Red Altar



“One of the hidden stories of American history that needs to be told [and] seen.”

1850. A Chinese junk boat crashes into the Carmel Bay. Six teenagers are flung overboard and are rescued by Rumsean-Esselen natives. Following their shipwreck, they manage to not only seek out an existence but to eventually start a thriving fishing industry in Monterey, California. But even as their lives unfold with success, the ever-growing specter of racism and bigotry begins overshadowing their community as the Anti-Chinese movement of the 1800’s encroaches. Red Altar is an American tale of survival, persistence, and challenges that faced early Chinese settlers along the California coast of Monterey.

With today’s rallying cries against immigrants, Red Altar celebrates the contributions of three generations and three fishing villages of Chinese immigrants who start the fishing industry in Monterey, California despite anti-Chinese violence, both legal and illegal. Eth-Noh-Tec’s fusion of immersive multimedia and kinetic storytelling chronicles this hidden history of anti-Chinese racism in America.

Fueled with humor, pathos, and startling humanity, Red Altar reveals shaking truths and jolts audiences into awareness of the discrimination immigrants and people of color face today.


What Audiences are Saying about RED ALTAR


Played to standing ovations, Red Altar has garnered acclaim from audiences in six states.

“RED ALTAR was magnificent, provocative and important storytelling. Eth-Noh-Tec’s dramatization of a very personal Asian history becomes as relevant, universal, painful and vital as todays headlines… Masterful [performance] by Nancy Wang and Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo and brilliant sound and visual projections combine with unyielding historic fact to create an evening that is as remarkable as it is significant.” — Ron Coulter, performing artist


Truly [an] extraordinary performance… redefining the term, ‘political theater’ … amazing combination of lighting, movement, narrative, personal and cultural history, imagery, expression, and musicianship…” — Fred Klein, poet and architect


RED ALTAR in the News


SFGate May 20, 2015: ‘Red Altar’: How Chinese immigrants settled Monterey Bay