( 1963- )
Alice Tuan was born in Seattle and grew up in California's San Fernando Valley. After she studied economics at UCLA, where she received a BA in 1987, she went to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou to teach English. Although Tuan describes her experience in China as "part Peace Corp, part Roots," she "realized the Chinese were more fascinated by ice-cube-dispensing refrigerators and Disneyland than the socialist ideals she went there to embrace. In the eyes of the Chinese, she would always be American in the same way America would always view her as Chinese."
After she returned to the United States, Tuan went to California State University at Los Angeles to study teaching English as a second language (ESL) and received her master's degree in 1991. In addition to her ESL instruction of Central American and Korean students, Tuan conducted a writing workshop with teenage prison wards at the Fred C. Nelles School from 1993 to 1995. Two plays with music, Four Corners and Four Corners Revisited, have emerged from this multicomponent program under the auspices of UCLA Artsearch. Alice Tuan is a member of the Taper Mentor/Playwrights Program and the Dramatists Guild, and she had a fellowship for the 1995-1996 academic year at Brown University's Graduate Playwriting Program.
Alice Tuan's theatricalism, coupled with a wild imagination, creates plays that explore the darker sides of human relationships. Dim Sums is an expressionistic tale "about eating and being eaten." The collage of characters either work in or frequent Jimbo's Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles's Chinatown.