As noted in another post, in September, I finally had the chance to meet Stan Lai—the great Taiwanese playwright, theatre director and Berkeley grad— as part of a Berkeley-Taipei celebration.
How terrific then to be able see him and his work back in the Bay Area when his new work, THE VILLAGE, made its Bay Area premiere at the Flint Center in Cupertino.  The show completely sold out the thousand plus auditorium, and I felt quite privileged to be in the midst of the exhilarated crowd.  While I had read in advance as much as I could in English, I was still astounded by the poignance, humor, and scale of The Village.  The actors of the Performance Workshop are absolutely incredible in their ability to remain light and nimble as performers, even as they suddenly move into heart-breaking memories of loss and confusion.  The Village re-tells the complex story of exile and relocation of Mainland Chinese who escaped to Tawian with the rise of communism in China.  It also follows three generations in the process of realizing that what was thought to be a temporary refuge had become permanent. The history is so complex at micro and macro levels, but Lai and his troupe managed to show personal and political scales interacting with and upon each other—matching the goals of a genuine epic theatre. 
While it was fast in the making, ARC was also thrilled to be able to co-host Stan and his Managing Director and wife Nai-Chu at UC-Berkeley.  Stan talked to an assembled audience of students, faculty, and supporters in the lovely environment of the Institute for East Asian Studies, telling us about his experience at Berkeley and about his vision of artistic creation in the changing cultures of Taiwan and China.  Those themes continued in later meetings with faculty and staff where ARC affiliates, IEAS affiliates, and other members of TDPS and Art Practice began to imagine future partnerships between Taiwan/China and Berkeley, initiatives that would use the arts as a centerpiece for cross-cultural collaboration.  Look out for more info about how those ideas begin to unfold…