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Ms Wang Chi-Mei, Artistic Director, Tanxinoon Theater / Seeing Smiling Theater of the Deaf

 

Chi-Mei Wang is a senior Taiwanese playwright, director, actress, and professor. With a BA in Chinese Literature from National Taiwan University and an MA in Theater from the University of Oregon, Wang has been teaching and promoting traditional as well as modern theater in Taiwan for more than thirty years. Now retired from teaching, she devotes her time to creative and charitable endeavors, serving as Artistic Director for both the Tanxinoon Theater and the Seeing Smiling Theater of the Deaf.

 

Her style simple, meticulous, and moving, Wang’s plays take on a variety of topics. The Orphan of the World, Children of the Good Earth, and Listening and Smiling, The Joy of Music-Making take the human feelings of the Taiwanese people as their subject. Tales of the Mountains and the Seas and A Musical Drama of Lukai Mythology from Taiwan Aborigines draw from the myths and legends of Taiwan’s aboriginal peoples. Wang has also plied her craft in the realm of sign language drama and plays for the disabled, her contributions spanning thirty years. Such works include First Moon, Full Moon and A Voyage with Mom, combines deaf and blind performers. Wang’s expertise at writing female characters can be seen in One Year, Three Seasons, Paradise Found, Remember Hong Kong, The Bride and Her Double, Living History of Wong Marry-King by Her Female Witch Friend, Good XL Good and The Pavilion of Praying to the Moon.

 

Busy both on and off stage, Wang has contributed to theatre, literature, and the humanities in a variety of ways. As an actress, Wang has performed leading roles in her own plays, taking the roles of outstanding Taiwanese women in Dancer A-Yueh, The Song Is Young, and Snow Red. In the pop-sci musical, Michael Faraday, Wang played the role of Queen Victoria of England. Offstage, Wang has contributed as chief editor of three works: Drama Interchange, Collection of Modern Drama, and National Literature Compendium Publication Project: Drama Volume. As a compiler, Wang has contributed the two works From Zero to Infinity—Collected Works of Very Special Arts in Taiwan, along with Story of the Mandarin Popular Songs. Other publications by Wang include Youth Sorrow—Taiwan AIDS Front, the prose piece An Ocean of Tenderness—Literary Memo of AIDS, and the memoir, Notes on Classical Theatre— Wang Chi-Mei Looks Back with Fondness.

 

Wang has received several awards, including the 1988 National Culture and Arts Foundation Award for Theater Direction, the 1993 Wu San Lien Foundation Award from Drama and Literature, and the 2004 Lai Ho Foundation Award for Culture and Education.