Competition Jury
Stan Lai

Stan Lai (Lai Shengchuan) is the most celebrated Chinese language playwright and director in the world. Asiaweek hails him as “Asia's Top Theatre Director,” and the BBC calls him “The best Chinese language playwright and director in the world, and pretty prolific too.” Lai's work has profoundly transformed the path of theatre in Taiwan and China today. The Orange County Register says, “Few theater artists can claim the kind of far-reaching impact Stan Lai has achieved.”

Lai's over 30 original plays have been described as being “rare works that delicately blend fine art with popular culture.” Writing of the beauty and frailty of the human spirit, expressed through unforgettable characters and imaginative structures, Lai's plays have continually pioneered new horizons in modern Chinese theatre. 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 work he will bring to the Festival, A Dream Like A Dream, which China Daily has called "a major milestone in Chinese theater, possibly the greatest Chinese-language play since time immemorial." Lai is also an award-winning filmmaker and twice winner of Taiwan's most prestigious National Arts Award. Lai was Professor and Founding Dean of the College of Theatre at Taipei National University of the Arts, and has taught at Stanford University. He holds a Ph.D. in Dramatic Art from the University of California at Berkeley, where he recently lectured as Avenali Fellow Artist in Residence.