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May 16, 2007

Leading Chinese playwright to debut English-language production of 'Sand on a Distant Star'

The Asian American Theater Project is performing Sand on a Distant Star, written by one of China's top playwrights and directors, Stan Lai, May 17-20 at Kresge Auditorium. It will be the first production of the play in English.

Lai, a visiting professor in the Drama Department, is artistic director for the Performance Workshop Theatre of Taiwan.

Directed by Stanford student Linda Serrato, Sand on a Distant Star takes place on the streets of Taipei. An illegal street vendor named Nightingale, who believes her husband was abducted by aliens, is awaiting his return as she sells watches that keep two sets of time: one the "regular" time, and the other stopped at the defining moment of a life.

Lai received his doctorate in dramatic art from the University of California-Berkeley in 1983. He has received Taiwan's highest award for the arts, the National Arts Award, an unprecedented two times.

Lai has written and directed 27 original plays. His eight-hour epic, A Dream Like a Dream, received top awards at the 2003 Hong Kong Drama Awards and has drawn comparisons to Peter Brook's Mahabharata. Lai's most famous work, Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land, has toured worldwide and was made into an award-winning 1992 film. The Chinese Theater Association selected it as one of the top 10 plays of modern Chinese theater. Stanford's Drama Department staged a campus production of the play last February.

Performances are scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Kresge Auditorium. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for staff/faculty/seniors and $5 for students. Tickets are available at the door or by reservation at



Cynthia Haven, News Service: (650) 724-6184,

Katie Pfeiffer, Drama Department: (650) 723-1342,


Linda Serrato, director: (909) 268-8627,

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