This paper examines a significant pioneer in the history of Sino-Western cultural exchange, S. I. Hsiung, and how his play Lady Precious Stream represents a shift in discursive endeavors within culturally oppressive environments. It demonstrates how Hsiung’s discourse was one of the first in China-West relations to eschew the historical and dialogic precedent that held back most of his contemporaries. His approach was at the forefront of his time—a “modern” and sophisticated overture in the realm of cultural relations. With textual and methodological changes, and little regard for authenticity, Hsiung’s adaptation of an old Chinese play is tangled in contradiction, yet prescient in its logic. That his work is largely left out of the canonical history of Chinese drama is indicative of the way we should understand his work; that is, he has more to teach us about how Chinese drama was used within cultural exchange than he does about the drama itself.