About Tropical Angels

Adapted from National Award for Arts recipient Chen Qian-Wu (陳千武)’s autobiographical novel, Coming Back Alive (活著回來), Tropical Angels follows a difficult conversation between a surviving soldier of the Pacific War and his granddaughter in 1970 Taiwan. Emotions run high as his suppressed memories of 1940 on a southern pacific island, Timor play out before him.

Tropical Angels is a musical developed into Chinese and English versions concurrently with the intention to explore different possibilities to devise translated theatre. This English language premiere is presented by Taipei Cultural Center in New York in collaboration with Musical Theatre Factory and HowlRound TV with support from Ministry of Culture, R.O.C. (Taiwan).

Produced by Hui-Chun Chang. Co-curated by Yu Chien Liu and Chi-Ping Yen. The Mandarin production of Tropical Angels is a 2019 - 2020 Artist-in-Residence project of the National Taichung Theater, Taiwan, which will premiere in summer 2022.

Musical Numbers

  • In 1940 by Writer, Lin, Salin, Yasuko, Matsunaga, Ensemble
  • History Will Never Change My Name by Lin
  • I Remember by Salin, Salty and Sweet by Lin, Salin
  • Kamikaze by Matsunaga
  • Hunter or the Hunted by Lin, Kuru, Yoshimoto
  • Woman Tree by Yasuko, Chitsuru, Sook-Hee
  • I Don’t Mind At All by Lin, Salin
  • Southern Cross by Lin, Matsunaga

SETTING: Taiwan, 1970; Timor - a outhern Pacific Island, 1940

All songs are composed by Sheng Lei with lyrics written by Lin Meng-Huan, Sheng Lei, and MC JJ, translated by Emily Chiu.

This reading features the excerpt of Act I of Tropical Angels

Special Thanks

Joyce Chiu, General and Artistic Director, Leda Lin, National Taichung Theater, Taiwan; Ching (Hui) Chen and Project Zero; Taipei Performing Arts Center; Kyuen Kim; Michael Leibenluft; The National Captioning Institute.


Trailer of Tropical Angels

Animation & Film Editing by H. Chia & D. Lambing.

Music I Remember, composed by Sheng Lei and performed by Man Lee.

Welcome by David Thomas Cronin

Reading of Tropical Angels

Book & Lyrics by Lin Meng-Huan; Music by Sheng Lei; Directed by David Thomas Cronin; Music-Directed by Sobina Chi Kanter; Video Edited by Cédric Jouarie (Kamomé International).

Remarks by Joyce Chiou (General and Artistic Director, National Taichung Theater, Taiwan)

Talkback and Q&A

With Lin Meng-Huan (book & lyricist), Sheng Lei (composer), David Thomas Cronin (director), Sobina Chi Kanter (music director), Emily Chiu (lyric translator), Yang Yen-Su (script translator), Mu-Hsi Kao (dramaturg), Gaby Greenwald (cast), Mei Ann Teo (Artistic Director, Musical Theatre Factory). Moderated by David Thomas Cronin.

Creative Team


Who's Who

Matheus Ting

Gaby Greenwald

Charles Pang

Thao Nguyen

Xiaoqing Zhang

Kadyn Kuioka

Kate Mina Lin

Leo Yu-Ning Chang

Mei Ann Teo

Yu Chien Liu

Jackie Spaventa

H. Chia

Taipei Cultural Center in New York

Musical Theatre Factory

HowlRound TV