Co-Artistic Directors:
K. K. Wong
Wayne Chang
Executive Director:
Jason HaoWen Wang

Business office:
153 Centre Street, Suite 207
New York, NY 10013
Phone: 914-941-7575
YangtzeRSVP@gmail.com










WHO WE ARE

Co-Artistic Directors: K. K. Wong and Wayne Chang
Executive Director: Jason HaoWen Wang

Click here to read:

BIOGRAPHY OF FOUNDER JOANNA CHAN
FOUNDERS, STAFF AND ADVISORY BOARD
CHRONOLOGICAL PRODUCTION HISTORY

Between Life and Death, written and directed by Gao XingJian, the 2000 Noble laureate in literature, at the Cino Theater, Theater for the New City, with Eleonora Kihlberg as Woman and BinJung Lee as the Mime. (Photo by Christopher Thomas)

Yangtze Repertory Theatre of America was founded in 1992 to produce works for and by Asian artists. Since then, it has presented 76 events, and has become New York’s most significant entry point for dramatic works from Chinese-speaking countries and a place of collaboration for artists from various parts of Asia.

"The Story of YuHuan", written and directed by Joanna Chan, at Theater for the New City in April 1998, with Tysan as Lady YuHuan, Steve Zhang as the Emperor. Photo by Fulaka Mori.

Yangtze and its artistic director have been responsible for the New York debuts of many notable artists, including Dr. Wang XiaoYing, Deputy Director of China's National Theater in Beijing, and Gao Xingjian, the 2000 Nobel Laureate in Literature, who was brought to NY by Yangtze to direct his own play, "Between Life and Death," and to present a showing of his ink paintings. To date, these events remain the only full-scale presentations of Gao’s works in the United States. Most recently in Nov./Dec. 2005, together with Columbia Promotions, Yangtze presented Beijing People’s Art Theater, China’s most historic and prestigious theater company, in its signature masterpiece, “Teahouse”, in its New York debut during the company’s first U.S. tour.

"The Eternal Game," written by Wang WaiZhong, directed by Joanna Chan, at The Johnson Theater, Theater for the New City, in Nov. 1996, with Steven Zhang as King Liu and Lu Yu as General Han Xin. (Photo by Corky Lee)

Much of Yangtze's work has been to dramatize the forces of Chinese history. "The Life and Times of Ng Chung-Yin" (NY premiere 1998) was a controversial portrait of a journalist/activist. Joanna Chan's bilingual drama, "The Story of Yu-Huan" (world premiere 1998), dealt with the celebrated beauty (708-746 AD) whose hanging death exposed the injustices of a society not governed by law. "The Eternal Game" (NY premiere 1996) by Wang Wei-zhong (of TienJin) was a political allegory on brilliant men of integrity serving under lesser ones. Joanna Chan's "The Soongs: By Dreams Betrayed," which caused an uproar in the Chinese communities in 1992, examined the collective responsibility of the populace in the rise of tyranny, the myth-making machinery of modern media, and the delusions of the missionary movement and U.S. foreign policy.

Gao Xingjian standing in front of one of his larger works during Yangtze Rep's exhibition of his ink paintings at Pace University's Schimmel Center for the Arts in 1997. (Photo by Jonathan Slaff)

Yangtze has also co-presented 21 art exhibitions; 9 productions of new dance works featuring choreographers from China, Hong Kong, Philippines and Taiwan as well as associates of Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey companies; and 8 musical concerts, featuring the famed novelist/composer/vocalist, Sola Liu; the pianist Margaret Leng Tan, a noted collaborator of John Cage; and, presented with Columbia Promotions, Li GuYi, one of China’s best known folk vocalists; and China’s renowned pianist, Liu ShiKun, at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall.


Yangtze has been funded by the New York State Council on the Arts (since 1994), the Alliance of Resident Theaters/New York (since 1995), the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (since 1999), New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (since 1997) and the Asian American Arts Alliance (in 1998). It received a special development grant for emerging artists from the New York State Council on the Arts (1995).

(Back to top)

About Joanna Chan - Emeritus Director, founding member and Artistic Director (1992-2014)

Joanna Chan in June 2001 at her solo exhibition at the Gallery, Pace University, NYC. (Photo by Margaret Hurley)

An honoree at “An All-Star Salute to Chinese American Cultural Pioneers” at City Hall, NYC, in July 1993, (with July 9, 1993, named Joanna Chan Day in the City of New York), and a recipient of a 1994 Distinguished Alumni Award from Teachers College, Columbia University, where she earned her M.A., M. Ed., and Ed. D. degrees, majoring in Theatre/Communications, Joanna Chan has been a prolific playwright and stage director in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Canada and the U.S. for over 40 years.

Co-founder and Artistic Director (1970-77; 83-92) of the Four Seas Players in NYC, and Artistic Director of the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre (1986-90), Dr. Chan co-founded Yangtze Repertory Theatre of America in 1992 to produce works for and by Asian artists.

"OneFamilyOneChildOneDoor" -- Karen Tan, Hana Kitasei (higher), Penelope Hsu (lower), Brian Yang. (Photo by Jonathan Slaff)

The near-70 productions written, adapted and directed by her include Shakespeare’s Othello; Wilder’s The Match Maker as an opening event of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in 1989; the musicals The King and I, and Cabaret for the 1988 Hong Kong Arts Festival; the Chinese literary masterpiece, Dream of the Red Chamber, for the 1987 Hong Kong Arts Festival; Raymond To’s Where Love Abides which she directed and took to China in 1987; as well as her own plays reflecting the relationship between Hong Kong and China in view of 1997: Before the Dawn-wind Rises, commissioned by the Hong Kong Urban Council for the 10th Asian Arts Festival; and Crown Ourselves with Roses, commissioned by Sing Tao Newspapers, which, cited by the Asian Wall Street Journal as ‘a tour de force of our times,” toured North America in 1989. The play was included in An Anthology of Modern Chinese Theater as one of 23 most significant works in Chinese theater in the past 100 years, published by Columbia University Press (2010). An English version of Before the Dawn-Wind Rises has been included in An Oxford Anthology of Chinese Contemporary Drama (1997).

"The Soongs," written and directed by Joanna Chan, at the Johnson Theater at Theater for the New City, May/June 2003 with Lu Yu as Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek, Christy Qin as Soong Ching-Ling, Ji Wang as Soong Ai-Ling and Brian Yang as T. V. Soong. (Photo by Jerry Yeoh)

Her OneFamilyOneChildOneDoor, a black comedy on the human cost of China’s one-child policy, premiered in 2001, and revived in 2002 and 2003, was named one of two finalists in the Jane Chambers Playwriting Contest. She was commissioned by Hong Kong Repertory Theatre to write and direct The Empress of China which received its world premiere at City Hall Theatre in Hong Kong in Jan, 2011. Early this year, she was again invited by the Hong Kong company to direct her 1992 work, The Soongs: By Dreams Betrayed, that opened on Jan. 4, 2014, at the Grand Theatre at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

Dr. Chan began working in the Rehabilitation Through The Arts Program at Sing Sing Maximum Security Correctional Facility in 2002, directing the inmates in August Wilson’s Jitney in 2003; and in November 2006, in the critically acclaimed production of Sophocle’s The Oedipus Rex, that was hailed as a work that gave the play ‘one of its finest hours 2,500 years later’ (Michael Millius). Most recently, she was instrumental in the release of an innocent man jailed in Sing Sing prison for over17 years.

Joanna Chan directing "Oedipus Rex" at Sing Sing. Photo by Brent Buell.

Dr. Chan grew up in Guangzhou, China, and is a graduate of Chung Chi College of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, majoring in mathematics. A member of the Dramatists Guild in the U.S., she was a columnist for The New Evening Post in Hong Kong from 1986 to 1997. An accomplished painter and designer, her art works (oils, water colors and computer designs) had been presented in solo and group exhibitions in upstate and downtown New York.

Dr. Chan is also a Maryknoll Sister.

 


(Back to top)


Board of Directors
Lu Yu and James Nodroff (cofounders)
Rev. Raymond Nobiletti and Fred Filsoof

Executive Board members:
Bill Engst, Arthur Lai, Ashley Liang, Joanne Liu, Michael Liu, Wing Ma, Sam Su and Alan Zhou


Founders

Joanna Chan: Founding Artistic Director
Lu Yu: Artistic Liaison
James Nodroff: Legal Counselor
Jill Panfel: Administrative Consultant
Chris Thomas: Technical Consultant

Advisory Board
Dr. Gao XingJian: 2000 Nobel Laureate in Literature
Ms. Crystal Field: Executive Director, Theater for the New City, NYC
Dr. Sherwood Hu: Stage director, Shanghai
Ms. Lisa Lu: Film actress/producer
Rev. Raymond Nobiletti: Pastor, Transfiguration
Shirley Passow, Esp.: Attorney
Prof. Tian BenXiang: Academy of Dramatic Arts, Beijing
Dr. Wang XiaoYing: Deputy Director, National Theater of China
Dr. Leo Yam: Professor of Mass Communications
Professor Lin ZhaoHua, Stage Director, Beijing People’s Art Theater

Program Consultant: Evans Chan
Company Manager: Cathy Hung

Special Legal Counsel: Peter A. Cross, Jacob Medinger & Finnegan, LLP

 

(Back to top)


CHRONOLOGICAL PRODUCTION HISTORY

1993-1994

The Wilderness (in Mandarin) by Cao Yu; directed by Joanna Chan

First Exhibit of Asian Artists: 12 Asian painters including the great Tomonosuke go

Prometheus Bound (in English) by Aeschylus; directed by Lu Yu

4 Makes 5: New dance works by Marianne Bachmann, Camille Brown, Kenneth Topping and Yung-Yung Tsuai

An Exhibition: Photography by Corky Lee and art works by Eric Ernst

1994-1995

The Story of Dou-E (in Mandarin and English) by Guan Han-Qing; directed by Lu Yu.

Second Exhibit of Asian Artists: Lin Chu-Sheng/Lin Yi-Wen, Hon Chi-Hung, Yoo-Soo Kim and Subramaniam

The Rickshaw Man (in Mandarin) by Lau She; directed by Joanna Chan

1995-1996

Third Exhibit of Asian Artists: Lu KaiXiang, Zhang NaiGuang, Zhang RuJi and WooHyung Lee

Staged Lives (in Mandarin) written and directed by Joanna Chan

Among Us: New dance works by Cha-Lee Chan, Bin-Jung Lee and Cheng-Chieh Yu

Participation in the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts

1996-1997

Fourth Exhibit of Asian Artists: Yuko Ejiri, Mison Kim, Kuei-Hsiang Lin and Wen-Shyang Tsai

The Sound of a Voice (in English) by David Henry Hwang and The Eternal Game (in Mandarin) by Wang Wei-Zhong; directed by Joanna Chan

Ink Paintings by Gao XingJian

Between Life and Death (in English) written and directed by Gao XingJian

Participation in the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts

1997-1998

Fifth Exhibit of Asian Artists: Shi-Chao Yu and K. K. Wong

Variations in a Foreign Land Dance Series #1: Sun/Moon/Me choreographed by Yin Mei at Pace Downtown Theater in Sept. 1997. (Photo by Corky Lee)

Variations in a Foreign Land #1: New dance works by Cha-Lee Chan, Bin-Jung Lee, Yin Mei and Yung-Yung Tsuai

Haunts: Sola Liu in Concert

The Story of Yu-Huan (in Mandarin and English) written and directed by Joanna Chan

An Exhibition of Paintings from China: Zhu XiuLi; Li Nai-Qiang and Hua Qi-Min

Dream City: New York-Hong Kong: Post ’97, created by Shu-Wing Tang, Victor Ma and Mandy Yim

Participation in the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts

1998-1999

Sixth Exhibit of Asian Artists: Feng Yeh, Chen Wen-Fu, Keeny Fu and Choi Yeung-Yeon

The Life and Times of Ng Chung-Yin (Cantonese and English versions alternating) written and directed by Mok Chiu-Yu

Margaret Leng Tan Performing: A musical concert

A Joint Exhibition: Zhou Chang-Jiang and Wang Da-Lin

Variations in a Foreign Land #2: New dance works by Cha-Lee Chan, David Liu, Max Luna III and Yung-Yung Tsuai

Participation in the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts

1999-2000

Seventh Exhibit of Asian Artists: Qian De-Xiang, C. J. Yeh and Kyon K. Chon

"The Thunderstorm," written by Cao Yu, Directed by Joanna Chan, at Pace Downtown Theater, in Oct. 1999, with Christy Qin as Phoenix, Scott Shi as Zhou Pihg, Yung-Yung Tsuai as Lu ShiPing, ChiaChi Li as Lu DaHai and David Liu as Zhou Chung. (Photo by Ben Harris)

Thunderstorm (in Mandarin) written by Cao Yu; directed by Joanna Chan

Sola and Amina: A Chinese jazz concert

An Exhibition of top Selections from National Catholic Reporter’s Jesus 2000 Contest

Tales of Love, Far and Near: A musical concert by Scott Shi and Christina Yao

Naked Earth (in English) by Eileen Chang; adapted by Evans Chan; directed by Joanna Chan

Participation in the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts

2000-2001

Eighth Exhibit of Asian Artists: Jia-Ling Chen, Bao-Jian Zhou, and Ammen Yang

Variations in a Foreign Land #3: New dance works by Erika Akoh, Cha-Lee Chan, Maura Lee and Max Luna III

An Exhibition: Art Works of Joanna Chan

Crossovers: Sola & Friends, a musical concert

Butterfly Dreams (in Mandarin and English) written by Cao Lu-Sheng; adapted by Joanna Chan; directed by Wang XiaoYing

Participation in the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts

2001-2002

Ninth Exhibit of Asian Artists: Brian Tilbrook and Zhou Chang Jiang

OneFamilyOneChildOneDoor (in English) written and directed by Joanna Chan

Photography of Ethnic Minorities of China: Lu JiangTao and Wang XinJun

Variations in a Foreign Land #4: New dance works by Cha-Lee Chan and YiLing Li

Participation in the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts

2002-2003

Tenth Exhibit of Asian Artists: Hu YiPing and Zhu YeQing

OneFamilyOneChildOneDoor/First revival (in English): written and directed by Joanna Chan

The Shanghai Gesture (in English) by John Colten; revised by Joanna Chan; directed by Dan Wackerman

The Soongs: By Dreams Betrayed (in Mandarin and English) written and directed by Joanna Chan

Participation in the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts

2003-2004

Eleventh Exhibit of Asian Artists: Hou FeiYueh, Kevin Yang and Joanna Chan

OneFamilyOneChildOneDoor (in English)/Second revival: written and directed by Joanna Chan

Variations in a Foreign Land #5: New dance works by Cha-Lee Chan, Max Luna III and Sridah Shanmugam

Participation in the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts

2004-2005

Twelfth Exhibit of Asian Artists: Gu XiangYang

THE SUN SHALL RISE -- YiLing Li as Lulu, an early Holly Golightly, who lives in the Shanghai Hotel and relies on the charity of male acquaintances to pay for her extravagant lifestyle. (photo by Jena Wuu)

The Sun Shall Rise (in Mandarin-Chinese): Written by Cao Yu; directed by Joanna Chan

Li GuYi In Concert: Jointly presented with Columbia Promotions

Ren Ah, Ren (in English): Original novel by Dai HouYing; written and directed by Joanna Chan

60th Anniversary Commemoration Concert at Lincoln Center: Jointly presented with Columbia Promotions

Participation in the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts

2005-2006

Variations in a Foreign Land #6: New dance works by Kun-Yang Lin, Cha-Lee Chan, and Sridah Shanmugam

Thirteenth Exhibit of Asian Artists: Kaori Yoh Hamura,Blair Zhou

Beijing People’s Art Theater’s Teahouse

Youth Song & Dance Ensemble of China

"Luo Shen" (The Legend of the River Luo) -- William YueKun Wu as Cao Zhi and YiLing Li as Zhen Mi. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

Luo Shen (The Legend Of The River Luo), a bilingual production written and directed by Joanna Chan

Participation in the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts

2006-2007

LUNA, a full-length dance production choreographed by Max Luna III

Fourteenth Exhibit of Asian Artists: Wang ChenJiang, Zhang RuiXing

Asian Community Song Fest 2007

Love in Tears and Laughter, set in 1930s Beijing, adapted and directed by Joanna Chan in Mandarin with English subtitles.

Participation in the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts

2007-2008

Beyond Time & Place, a full-length dance production choreographed by David ChienHui Shen

Fifteenth Exhibit of Asian Artists: Hu Hong

Asian Community Song Fest 2008

Forbidden City West, written and directed by Joanna Chan

2008-2009

For Me, For Us, For Everyone (Variations In A Foreign Land IX): A full-length dance production choreographed by Leonides D. Arpon, Gerald Casel, and Max Luna III

Sixteenth Exhibit of Asian Artists: Mo Lung and Joy Wai

Bright Sheng and Ne(x)tworks in concert

In The Silence Of The Heart (in English): Written and directed by Joanna Chan

2009-2010

Seventeenth Exhibit of Asian Artists: Arthur LIU PiHua

Traces (Variations In A Foreign Land IX): A full-length dance production choreographed by Mica
Bernas, Kyla Barkin, David ChienHui Shen and Aaron Selissen

Meg Okura Pan-Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble: A Spring Concert

Chinese Blue Pipa Trio: A Spring Concert

Laughing In The Wind (in English and Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese); written and directed by
Joanna Chan

Participation in the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts

2010-2011

Eighteenth Exhibit of Asian Artists: Po-Chun Chu and Chin-Ta LIN

Bubbles (Variations In A Foreign Land XI): A full-length dance production choreographed by Eun Jung Choi, Jung Soong Kim and Eunhee Lee.

Concert 11 #1: Wei-Yang Lin (viola and urhu) and Yu-Chieh Lin (piano)

Concert 11 #2: Wang Jun-Ling (Guzheng)

The Empress of China: Written and directed by Joanna Chan

Participation in the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts

2011-2012

Nineteenth Exhibit of Asian Artists: Chen Wei-Li, Ge Shu-Qing, Jason Cao and Joanna Chan

Lady White Snake and others (Variations In A Foreign Land #12): choreographed by David ChienHui Shen, Ae-Soon Him and Young-Sil Kim.

Staged Play Reading Series #1: My Brother My Hero;
Soaring: A dance production choreographed by Ashley Liang

The Chalk Circle: Adapted and directed by Joanna Chan

Participation in the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts


(Back to top)