( 1953- )
Cherylene Lee was born in Los Angeles where her career in the theatre started at an early age, when she and her sister had a singing and dancing act and performed in musical revues in Las Vegas. These appearances led to work in film, television, and the theatre. Her most notable stage performance was in A Chorus Line in New York and on tour. To her mother's disappointment, her performing career ended abruptly when she grew out of juvenile roles.
A summer volunteer job at the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles cultivated Lee's intense interest in paleontology, and she majored in the field at the University of California-Berkeley where she received her BA in 1975. She continued in the sciences and earned her master's degree in geology at UCLA in 1979.
Cherylene Lee's career as a playwright emerged in the period from 1981 to 1984. She was living in Seattle and could not find work as a scientist, performer, or dancer. She started writing poetry and short fiction and won a creative poetry prize, but since her fiction seemed a form of dialogue, she naturally gravitated to writing plays. Some of her short stories and poetry have been anthologized in American Dragons (HarperCollins, 1993) and Charlie Chan Is Dead (Viking/ Penguin, 1994). She lives in San Francisco and is a member of the New Dramatists.
As a second-generation Chinese American, Cherylene Lee is, not surprisingly, interested in the issues of assimilation as well as the differences in American and Chinese values. In Arthur and Leila, a second-generation Chinese American brother and sister work out their rivalry and hostilities. This two-hander two-act