Heroes of History: The Legacy of My Chinese Family

Tina Chen: The Legacy of My Chinese Family

When a friend asked if I would give a talk a few years ago, I assumed I would end up talking about my professional life. But a number of things happened that made me want to talk about my ancestors instead. First, my husband suggested, shortly after my mother died, that I go back to China to trace my roots.  Soon after, a dear friend of mine handed me a recording of my mother talking about her past—her father, her siblings, the different places she had lived. Then the Artistic Director of the Pan Asian Repertory Theater asked me to play the Dowager Empress in Empress of China. I remembered hearing as a child that great grandfather had served under the Empress and had visited the court often. All of these things taken together made me feel as though my mother’s spirit was encouraging me to learn more about my ancestors. I decided that the talk should be about three generations of my mother’s family, and their contributions to Chinese history.


Researcher in Serology & Genetics

Mother of Ducklings

Special Skills: Ambidextrous/Mirror Writing