Set in 1867 in California, ‘The Dance and the Railroad’ tells the story of two Chinese laborers and marks a historical episode in American history. The play consists of a series of encounters between the two men as they wait out a strike. Ma admires Lone's acting acrobatics and asks his newfound friend to teach them to him. After initially looking down upon Ma, Lone begins to teach him the ancient art of the Peking Opera. As the two men conduct their informal practice sessions, they talk more and more about their past lives in China, their visions of the future and the progress of their ongoing labor strike.