Selected Plays of Stan Lai

"The major contemporary Asian playwright of his time, perhaps of all time."

--Robert Brustein, from the Foreword

Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3

Published by the University of Michigan Press, 2022

Volume One contains:
Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land
Look Who's Crosstalking Tonight
The Island and the Other Shore
Ménage à 13

Volume Two contains:
Millennium Teahouse
Sand on a Distant Star
Bardo Blues
The Village
Writing in Water

Volume Three contains:
A Dream Like a Dream

Stan Lai (Lai Shengchuan) is one of the most celebrated theatre practitioners working in the Chinese-speaking world. His work over three decades has pioneered the course of modern Chinese language theatre in Taiwan, China, and other Chinese-speaking regions. He has been declared "the preeminent Chinese playwright and stage director of this generation" (China Daily) and "the best Chinese language playwright and director in the world" (BBC). Lai's works include masterpieces of the modern Chinese language theatre like Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land, The Village, and his epic eight-hour A Dream Like a Dream, all of which are in this collection.

These volumes feature works from across Lai’s career, providing an exceptional selection of a diverse range of performances, most of which are available for the first time in English. They have all been translated by the playwright himself.

List of Stan Lai's Work

Lissa Tyler Renaud (M.A. Directing, Ph.D. Theatre History/Criticism, U.C. Berkeley, 1987) is known internationally as a master teacher, actor-scholar, invited speaker, writer, critic, and 2nd generation editor.

“Stan Lai is the most important contemporary playwright in the Chinese-speaking world. Many of his plays are household names, known for their inventiveness, depth, and imagination. With its beautiful English translations and superb, digestible introductions by Tao Qingmei, this collection is essential reading for everyone interested in contemporary theater today."

—Emily Wilcox, The College of William & Mary

“The publishing of Stan Lai's Selected Plays in English is a major event! These plays describe a phenomenal artistic trajectory, outlining the work of a major international literary and theater figure. Deeply felt and formally complex, the plays in these volumes comprise a profound journey - one that is only possible through the combination of poetic insight with a deep knowledge of the theater and its practice. Stan Lai's dual identity as a writer and director informs every drama with a nuanced relationship to the stage and its visual landscape. Through these works, I discovered how completely Stan Lai bridges the consciousness of East and West - resulting in remarkable compassion and beauty. These translations are a boon to the English-speaking world.”

—Travis Preston, Dean, CalArts School of Theater, and Executive Artistic Director, CalArts Center for New Performance

“At certain moments in history, courageous artists arise to lead the way. Stan Lai is one such artist. His theater addresses the central issues of our time while helping to escort us, via rich theatrical landscapes, into a better understanding of community and individual responsibility. His work is poetic but always on a human scale. This volume of his selected plays provides a welcome addition to the growing appreciation for his remarkable accomplishments.”

—Anne Bogart, Columbia University School of the Arts, and Co-Artistic Director of SITI Company