Dim Sum Warriors the Musical will have its premiere in Shanghai in August 2017, produced and presented by Stan Lai Sheng-Chuan, the founder and artistic director of the celebrated Performance Workshop (表演工作坊) and the most important voice in Chinese language theatre, at his new theatre in Shanghai, The Theatre Above (上剧场). Music will be by the 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Du Yun!
- “Stan Lai is Asia’s Top Theatre Director.” — Asiaweek
- “The best Chinese language playwright and director in the world, and pretty prolific too.” –BBC
- “Many consider him the greatest Chinese playwright of our generation, ranking with Cao Yu and Lao She who were in their prime in the first half of the 20th century.” — China Daily
Stan Lai (Lai Shengchuan) is the most celebrated Chinese language playwright and director in the world. Based in Taiwan, where he founded the influential theatre group Performance Workshop, Lai’s work has profoundly transformed the path of theatre in Taiwan and China today.
Lai’s over 30 original plays have continually pioneered new horizons in modern Chinese theatre, and have been described as being “rare works that delicately blend fine art with popular culture.” China’s most prominent critic Yu Qiuyu says that Lai’s work “always has the ability to touch the heartstrings of countless audiences.” His most famous works includes That Evening, We Performed Crosstalk (1985), which revived the dying art of “Crosstalk” in Taiwan; Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land(1986), described by the New York Times as “the most popular contemporary play in China”; The Village (2008), described by the Beijing News as “The pinnacle of our era of theatre”; and the epic A Dream Like A Dream (2000-2013), which has been compared to Peter Brook’s Mahabharata and hailed as “The most elaborate theater work in Chinese history” and “possibly the greatest Chinese-language play since time immemorial” (China Daily).
Born in Washington, D.C. in 1954, Lai was educated in America and Taiwan, and received his Ph.D. in Dramatic Art from U.C. Berkeley in 1983. He has received Taiwan’s highest award for the arts, the National Arts Award, an unprecedented two times (1988, 2001). In 2007, Lai received the prestigious Taipei Cultural Award, and in Beijing was elected into the Chinese theater Hall of Fame. In 2011, in Taipei he received the Grand Cordon, Order of the Brilliant Star Medal from President Ma, the highest civilian honor of the Republic of China.
While becoming the premier playwright in the Chinese world, Lai maintained a long teaching career at Taipei National University of the Arts, where he was Professor and Founding Dean of the College of Theater. His students make up the core of Taiwan’s theater culture. In 2000, he returned to Berkeley as Visiting Professor. In 2006 and 2007, he taught at Stanford University as Visiting Professor and Resident Artist. He has also taught at Beijing’s Central Academy of Drama and the Shanghai Theatre Academy, and lectured at Beijing University, Yale, Columbia, Charles University in Prague, and at Berkeley as Avenali Fellow and Artist in Residence.
Nai-chu was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Taiwan. A graduate of National Taiwan University majoring in Philosophy, Ding received her M.A. in Education from the University of California, Berkeley. One of the most prominent theatre producers in Taiwan and the Chinese speaking world. She has produced over 60 plays, including important classics such as The Night We Became Crosstalk Comedians, Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land, A Dream Like A Dream, The Village, Just Play It, and Crosstalk Travelers. She has performed in Plucking Stars and Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land (1986). Ding has also produced 3 films, The Peach Blossom Land, The Red Lotus Society, and Finding Shangri-La, which have received numerous top awards at international festivals. She was founding Vice President of Super TV. Large scale events produced include the 2009 Deaflympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Opening Ceremony for the 2010 Taipei International Flora Expo, and the 2011 Taiwan Lantern Festival in Miaoli. She is currently the managing director of Performance Workshop Theatre, and for years has also been a renowned translator of Buddhist teachings.
She has been married to Stan Lai for over 30 years and they have 2 daughters. Ms. Ding is producer of all of Lai’s work, and acted in the first version of Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land, where she created the role of Yun Zhifan. Aside from creative work, they also are noted translators of works on Buddhism. Lai’s translations into Chinese have focused on the work of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and Matthieu Ricard, including Enlightened Courage, Journey to Enlightenment, The Monk and the Philosopher, and Happiness – A Guide to Life’s Most Important Skill.
COMPOSER: Du Yun
WINNER OF THE 2017 PULITZER PRIZE FOR MUSIC
Born and raised in Shanghai, China, and currently based in New York City, Du Yun is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and performance artist. Her music exists at an artistic crossroads of orchestral, chamber music, theatre, opera, orchestral, cabaret, storytelling, pop music, visual arts and noise.
- “cutting-edge… to whom the term ‘young composer’ could hardly do justice” (New York Times)
- “re-invents herself daily… so does her music,” (TimeOut-NYC)
- “heralds a significant voice” (Financial Times)
Profiled by Musical America, ASCAP Playback Magazine, Sveriges Radio (Sweden), Radio Canada and others, National Public Radio also named her as one of its 100 Composers under 40, praising her as“protean” and “chameleonic”.
Her recent opera, Angel’s Bone, which premiered at the Prototype Festival in New York, received rave reviews from The New York Times, and is now headed to the Los Angeles Opera in 2018.
Selected commissions include from the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, the American Composer Orchestra, the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Fromm Foundation, Meet the Composer/Commissioning USA, Chamber Music America, Festivals für Neue Musik & aktuelle Kultur (Switzerland), violinist Hillary Hahn, cellist Matt Haimovitz, Trinity Wall Street, Festival of New Trumpet, Ecstatic Music Festival, 21c Liederabend, the San Francisco Contemporary Chamber Players, Americas Society, and many more.
Her music has also been presented by Festival d’Avignon (France), Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ (Netherlands), the Nova Musica of Helinski, Ultima Contemporary Music (Norway), the Darmstadt Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (Germany), Festival Internacional Cervantino (Mexico), Canadian Music Week, Nova Scotia Festival, Centro Nacional De la Música (Argentina), the Radio Kamer Filharmonie of The Netherlands, le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne of Canada, the Camerata Aberta of Brazil, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the New York City Opera – VOX, cellist Frances-Marie Uitti, among others. Other grants include the Aaron Copland Award, Rockefeller Foundation – Bellagio, and Festival Aix-en-Provence.
As an avid performer, she has appeared in many assorted holes and halls across New York, nationally and abroad. Her onstage persona has been described by the New York Times as “an indie pop diva with an avant-garde edge,” and “flamboyant” by the Chicago Tribune.
As a performance artist, solo engagements include the 2012 Guangzhou Art Triennial (China) at the Guangzhou Opera House, and the National Academy Museum (USA). Her ongoing collaborations of installation-performance-video with the Pakistani visual artist Shahzia Sikander have been on view at the Shanghai Rockbund Art Museum, the Tokyo Contemporary Museum of Art, San Francisco Art Institute, Pace Foundation (San Antonio), Hong Kong Art Fair 2012, the Sharjah Biennial (United Arab Emirate) in 2013, Auckland Art Triennial (New Zealand) and Istanbul Biennial (Turkey). ArtForum describes the collaboration as “standout, sound utilized to its best effect.”
An alumna of Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Oberlin College (BM), and Harvard University (MA, PhD), Du Yun is currently on the faculty of the State University of New York – Purchase.
DIRECTOR: Mei Ann Teo
Mei Ann Teo is a Singaporean theatre/film maker currently based in New York. Her professional work has toured the U.S. and international festivals including Belgium’s Festival de Liege (Lyrics From Lockdown, “Truly polished, meaningful and entertaining” – New York Times), M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, Edinburgh International Fringe (MiddleFlight, “Stunning” – Scotsman), INFANT Experimental Theatre Festival in Novi Sad, Serbia, Edmonton Fringe Festival, and the Montreal World Film Festival (Not Here). She is the artistic director of The Wandering Fools, whose inaugural production, Caucasian Chalk Circle, was an official selection at the Shanghai International Experimental Theatre Festival (Oct 2013). She has worked with The Public Theater, Berkeley Rep, Theatre of Yugen, Crowded Fire, Cutting Ball, and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival.
An Assistant Professor of Theatre at Hampshire College, Mei Ann recently directed WAKE, a multidisciplinary music theatre work that is part theatre, dance, opera, chamber and electronic music, that debuted at the Connelly Theater on New York City’s Lower East Side, with music by Jon Bernstein (also known as Disparition), libretto by Christopher Chen (2013 Paula Vogel Playwriting Award), and performed by multiple award-winning opera singer Marnie Breckenridge (Dog Days, Time Out New York “Best Opera of 2012”).
The creators of the Dim Sum Warriors graphic novel and bilingual iPad series, Yen Yen and Colin are also award-winning screenwriters and filmmakers. Their feature film Singapore Dreaming (2007) has played at numerous festivals, been sold to multiple territories worldwide, and has also been screened at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution.
- “…a delightful story of family ties, status anxieties and a rapidly changing metropolis. Boasting an ensemble cast of the highest order, this comedy of errors recalls the early films of Ang Lee and the work of Taiwanese director Edward Yang.” – San Francisco Film Society
- “It is life in its reality.” – S.R. Nathan, then President of Singapore
- “…the best movie this little red dot has produced in a decade. … a beautiful tale about Singaporean family life that is almost flawless in its verisimilitude. …” – Neil Humphreys, TODAY
- “a graceful satire about western capitalism in the east.” – Variety
✭Montblanc Screenwriters Award at the 54th San Sebastian International Film Festival
✭Best Asian Film Award at the 20th Tokyo International Film Festival
✭Audience Award for Narrative Feature at the 30th Asian-American International Film Festival.
✭Best Screenplay Award at the Inaugural Asian Film Archive Jury
Special thanks to the National Arts Council of Singapore
for enabling us to get the musical off the ground through the generous award of their Creation Grant