Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley

Stan Lai

ARC Artist-in-Residence: Stan Lai

In Spring 2013, the Arts Research Center is very pleased to welcome back to campus Berkeley alum Stan Lai (Lai Sheng-Chuan), who has been praised by the BBC as "probably the best Chinese-language playwright and director in the world." The author of thirty plays and a best-selling book on creativity, Lai has received Taiwan's National Arts Award twice (an unprecedented honor) and has been inducted into the Chinese Theater Hall of Fame. The recipient of a Ph.D. in Dramatic Art from UC Berkeley (1983), Stan Lai is a unique cultural figure in the modern history of Taiwan, lauded by many as the father of modern Taiwanese theater. He is also a key player in and commentator upon the current "cultural turn" of contemporary China.

While on campus January 28 through February 8, 2013 as an Avenali Resident Fellow, Lai will engage with faculty, students, and community members in public lectures and workshops on a variety of subjects related to his work. Public programs include:

Theatrical Engagement: Stan Lai in Conversation with Wen-hsin Yeh
Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 5pm
Institute of East Asian Studies Conference Room, 2223 Fulton, 6th Floor
Free and open to the public; limited seating

Stan Lai has stretched the boundaries of the theatrical experience in his native Taiwan, in China, and around the world. He has negotiated the fraught landscape between Chine and Taiwan through drama, and in recent years through active efforts to reshape the theatrical culture of China. In a wide-ranging conversation with Professor of Modern Chinese History Wen-hsin Yeh (Walter and Elise Haas Chair Professor in Asian Studies; Richard H. and Laurie C. Morrison Chair in History; Director, Institute of East Asian Studies), Lai explore his work, his ideas, and his unique vision.

This program is co-sponsored by the Institute of East Asian Studies.

Screening: Peach Blossom Land
Thursday, January 31, 2013, 7 p.m.
Pacific Film Archive, 2575 Bancroft Way
$5.50-$9.50 per person, advance tickets available

Stan Lai will appear in person to discuss his 1992 award-winning film Peach Blossom Land, which was chosen to represent Taiwan at the 1993 Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Film category. Stan Lai wrote and directed this film adaptation of his most famous play, Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land. Stan Lai will be introduced by ARC Affiliate Sophie Volpp (Comparative Literature and East Asian Languages and Cultures).

This program is co-sponsored by the Pacific Film Archive.

Temporal Shifts: Time Across Contemporary Chinese and Taiwanese Art Practices
February 1, 2013
Museum Theater, UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
2621 Durant Avenue (access via the Sculpture Garden)
Free and open to the public

Stan Lai will deliver a closing keynote at this daylong symposium on contemporary art practices in China and Taiwan. See here for more details.

Stan Lai in Conversation with Philip Kan Gotanda
February 6, 2013, 5:30pm
Durham Studio Theater
Free and open to the public; limited seating

Leading Asian-American playwright Philip Kan Gotanda will speak with Stan Lai about his creative process, and the influence of his years at Berkeley--both as a graduate student in the 1980s and as a Regents Lecturer in 2000--on his artistic development. This program is co-sponsored by the Department of Theater, Dance, & Performance Studies, where Philip Kan Gotanda is a visiting professor.

More activities are being planned; please check back for more details and updates.

Stan Lai's Avenali Fellowship is made possible by the Townsend Center for the Humanities, the Institute of East Asian Studies, and by the Center for Chinese Studies.


The Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley | 201 Dwinelle Annex, MC 1054 | Berkeley, CA 94720-1054 | (510) 642-7784 |