Moving between myth and reality, FOB ("Fresh off the boat") explores assimilation, immigration, and the struggle of Asian American identity. Grace and Dale are cousins, living in the Los Angeles area and attending college. Dale, an “ABC” or “American Born Chinese,” just wants to fit in to white American culture. Grace, who was born in Taiwan, feels less ambivalent about her Chinese heritage. The arrival of Steve, an exchange student and “fresh off the boat” newcomer from Hong Kong, forces them to confront conflicting feelings about America, China and themselves.
FOB premiered at Junipero (now Okada) Dormitory at Stanford University in 1979, directed by the author. It opened professionally at the Public Theater in 1980, directed by Mako, and won the 1981 Obie Award for Best New American Play.