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:: Director Laureate & Honorary Advisors

Dr Fredric Mao, BBS

Artistic Director of the HKRep from April 1 2001 to March 31 2008, Fredric Mao has served for a full seven years at the helm of Hong Kong’s flagship theatre company. As of April 1 2008, Mao assumes the title of HKRep’s Director Laureate. 

During Mao’s tenure at the HKRep, he has directed a new production of Forever and Ever (2001), Secret of Resurrection and Love in a Fallen City (2002), Sweet & Sour Hong Kong (2003), A Small Family Business (2004),Proof (2005), Dust and Dawn, The Quintessential Cao Yu and Secret of Resurrection (adapted from XXXX) (2007) as HKRep 30th anniversary productions. Among these works, Sweet & Sour Hong Kong, an original musical, was a collaboration among HKRep, Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra and Hong Kong Dance Company, which was invited in 2004 to appear in Beijing (7th China Theatre Festival) and Shanghai (Shanghai Charity Foundation fundraising performance). In 2005 and 2006, Mao revised and remounted Love in a Fallen City, which then embarked on an international tour visiting Shanghai, Toronto, New York and Beijing, receiving much critical acclaim. Mao sees it as his mission to produce plays of outstanding quality showcasing the “Main Stage” and “Rep 2″ series for the HKRep, creating repertoire that is truly the company’s own. 

Fredric Mao obtained his Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Iowa. He then launched his acting/directing career with professional theatre companies and film and television productions in the United States. During this decade in America, he worked with the best theatre professionals, and was in the cast of the Broadway production of Pacific Overtures in 1976. 

When The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts was established in 1985, Mao joined its School of Drama as Head of Acting, responsible for training up a new generation of local talents. Before his arrival at the HKRep, he directed numerous productions including major works of Shakespeare, Moliere, Chekhov, Shaw and Brecht. He has also been a firm believer in supporting and developing original works of Hong Kong, and among his distinguished productions are The Legend of a Storyteller, The Kids, The Wind And The City, The Girl Who Turned The World Upside Down, and Red Boat. 

Mao has received numerous awards, among them the “Best Director” title for five times at the Hong Kong Drama Awards and “Artist of the Year 1999″ (Stage Director) from the Hong Kong Artists Guild. In 2004, the Government of the HKSAR conferred upon Mao the Bronze Bauhinia Star in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Hong Kong performing arts scene. He was awarded the Honorary Fellowship of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 2005 for his contribution to the performing arts and the HKAPA in particular, and an Honorary University Fellowship by Hong Kong Baptist University in 2007.

Art Consultant
Dr Chung King Fai, BBS

Chung King-Fai received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and Drama at the Oklahoma Baptist University, USA, and then graduated with a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the School of Drama, Yale University, received a Honorary Doctor of Philosophy from Armstrong University, USA, a Doctor of Letter Honoris Causa from Hong Kong Open University, and Honorary Doctor of Drama from Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

For 23 years he worked as a full-time and part-time teacher at the Baptist College in Hong Kong, and then joined Television Broadcasts Limited and later Asia Television Limited for another 16 years. He was the founding Dean of Drama at the Hong Kong Academy for Performance Arts and remained in the post for 18 years.

The many honors Chung has received include the Bronze Bauhinia Star, the honorary Fellowship of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, the Drama Achievement Award from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, and he was named Artist of the Year (Stage Director) by the Hong Kong Artists’ Guild. He has also received four awards for Best Director and eight awards for Best Leading Actor over the years. Recently he has also received the Most Outstanding Television Actor Award (Ming Pao Weekly 2005). He has been a member of the Basic Law Consultative Committee, a member of the National People’s Congress and the Principal Artistic Consultant of the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre.

Chung has directed and performed extensively in stage productions, TV and movies. His recent productions include On Golden Pond, A Sentimental Journey, Inherit the Wind, My Family, Sleuth, The Unexpected Man, Tuesdays with Morrie, and Noises Off, which was staged at the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre.

Chung received a Life-time Actor Star Award from Hong Kong Television Broadcasts Ltd. in 2006, World Outstanding Chinese in 2007, the Leader of the Year 2009, outstanding Contribution in Arts, and Life Achievement Award from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council in 2012. Chung had been listed in Dictionary of International Biography, Men of Achievement, Reference Asia, Who’s Who in Contemporary World Theatre, among others.

Currently Chung is a Chairperson of the Hong Kong Federation of Drama Societies, Executive Director of the Chinese Theatrical Arts Society, and a member of Hong Kong Home Affairs Bureau’s Committee on Performing Arts.

Dr Lin Kehuan

Dramaturg and theatre critic Li Kehuan has served in several capacities at the China Youth Arts Theatre, from head of the dramaturgy department, to President and Artistic Director. He is currently the Honorary President of the China Dramaturgy Society and Vice-President of the China Theatre Research Society. Lin has lectured in more than fifty universities and art academies inside and outside China, and his extensive writings on theatre have been published in more than 180 media outlets at home and abroad. His writings include commentaries on drama, fine arts, dance, photography, film, television, installation art, performance art; these writings delve into literary criticism, creative writing and discourse on aesthetics. Among Lin’s published works are Newspaper Boy, Tilted Stage, Theory of Dramatic Presentation, Collection of Theatre Critiques, Hong Kong Drama-Drama Hong Kong, and Drama in the Era of Consumerism. His biography and academic achievements have been recorded in Who’s Who in the World, Dictionary of Chinese Experts, and Dictionary of Chinese Literature. Japanese scholar Hiroshi Seto in his book, Contemporary Chinese Theatre, recognized Lin as “the central figure in today’s studio theatre movement” (1991). 

Noted Taiwanese writer Ma Sen once wrote, “To mainland Chinese readers, Lin has showed his familiarity with Taiwan contemporary theatre. To Taiwanese readers, he’s clearly the best spokesperson for mainland Chinese theatre. One cannot imagine an expert who knows theatre across the Straits as broadly and as deeply as Lin” (1994). Hong Kong Arts Development Council Chief Executive Louis Yu said, “Lin Kehuan is the most important theatre critic at present in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan” (2004). 

He has been invited numerous times to review the performing arts in Hong Kong, and has worked with such organizations as the HKRep, City Contemporary Dance Company, Zuni Icosahedron as dramaturg and literary consultant.

Stan Lai

“Stan Lai is Asia’s Top Theatre Director.”
Asiaweek

One of the most influential playwright/directors in Asia, Stan Lai is also known for his award-winning films. Based in Taiwan, Lai’s plays (25 original works to date) have been performed throughout the Chinese world, and he is widely regarded as one of the most important voices in contemporary Chinese-language theatre. 

Lai’s most famous work Secret Love In Peach Blossom Land (1986) has toured worldwide, been made into an award-winning film (1992), and has had hundreds of unauthorized productions in China. Of its recent Beijing production directed by Lai, the New York Times calls the play “may be the most popular contemporary play in China,” and says that “by the end…the audience is left to contemplate the burdens of memory, history, longing, love and the power of theater itself.” 

Lai’s famous “crosstalk” (xiangsheng) plays, starting with the groundbreaking That Evening, We Performed Xiangsheng (1985) has helped create the large, popular audience base for his critically acclaimed work, while at the same time resuscitating the dying traditional performing art form of xiangsheng. His epic 7 hour A Dream Like A Dream received top awards at the 2003 Hong Kong Drama Awards, and has drawn comparisons to the works of Tony Kushner, Robert Lepage, and Peter Brook’s Mahabharata

Stan Lai’s plays have revived Taiwan’s theatre, toured internationally, and influenced a generation of theatre artists.The Far Eastern Economic Review describes his work as “the most exciting theatre in the Chinese-speaking world”; Newsweek calls it “the most recent piece of evidence that Taiwan is creating the boldest Chinese art in Asia today.” 

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). His innovative book Stan Lai on Creativity (Lai Sheng-chuan de Chuanyixue, 2006) is a best seller in China and Taiwan.

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