M. Butterfly


Wed Jan 23, 2019 – Sun Feb 17, 2019

Partner Organization



ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery
4711 California Avenue SW
Seattle, WA 98116

When we build fantasies to hide the truth, what happens when the walls come tumbling down?

Clever parallels to the famous opera Madame Butterfly abound in this fearless play about a French diplomat who falls for a Chinese opera star – the ideal, exotic woman in his mind, but the truth is beyond his imagination. Hailed as a modern classic, M. Butterfly deftly skewers the perception of Eastern culture by the West and the persistent romanticism and objectification that clouds it.


The Divide Between ‘Me’ and ‘You’

To an English speaker, the letter ‘M’ is deceitful when placed alone. In our world, we base the assumptions of an unknown person entering a room on their prefix, the “Mr.” or “Ms.”. We shape our expectations of them on it. But, what if the preface is but a single “M.”? If an unknown person entering a room greeted you on paper only as “M.” who would you prepare yourself to see?

So it is in M. Butterfly, written by David Henry Hwang and directed by Samip Raval. We are told the story of Rene Gallimard (David Quicksall), a French diplomat in China and a man enraptured in his own...

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