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

Recipient of the Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding World Premiere Musical!

Recipient of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for Original Script, Original Music, and Entire Production - Bay Area!

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 the Tony Award-winning 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


The Four Immigrants is available for licensing!
Contact Min to request a perusal script or for further information!

Cast: 8 Asian American Actors (4 male, 4 female)
Music: 6-piece score (Keyboard, Violin, Cello, Reed, Trombone, Percussion)
Duration: 2 hr 30 (including 15-minute intermission)


  • 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


  • 2019: Finalist for the Richard Rodgers Award

  • 2018: SFBATCC Award Winner for Original Script, Original Music, Entire Production - Bay Area, Entire Production - South Bay Region, Director - Leslie Martinson, and Music Director - William Liberatore

  • 2018: SFBATCC Award Nominee for Ensemble, Choreography - Dottie Lester-White, Costume Design - Noah Marin, Lighting Design - Steven Mannshardt, and Set Design - Andrew Boyce

  • 2017: TBA Award Recipient for World Premiere Musical - Min Kahng

  • 2017: TBA Award Finalist for Production of a 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