Stan Lai at OSF

May 22, 2015 Comments Off on Stan Lai at OSF by

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Dmae Roberts talks with American-born, Taiwanese playwright and director Stan Lai who is considered the most produced Chinese language playwright and director in Asia. His 30 plays dealing primarily with Taiwan’s history have been widely performed in mainland China despite the troubled relationship between the two countries.  Stan Lai’s best-known play Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land is currently running at Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, OR till October 31, 2015. 
OSF raised $125,000 to bring Lai to mount the first professional production of his much-loved, complex play about two drama troupes performing different plays at the same time. Because of its popularity, this play has had more than 1000 unauthorized productions. He’s also adapted it into a film and opera.
Stan Lai

Stan Lai

Stan Lai talked with Dmae about his improv working style, his experiences working with OSF’s multiracial casting and some history of Taiwan. We’ll also hear from artistic director Bill Rauch and actor Eugene Ma who is featured in Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land.

Read an extensive feature story about Stan Lai by Dmae on Oregon ArtsWatch.  at: orartswatch.org.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival. 2015. Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land. Directed by Stan Lai. Lighting Design by Alexander V. Nichols. Set Design by Michael Locher. Costume Design by Helen Q. Huang. Photo by Jenny Graham.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival. 2015. Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land. Directed by Stan Lai. Lighting Design by Alexander V. Nichols. Set Design by Michael Locher. Costume Design by Helen Q. Huang. Photo by Jenny Graham.

More about Stan Lai’s work: One of the most celebrated theatre artists in the Chinese-speaking world, Lai is artistic director of Performance Workshop in Taipei and Festival Director of China’s Wuzhen Theatre Festival.  Writer/director: More than 30 plays, including premieres of The Village;Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land; That Evening, We Performed Crosstalk; Ménage à 13;Millennium Teahouse; Like Shadows; Red Sky; Crosstalk Travelers; I Me He Him; Mumble Jumble;Sand and a Distant Star and more. Other premieres: Open the Door, Sir!, Lear and the Thirty-seven-fold Path of a Bodhisattva (Hong Kong); Singapore Impromptu (Singapore); Light Years (Beijing); Dream Walk(Wuzhen Festival). Other: Journey to the West (opera), Deaflympics Opening/Closing Ceremonies.

Awards: National Arts Award, Taiwan (twice); Presidential Medal of Honor of the Republic of China; Chinese Theatre Hall of Fame; Man of the Year, Cultural Affairs, Newsweek China; Taipei Cultural Award.

Film awards: For The Peach Blossom Land: Silver Award, Tokyo International Film Festival; Golden Horse Award, Taipei Film Festival; Caligari Award, Berlin International Film Festival; Best Film and Best Director, Fipresci Award, Singapore International Film Festival.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival. 2015. Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land. Directed by Stan Lai. Lighting Design by Alexander V. Nichols. Set Design by Michael Locher. Costume Design by Helen Q. Huang. Photo by Jenny Graham.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival. 2015. Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land. Directed by Stan Lai. Lighting Design by Alexander V. Nichols. Set Design by Michael Locher. Costume Design by Helen Q. Huang. Photo by Jenny Graham.

More about Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land:  Two plays—one a bawdy retelling of a classic Chinese fable, the other a poignant story of a couple separated in the wake of China’s 1949 revolution—collide onstage when two acting troupes accidentally book the same theatre for rehearsals. Amid the chaos, squabbles and comical jabs at theatre life, the two plays begin to mysteriously intertwine, their epic themes calling to each other across the centuries in a blend of modern realism and Peking opera. Internationally acclaimed Taiwanese playwright Stan Lai directs this U.S. premiere of his 1986 meditation on love, loss and memory, regarded as a masterwork of modern theatre in China.

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About the author

Dmae Roberts, host/producer of Stage & Studio

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