The LIfe and Times of Donaldina Cameron (Angel Island, San Francisco, October 29, 1977) offered history-as-a-three-act-play that rested on “a combination of dramatic reading and acted monologue” as Chang explained in which the form mirrored “the difference inherent” in the statuses of the two figures.
Act I, the approach, purely visual, the two women gliding by, waving, silhouetted by the sun. That first act, playe for the invited and the unsuspecting in the audience, reenacted the historical approach, yet changes it, because the rescuer would not have traveled on the “turn of the century schooner,” that brought the immigrant women to Angel Island. The schooner landed first and Cameron/Lacy and Chang/Leung met the audience as they disembarked from the ferry.
In Act II, the auditory replaced the visual, as the audience eavesdropping on the “private conversation’ as Lacy/Cameron and Chang/Leung climbed the hill to the immigration station followed by tourists/audience. The “conversation” is not a dialogue, which could never have occurred given the disparate statuses of the two women. Instead the two women give “monologues” and then “speeches.”
Act III, the finale, combined the visual and the auditory, with the audience serving as witness. Cameron and Chang, reverted to their artistic identities, sat and drank tea, as they conversed about the “political and emotional issues that were raised during the creation of this piece.