TWB e-letter

Dear reader,
The Africa Centre is now accepting applications for its 2017 Artist In Residency (AIR) Programmes. We are offering residencies in Australia, Brazil, Spain, Italy and the United States.
Mid – Late Career Artists interested in the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center residency in Italy can read the application guidelines  here.  Bellagio Center applications close on  December 1st 2017.
Emerging – Mid Career Artists – interested in residency opportunities at Bundanon Trust in Australia, Instituto Sacatar in Brazil, Jiwar in Spain, Fountainhead Residency in Miami or International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York, can read the application guidelines here. The deadline for applications in this category is December 16th 2017.
For further queries email:
Leadership Training – Estonia 2018 Applications for Leadership training are being accepted through November 10, 2017.


Fellowships for Arts Managers The Institute’s fellowship program is offered free of charge to arts managers from across the United States and around the world who are selected through a competitive application process. These fellows attend a four-week program in residence at the University of Maryland each spring for three consecutive years. For questions, please send an e-mail to


On November 15, 2017 b. creative, the global event for creative entrepreneurship will take place in Shanghai. Register. Join the discussion ahead of/during/after the event on the b.creative network Facebook group!

Magdalena Project presents the first international Women Theatre Festival in Frankfurt am Main, Germany November 9-12, 2017.
Words without Borders takes a look at Multi-cultural Quebec.
Subscribe to the SCENEOGRAPHER to showcase your talent while sharing expertise and ideas with friends and colleagues across the globe.
Join BETWEEN THE SEAS roster of artists and take advantage of the opportunity to promote your work internationally at the upcoming Association for Performing Arts Presenters Expo and Conference in 2018.
The tenth Performing the World (PTW) conference will be held in New York City, SEPTEMBER 21-23,2018
Deadline for proposals: February 15,2018  For any questions about your visa or registration, please contact Melissa Meyer at 212-941-8906, ext 304. For questions related to proposals, please contact Diane Stiles at 212-356-8412 or email us at For all further inquiries, contact Lois Holzman, Conference Chair, at

First cultural mobility experiences for European artists and cultural professionals in China

First cultural mobility experiences for European artists and cultural professionals in China

On the Move, the cultural mobility information network, launches its new online publication First cultural mobility experiences for European artists and cultural professionals in China: a repertory of web-links, developed to help artists and cultural players prepare their first travel(s) to China – and make the most out of it.

This online guide gathers a comprehensive list of online resourcesrelated to 8 key topics which are crucial to prepare properly a mobility experience in China: from understanding Chinese culture(s) and cultural policies to learning about relevant contemporary artists, from sources of funding to visa issues. 

First cultural mobility experiences for European artists and cultural professionals in China is conceived as a practical tool for artists – individuals and groups/companies – and cultural professionals from all fields and disciplines, and in particular young and/or emerging artists and small groups, who have limited time and resources to look for information. 

First cultural mobility experiences for European artists and cultural professionals in China is available at:

and publicly available for free download from this link.

This publication is funded by the Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the European Union (Brussels). 

Punks’ Carnival | TCG Circle

Punks’ Carnival

To give context to the difficulty of translating Punks’ Carnival, we need to look at its germination.  Originally, Punks’ Carnival started with Meng Jinghui, the final author and original director, and his company of actors.  Social criticism was integral to the creation of Punks’ Carnival.  Each actor had something they wanted to do or say in the performance.  At the start of the process, one of the actors had about 50 songs that he had written, which they whittled down to about 20 songs.  Another actor wanted to play women in all his scenes.  Then Meng created different scenarios that the actors improvised around.  Through improvisation and rehearsal, the scenarios were interspersed with the songs to create a mash-up of theatre that resembled a rock concert and an old vaudeville routine by Abbott and Costello.  Who’s on first?  What’s on second.

The play is still adapting and changing while being performed throughout China.  The original Chinese production has a full rock band with drums and other instruments.  For the performance in New York, we had a few acoustic guitars and a small djembe drum and about three rehearsals.  Victor Maog, the director, had the task of translating this frenetic blend of music and social critique into a theatrical event that American audiences could engage with.

In watching the original film of one of the Chinese performances of Punks’ Carnival, the Western influence was apparent on their performance style, but the cultural gap was distinctly apparent in the characters’ attitudes toward certain situations.  The events themselves were for the most part clear, but the characters’ attitudes to those events were what needed to be decoded.  All around the world, we understand aging, we understand the difficulties of love, but what is the Chinese attitude towards these things?

From the word go, Victor pushed to keep the play experiential.  Just as punk music needs to be felt in the bones, Victor wanted the actors and audience to feel the heartbeat of the play.  Victor described the experience as being in the ocean and being sucked into the undertow, where you have to struggle and fight to get to the surface, but when you do break the surface of the water your perception of the world is altered.  You see colors more vividly and make contact with the world differently.  Victor eschewed intellectual conversations about the play and encouraged bold choices and play through his energy and his attention to detail.  Meng’s play was a giant cliff that Victor encouraged the actors to sprint towards, close their eyes, and jump off.

Music leaped out of the actors.  Through Victor’s questions and suggestions, the songs took shape in just a few short rehearsals.  When songs were having a hard time coming to life, we would use the video of the Chinese production as inspiration for getting to the essence of each song.  The actors created music that mostly fit with the words that had been written by Lloyd Suh, the adaptor of Meng’s play.  Lloyd would then adjust the lyrics of the songs to better fit the musical rhythm being created by the actors while continually stalking the essence of the original.  Lloyd’s nimble use of language was amazing to watch.  He very quickly adapted the songs to fit the music being created by Moses and Robbie, two of the actors/musicians in the play.

 We would talk to Meng and Nick Frisch, the literal translator, about cultural references for each scene and what was being subverted to help translate the experience for an American audience.  The most pronounced example of this was for the scene Self-Evaluations.  Starting with Chairman Mao’s reign in China, self-evaluations have become deeply ingrained in the culture.  There is no direct American equivalent.  They are similar to a confession to a priest, only it would be a confession to an entire organization such as a school, village, or government agency.  Now imagine kids being forced to confess – some will drag their feet, others will relish in it.

For the performance at Signature Theatre, Victor opened up all the curtains and masking in the performance space.  Through the windows we could see snowy mid-town Manhattan.  We could see the bare walls of the theatre, the bare bones of the production.  The audience was left in light.  We were all sharing the space together, creating this evening of theatre much like an audience energizes a band in a rock concert.  As in China, the American audience was integral to the performance.

Watching the process of adaptation was transformative.  We translated the Chinese production for American audiences, but in reality we deepened our understanding of Chinese culture and faced our own cultural assumptions.  We started the process with shots of a Chinese liquor and we ended with some Kentucky bourbon.  Along the way, we smoked Chinese cigarettes that smelled like Lucky Strikes and found long-lost brothers in another country.  This process brought two seemingly disparate countries closer together and helped us celebrate our commonalities.

Jacob Titus’s work has been seen in New York at the Public in the 365 Plays/365 Days, HERE Arts Center, Ontological-Hysterics, among other theatres off-off Broadway, Brooklyn, as well as LA and San Francisco.  In 2010, he directed Promise Tomorrow Today which won Best Play in the Downtown Urban Theater Festival at Theater for the New City.  Recently Jacob directed FALLING by Amy E. Witting at the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival for which he was awarded an Overall Excellence in Directing Award.  Jacob is currently working on his Masters in Directing at Boston University and is the Literary Intern at Signature Theatre.

The Global Connections program was designed by TCG and is funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Learn more here.

Seeking masking specialist to lead a workshop in Shanghai

Concordia International School Shanghai is hosting a workshop for international high school students from across Asia in Shanghai at our private school from Feb 21 – Feb 25. The festival will bridge the gap between Greek theatre masking and modern physical theatre as we take our student participants on a journey to create original work on world issues in three days.

A masking specialist would have the ability to lead high school age theatre students in intensive masking workshops collaborating with three other specialists in dance, physical theatre and textual interpretation/playwriting.  The final piece, to be produced at our school for the community, will be a short play using the above listed form of theatre to express contemporary global issues reinterpreted via select Greek texts.

If interested and available, please contact Chad Doering at Concordia theatre.

Concordia International School Shanghai

999 MingYue Road

Shanghai, China 201206

86-21-5899-0380 ext. 8900 (phone)

86-21-5899-1685 (fax) (email) (website)

Contemporary Chinese Theatre: Martin E Segal Theatre Center

Events > International/World Theatre > Contemporary Chinese Theatre

Contemporary Chinese Theatre: Faye C. Fei, Janice Sze Wan Poon, Shixing Guo, + William H. Sun


Miss Julie Adapted/Written by Fei + Sun 
Photo by Junhua Fang

Playwrights, theatre artists and scholars Faye Chunfang Fei (Shanghai), Janice Sze Wan Poon (Hong Kong), Shixing Guo (via Skype from Beijing), and and William Huizhu Sun (Vice President, Shanghai Theatre Academy) join us to discuss plays, playwrights, aesthetic trends, and social context in contemporary Chinese theatre. Readings of excerpts from selected works in translation will be followed by a panel discussion addressing questions such as: how are playwrights addressing China’s recent rapid economic and social changes? How do the theatre scenes compare across China’s major cities? Under what circumstances do contemporary Chinese playwrights create their work? Presented with support from Theatre Without Borders (Roberta Levitow).

An artist-scholar of theatre, Professor Faye Chunfang Fei (费春放) of East China Normal University has been teaching and writing about theatre since earning her doctorate at CUNY/Graduate Center in 1991. Her professionally produced intercultural plays have reached diverse audiences in Asia, Europe and the US. Since 2006, she has successfully collaborated with William H. Sun on a number of verse-drama adaptations of Ibsen and Strindberg in classical forms of Chinese theatre.

Janice Sze Wan Poon (潘詩韻) is a writer and theatre professional from Hong Kong who is researching dramaturgy and new play development in the United States through a 2010-2011 Asian Cultural Council fellowship. Poon is the first Chinese playwright in the Creative Lab of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. She began as an arts journalist and then created Hong Kong’s first literary department as a member of PIP Theatre Limited, where she also inaugurated the first annual Hong Kong Playwright Festival and a Conference on Contemporary Performing Arts. Poon has edited five publications on Hong Kong theatre and culture; created and performed original solo works and collaborated on major productions; and had three of her plays received staged readings in the Hong Kong Playwright Festival.


Hedda Adapted/Written by Fei + Sun 
Photo by Jian Chen

Guo Shixing (过士行), resident playwright of National Theatre in Beijing, is China's leading dramatist. Best-known for his 1990s Trilogy of Dilettantes–Birdmen (Niaoren, 1991), Chessman (Qiren, 1994 ) and Fishman (Yuren, 1997),  Guo's plays are provocative psychological, cultural and environmental inquiries into everyday life. His more recent plays include Toilet (Cesuo, 2004) and Frog ( Qingwa, 2006) .

William Huizhu Sun (孙惠柱) is professor and vice president of Shanghai Theatre Academy. A playwright and director with a doctorate in Performance Studies, NYU, he has taught at four North American universities before returning to Shanghai in 1999. A consortium editor of TDR (New York) and editor-in-chief of THEATRE ARTS (Shanghai), he focuses his research and writing on social performance studies and intercultural theatre, with four major scholarly books and over a dozen plays seen in China, U.S., Japan, Singapore, Norway, France, Germany, Spain, Romania, and India.

Monday, March 21, 2011, 6:30 p.m.
Martin E. Segal Theatre. Free!


Genre: Comedy, Drama

By Don Thompson, Directed by Pamela Butler 

A exiled Tibetan Lama becomes an uncomfortable house guest for a Yale economics professor, who, along with his cynical colleagues, do not quite know what to think of the often irreverent monk. As the Lama turns his attention to the economist, the professor confesses some painful truths regarding mis-understood ideas and unresolved relationships. En route the Lama takes us on a sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant journey through what the tragedy of Tibet means in a modern context. With the turmoil in Tibet making recent headlines, Tibet Does Not Exist takes on special meaning.

 About the Company: Nicu's Spoon, Inc.

NICU’S SPOON: 2001 was our first season with our production of Displaced, a new play written by five women, based on stories, testimonies, songs and poetry of women and children refugees. This was submitted for the 2001 Pulitzer Prize. In 2002 we presented a multi-racial To Kill a Mockingbird, hailed by Back Stage as “Nothing short of inspiring!” We completed our 2002 season with In Perpetuity Throughout the Universe, a story of a woman who is a ghostwriter for hate books. This piece was chosen as a Village Voice “Voice Choice” for 2002. We presented our first plays with American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation that year. In 2003 we presented George Orwell’s 1984 and A Murder of Crows by OBIE Award w inner Mac Wellman, both pieces about individuality. We continued to include handicapped actors in both shows. In 2004 we presented SubUrbia by Eric Bogosian and were awarded th e 2004 OOBR award for best production. We were also a nominee for the Alliance of NY Arts Organizations’ Advancing Cultural Development Award. In 2005 we were profiled in United Stages’ “Seeing Stars” series and were Editors Choice in for our production of The Swan, as well as profiled for our production Stumps, which introduced a new kind of performance for Deaf and hearing audiences, called “co-playing.” 2006 produced a hit: the US premiere of Skin Tight, named the High5 pick of the week, as well as Buried Child, which challenged the idea that a Deaf/mute actor could not speak on stage. We were also given the Thom Fluellen Award by the NYU Community Fund in 2006 for excellence in programming and delivery of services to the diverse New York community. Time Warner Corporation has recently joined us as a 2007 season sponsor under their Diverse Voices program. In 2008 we have been awarded the NYC/Mayors office Snapple award for the best people to work for in NYC, as well as taking our Spring show 'Elizabeth Rex' to an Off-Broadway Premiere, garnering two NY Innovative Theater Award nominations and a win for Outstanding Actress in a lead role.

Company: Nicu's Spoon, Inc.         Official Web Site:
OOBR winner, NYITA Winner, Thom Fluellen Award Winner
'Changing the world, one play at a time'

Artists to Outnumber Olympic Athletes in Beijing

Artists to Outnumber Athletes in Beijing
ARTINFO, 8/6/2008
"For every athlete competing in the Olympic games in Beijing, there will be two artists performing or showing work, reports Bloomberg. According to the Chinese Ministry of Culture, the country has invited some 20,000 artists from more than 80 countries to put on 300 shows as part of the international spectacle. "

China – US Cultural Exchange 2007-2009

Chinese culture thrives in U.S.
People's Daily Online (China), 3/21/2008

"The governments of China and the United States have renewed an Accord for the Implementation of Cultural Exchange for the period of 2007 to 2009. The cultural accord recommits both governments to facilitate cultural, educational and artistic exchanges. The task of translating and publishing each others' literary and art work has been listed as a new item in the pact."