Translation-Direction Nadia Foskolou
Actors Elina Afendaki, Christos Derventzis, Natalia Katsarou,
Dephne Kafetzi, Tasos Pirgieris, Alexanros Sotiriou, Eleni Lira,
Aggeliki Floraki, Christos Christopoulos, Anastasis Christofilopoulos
Technical direction Michael Ikonomou, Kelli Foskolou
Photos Kelli Foskolou
Stan Lai, co-founder director of China’s Wuzhen Theatre Festival, will be attending the event in person.
Meeting with the playwright coordinated by Octavian Saiu, Adjunct Secretary General of the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC)


Curator’s Statement
Even the Far East can feel closer
In this unique “Focus Asia” Programme, we celebrate the great playwrights of a continent in which theatre is always somewhere between tradition and innovation, between a remote past and an immediate present, between myth and reality. Indeed, the inspirations and values at the core of contemporary Asian playwriting are so profound because they derive from this series of paradoxes.
Like a haiku or a Murakami novel, The Bee by Hideki Noda is mysterious and provocative, a true journey into the unknown. To discover it is simply a cultural revelation. In a text staged by thousands of directors and widely regarded as the masterpiece of twentieth century Chinese drama, Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land, Stan Lai creates the atmosphere of a theatrical tale like no other. It is a play within a play within a play... about love, history and identity. Pai Sam-Sik, a Korean master of dramatic craft, invites readers and spectators to confront a deep trauma of his nation, one that scarred the spirit of an entire continent. His «1945» is an act of remembrance and moral judgement.
Three plays, there authors, three artistic universes... One single principle, underlying the Readings and Conferences of “Focus Asia”: in theatre, through theatre, even the Far East can feel closer. [OCTAVIAN SAIU]

The Play
Two (very different from each other) theatre groups have been mistakenly scheduled to rehearse in the same theatre on the same night. Finding no other solution, they decide to split the stage in two. As they are forced to share the theatrical time and space, their worlds intersect, and questions around the clash between old and new, our relationship to the past and to history, and ultimately the point of making theatre, arise.
Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land is an iconic classic of the modern Chinese world. Perhaps the most performed and well-known contemporary play written in the Chinese language, it was created in 1986 by Stan Lai and his theatre group, Performance Workshop, in Taipei, Taiwan. In 1992 the play was made into a film titled Peach Blossom Land.
Having as a starting point a classic 5th century AD Chinese utopian text, Lai and his group created a piece beloved for its timeless themes, structural originality and playful meta-theatricality. The play has long been standard reading for theatre and literature students in Chinese speaking lands.
Lai directed an English version at Stanford University in 2007, using his own translation. In 2015, Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land was the first of his plays to be performed professionally in the Western world, at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.