A few years ago, actor and improv comic Jane Luk produced and starred in a satiric short called How To Be More Chinese. Recently, she's been taking the title literally. For her role in Betty Quan's Mother Tongue, Luk's had to brush up on her Cantonese. She plays the Cantonese-speaking mom of a deaf boy (Sean Baek) and a young girl (Marjorie Chan).
"I stopped talking Cantonese at around 10 or 12," says Luk, who consulted her parents and actor Diana Tso for the role. "Basically, I can order off a menu. I can say, 'I feel good' or 'I feel bad,' not 'I'm having sad, depressing episodes.'"
As for the recent spate of Asian-themed stage works -- Iron Road, Ghost Train, Kate's Chink-o-Rama -- Luk's philosophical.
"The planets are lining up," she says. "We are the meek inheriting the earth slowly through theatre."
Mother Tongue continues at the Factory until June 3, with an anniversary gala for Cahoots Theatre Friday (May 11). 416-504-9971.It's May, and the Tarragon Theatre sprouts all sorts of tempting pieces at its annual Spring Arts Fair. The free fair features work by such established artists as Morwyn Brebner, Mark Brownell, Michael Healey and Richard Greenblatt (who's also hosting the Harold Awards Monday at the 360 Club). But be sure to check out creations by up-and-comers, finalists in the Under 20 For Under 20s playwriting competition: Laurie Heller, Gorka Coria, Anthony Furey and Leslie Kaz. Or, on a classical note, young actors, directed by Mary Francis Moore, present scenes from The Trojan Women. Saturday and Sunday (May 12-13). 30 Bridgman. 416-531-1827.The school closures connected to the support workers' strike affected lots of people, not least the theatre companies that perform for young audiences. Roseneath Theatre had to cancel 20 performances of its award-winning show Dib And Dob And The Journey Home. This just after the company sold out 11 shows at its American premiere. The company stages performances this weekend (May 12 and 13) -- including a gala on Saturday -- before touring to kids' festivals across the country. Alumnae Theatre (70 Berkeley). 416-538-3114.