyteller / 88Nine On-Air Talent | Radio Milwaukee