The Stan Lai Collection is Now Available at the University of Michigan Press

by Briana Johnson on February 25, 2022

“Playwright, director, cultural ambassador, and internationally renowned theatre artist, Stan Lai is a global visionary. He is not only a singular leader in the formation of modern Taiwanese theatre, but also an artist who uses the space of performance to forge historical and geographic connection. This collection is a gift to anyone who cares about the transnational relevance of the theatre in the 21st century.”

—Shannon Jackson, University of California, Berkeley

Stan Lai (Lai Shengchuan) is one of the most celebrated theatre practitioners working in the Chinese-speaking world. Spanning over the past three decades, his work 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). Author to over 30 original performed plays to date, Stan Lai continues to pave the way for prolific, avante-guard Chinese theatre. Graduating from UC Berkeley in 1983 with a PhD in Dramatic Art, Lai has taught theatre at Stanford, Berkeley, and the Taipei National University of the Arts. From receiving Taiwan’s National Arts Award twice, to being inducted into the Chinese Theater Hall of Fame, Lai’s work has been recognized across theatre and film festivals around the world. 

Octavian Saiu, Professor Theatre and Comparative Literature at the National University of Theatre and Film, Romania described Lai’s work as “a mixing of Eastern heritage infused with Western values. His craft as a writer is matched by his theatrical acumen. His exploration of dramatic traditions is shaped by his contemporary sensitivity. Therefore, this selection of plays is not only a timely publication, but a tribute to an author whose wisdom and creativity are truly unique.” 

The University of Michigan Press is honored to bring the iconic plays of Stan Lai to an English-language readership, a collection of his work spanning across his career, providing an exceptional selection of a diverse range of performances. This collection was edited by Lissa Tyler Renaud (M.A. Directing, Ph.D. Theatre History/Criticism, U.C. Berkeley, 1987), known internationally as a master teacher, actor-scholar, invited speaker, writer, critic, and 2nd generation editor. The entire collection includes twelve plays, spanning across Lai’s career, and has received praise from theatre-aficionados and the public alike. 

Volume One contains:

Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land

Look Who’s Crosstalking Tonight

The Island and the Other Shore

I Me She Him

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


You can find each volume separately at, or buy the entire collection of Stan Lai’s plays here.

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