10,000 Steps: One Woman's Insistence on the American Dream

Date and Time: Saturday June 3, 2:00 PM
Duration: 65 mins, no intermission
Location: Chapel

Ticket Information

General Admission: $25
Children under 18: $12.50
Discounts: Full time students with ID and Seniors, $4 off cover price 
Limited early bird tickets available until March 31 from $12.50

Festival Pass

If you miss our early bird offerings, take advantage of our Festival Pass and see five shows for $70.00


Performer: Nancy Wang
Performer: Maximilienne Ewalt
Playwright: Jeff Gillenkirk
Photographer and Projection: James Motlow

Sponsored by: The Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center

Artist Information


Work Sample

Eth Noh Tec

A lively reading of Jeff Gillenkirk's 10,000 Steps, the story of one feisty Chinese American woman’s self-chosen task to care for the remaining Chinese bachelors of Locke, California, and save this Chinese town by fighting for its citizens to own the land beneath their homes.

In 1912, Locke, a town in rural California, began with three buildings and would soon become home to 1,500 Chinese immigrant workers who mainly worked to clear the swampland of the Delta, building levees that reclaimed 88,000 acres, all for $1/day. They made their town colorful and their own – restaurants, brothels, gambling halls, dry goods stores, saloons, hotels and homes. A short panel discussion with Q&A will follow.  


Nancy Wang. Growing up in New Orleans and Chicago has resulted in different perspectives as a Chinese American in a white world. Finally coming west, SF’s Chinatown was as alien to her as it would be to someone from Iowa. Eventually finding her roots here in San Francisco, Nancy’s performances are a celebration of diversity and her Asian identity.

Drawing on her background in modern and ethnic dance, theater and playwriting, Nancy co-scripts and sculptures Eth-Noh-Tec’s synchronistic and seamless tandem movements that create lyrical, rhythmic and evocative visuals in their storytelling and theater pieces. She has performed around the world reaching millions through her work as Eth-Noh-Tec, kinetic story theater.

Jeff Gillenkirk was an author and journalist whose articles and book reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Nation, Mother Jones, America and other publications. His nonfiction book co-authored with James Motlow, "Bitter Melon: Inside America's Last Rural All-Chinese Town," won the Commonwealth Club's Silver Medal award for bestCalifornia history. His novel "Home, Away" was chosen as one of the top five baseball novels of all time by Baseball America and his novel "Pursuit of Darkness" was chosen by NPR's Margot Adler as "the best of the lot" in the genre of political vampire thrillers. A sixth edition of "Bitter Melon" was recently released to help celebrate the town of Locke's 100th anniversary as "America's Last Rural All-Chinese Town.” Jeff passed away in November 2016.

James Motlow lived in Locke throughout the 1970s. During that time he produced a body of photographic images: cafés, late night donut holes, Sacramento Delta farmers and farm workers, Sacramento neighborhoods, low riders, and his neighbors in Locke. These images have been published locally, nationally and internationally. His stock images have been sold by Magnum in New York and Jeroboam in San Francisco. He has images in the collection of the Oakland Museum and Crocker Museum as well as many private collections. After 30+ years in the Bay Area, he returned to Locke where he now lives. 

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