L-R: Charlie (Hansel Tan), Fred (Sean Fenton), Frank (Phil Wong), and Henry (James Seol). Photo Credit: Kevin Berne

L-R: Charlie (Hansel Tan), Fred (Sean Fenton), Frank (Phil Wong), and Henry (James Seol). Photo Credit: Kevin Berne

Watch the World Premiere Trailer

The Four Immigrants:
An American Musical Manga

Book, Music & Lyrics by Min Kahng
Based on the Manga Yonin Shosei by Henry Kiyama, Translated as The Four Immigrants Manga by Frederik L. Schodt

A 10-time Theatre Bay Area Awards Finalist!

Follow the adventures of Charlie, Frank, Fred and Henry – four turn-of-the-20th-century Japanese immigrants – as they pursue their American dreams in the face of all manner of obstacles from The Great Quake of 1906 to anti-Japanese prejudice. Driven by a vaudeville- and ragtime-inspired score, this comic-strip-on-stage goes beyond the cartoon frame, exploring what it means to find home in a foreign land.

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Reviews for the world premiere at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley:

  • "...a world premiere masterpiece" - Linda Hodges, Broadway World
  • "...a powerful slice of Americana" - Sam Hurwitt, San Jose Mercury News
  • "...achieves something radical" - Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle
  • "Smart, funny, touching and visually stunning, it's simply wonderful." - Karla Kane, Palo Alto Weekly
  • "Quirky, colorful, touching musical is a crowd-pleaser..." - Joanne Engelhardt, The Daily News
  • "...a delight to behold and to hear." - Eddie Reynolds, Talkin' Broadway
  • "Kahng’s score is immediately likable and mostly cheerful... bright and beaming" - Chad Jones, Theater Dogs
  • "...a stunning work of great humor and touching humanity." - Steve Murray, For All Events
  • "Wow. This show has a shot at becoming a great American musical for decades to come." - John Angell Grant, Palo Alto Daily News


  • Jul-Aug 2017, World Premiere: TheatreWorks Silicon Valley at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto, CA


  • Apr 2017, Workshop: Playwrights Foundation in San Francisco, CA
  • Aug 2016, TheatreWorks New Works Festival at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto, CA
  • Dec 6, 2015, Staged Reading: TheatreWorks Silicon Valley in Redwood City, CA
  • Jan 2015, Excerpt Reading: Musical Cafe Showcase at Musically Minded Academy in Oakland, CA
  • Apr 2014, TheatreWorks Writers Retreat in Redwood City, CA


  • 2017: TBA Awards Finalist for Production of a Musical, World Premiere Musical, Director - Leslie Martinson, Music Director - William Liberatore, Choreographer - Dottie Lester-White, Ensemble in a Musical, Principal Male Actor - Hansel Tan & Phil Wong, Featured Female Actor - Rinabeth Apostol & Lindsay Hirata
  • 2017: Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, Edgerton Foundation
  • 2017: NAMT Production Grant, National Fund for New Musicals
  • 2015: NAMT Writer's Residency Grant, National Fund for New Musicals
  • 2015: CA$H Grant, Theatre Bay Area