Explore Chinese-Australian history through a timeless coming-of-age story

Set against the backdrop of the Australian Goldrush of 1857, Yong is a new Australian play by Jenevieve Chang. Mixing historical fact and narrative fiction, Yong takes us on a journey across land and sea, from China to the goldfields of Australia.

Yong and his father leave their small village and travel across the seas hoping to strike gold and find their fortune in the goldfields of Ballarat. However, despite his family’s desperate need for money, Yong does not want to be on this journey. On the surface, he is an honourable son, but bubbling below is deepening resentment for his father and a longing for home. Faced with momentous change, Yong’s courage and inner strength are tested, and in overcoming difficult challenges, he discovers a resilience in himself that he never knew he had.

Monkey Baa’s Artistic Director Eva Di Cesare has assembled an extraordinary creative team to translate the semi-fictional, historically significant story to the stage. Much more than a period piece, Monkey Baa’s latest offering has been created with the sensibilities of a contemporary young audience at its heart.

The production of Yong is based on ‘Yong: the journey of an unworthy son’ by Janeen Brian, published by Walker Books Australia Pty Ltd, Sydney.
A Monkey Baa Theatre Company Production
Based on the book by Janeen Brian. Written for the stage by Jenevieve Chang
Created in collaboration with Her Majesty’s Theatre, Ballarat and Bendigo Venues & Events.
  • Dates 2022 & 2023
  • Duration 60 minutes
  • Ages Ages 10+
  • Years 5-8
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Creative Team


Jenevieve Chang


Darren Yap

Artistic Director Assistant Director

Eva Di Cesare

Production Designer

James Browne


Max Lambert

Lighting Designer

Ben Brockman

Movement Director

Angie Diaz

Sound Designer

Zac Saric

Dramaturg Adaptation Consultant

Sandra Eldridge

Chinese Cultural Consultant

Charles Zhang

First Nations Consultant & writer of the First Nations scene

Richard Frankland


Kim Siew

A storm rages.
Thunder cracks, the wind a mournful howl, rain falls and waves crash. The wooden boat bucks and heaves. Yong holds on tight. He looks up at the moon and thinks of home.

"Yong is a universally resonant story about a young boy who must learn to step out of the shadow of other people’s expectations to find himself."

Jenevieve Chang, Writer


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