Master Classes

In the spirit of "Transmittal," this year's Festival will include Master Classes, to give aspiring artists the opportunity to learn from both Chinese and International masters of the theatre in the Festival's rich environment.

The inaugural Master Classes will be held at the Festival from October 16 to 23, 2015, with a limit of 50 students. A fee of RMB 8,000 per person is payable, and will cover courses between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon daily for 8 days. The registration form is downloadable from the Festival's official website ( No on-the-spot registration will be entertained. All applicants will be screened and upon confirmation of acceptance by way of e-mail will be required to pay the course fee in order to complete the registration.

All course proceeds from the Master Classes will be re-invested in the Wuzhen Youth Theatre Fund for use as prizes for Young Theatre Artist's Competition and work incubation. It will also initiate the establishment of Wuzhen Youth Theatre Fund., a non-profit fund aimed at helping a greater number of young people with a love of theatre. The Organizing Committee of the Festival will continue to provide financial support of the initiative.

The Creation and Re-creation of Contemporary Theatre: {1+2=?}

These lecture-workshops will combine theoretical studies with each master teacher’s first-hand experience of making contemporary theatre to demonstrate the beauty and strength of creative work in an intimate setting. Examples will be used to give students a practical mindset and help them access the core of the art’s craft.

A - The soul of playwriting and the essence of the director’s work.
B - Various forms of playwriting and the sense of formality in directing.
C – Various approaches to playwriting.
D - The Stage Author: the playwright’s play vs. the director’s play.

w 16th Oct. 2015, 9:00-12:00
Workshop without Any Theme
Herbert Fritsch

Due to Herbert Fritsch`s artistic concept of not being prepared, this workshop offers the chance for absolute creative freedom. In keeping with the motto of not having any theme, the participants will rise to the rewarding challenge of improvising.

w 17th Oct. 20159:00-12:00
The Endeavor of Contemporary Theatre Practitioners
Tadashi Suzuki

This class will focus on Suzuki's theory of theatre and will highlight the importance and methods of an actor's training.

w 18th Oct. 20159:00-12:00
Poetry, Painting, and Theatre
Shen Lin

It seems that the word “theatre” has come only to refer to the building itself, rather than to the art form within it, as the director has taken up the role of the playwright, and the playwright has transformed himself into a generator of ideas. How are the theories and practices of theatre altered during that process? Shen Lin will share with the students his experience as an observer and a practitioner of the theatre.

w 19th Oct. 20159:00-12:00
A Philosophy of Creativity
Stan Lai

Stan Lai brings the topic of creativity to the philosophical level, giving participants a broad yet detailed analysis of the truths of creativity and its makeup. What actually is creativity? What are the conditions that are conducive to making creativity flow? What is good creativity? How can good intuition be carried out to produce good work? These are all questions that are essential to a theatre practitioner. Before lecturing on actual creativity in the theatre, Stan Lai will first bring the students into thoughts on what actually creativity is, and how we can access our own creativity.

w 20th Oct. 201510:00-13:00
Observe and React, Part 1

Thomas Ostermeier

This workshop does not focus on texts, concepts or themes; but simply on the nature of play itself. The actor is often too preoccupied with forcibly producing incentives and motives for acting from the inside—instead of lifting his gaze in order to perceive the world around him; and in order to use the presence of his counterpart as an incentive for his play. It’s all about observation, attention, rhythm, and—pleasure!

w 21st Oct. 201510:00-13:00
Observe and React, Part 2
Thomas Ostermeier

This workshop does not focus on texts, concepts or themes; but simply on the nature of play itself. The actor is often too preoccupied with forcefully producing incentives and motives for acting from the inside—instead of lifting his gaze, in order to perceive the world around him; and in order to use the presence of his counterpart as an incentive for his play. It’s all about observation, attention, rhythm, and—pleasure!

w 22nd Oct. 20159:00-12:00
Write Away: Take a Stab at Playwriting
Shi Hang

This three-hour session will offer the participants an opportunity to work side by side with the playwright and to get their feet wet in various playwriting exercises.

w 23rd Oct. 20159:00-12:00
Creativity in the Theatre
Stan Lai

In his second class, Stan Lai will analyze theatrical creativity, its theory and practice. Starting from broad concepts, he will lecture on what any theatrical work, regardless of style, needs to have in order to succeed. Stan Lai will also introduce the students to the special methods of theatrical creativity he has used as a theatre practitioner over the decades, giving the students a firsthand and close-up look at his creative secrets.


Herbert Fritsch was born on 20 January 1951 in Augsburg, trained as an actor at the Otto Falckenberg School of the Performing Arts in Munich, and then worked at various theatres in Germany and abroad. From the beginning of the 1990s until 2007, he was part of the team of actors around Frank Castorf, and regularly appeared on the stage of Volksbühne Berlin. Since 2000 he has been working on the serial, intermedia art project, Hamlet X. This project combines and unfolds in many different forms of artistic expression and media formats. Whether as film and theatre director, actor, author, performer, photographer and illustrator—Herbert Fritsch takes on a large number of roles in the ongoing production of Hamlet_X. After leaving Volksbühne, has worked as a director at major German theatres such as the Neues Theater Halle, Theater Oberhausen, Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden, Schauspiel Leipzig, Volksbühne Berlin, Bremer Theater, Thalia Theater Hamburg, Schauspiel Cologne, Residenztheater Munich, and in Switzerland's Opernhaus Zurich. His production, Ohne Titel Nr. 1 // Eine Oper von Herbert Fritsch had its premiere in January 2014. The staging has been enthusiastically received by both the press and the public alike and was invited to the Berliner Theatertreffen 2014. With his latest work Der die mann - a dadaistic “wordplay” by the Austrian writer Konrad Bayer, the director and stage designer Herbert Fritsch presented in 2015 the next successful evening in the Volksbühne.

Tadashi Suzuki is the founder and director of the Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT) based in Toga Village, located in the mountains of Toyama prefecture. He is the organizer of Japan’s first international theatre festival (Toga Festival), and the creator of the Suzuki Method of Actor Training. Suzuki also plays an important role with several other organizations: as General Artistic Director of Shizuoka Performing Arts Center (1995~2007), as a member of the International Theatre Olympics Committee, as founding member of the BeSeTo Festival (jointly organized by leading theatre professionals from Japan, China and Korea) and as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Japan Performing Arts Foundation, a nation-wide network of theatre professionals in Japan. Suzuki’s works include On the Dramatic Passions, The Trojan Women, Dionysus, King Lear, Cyrano de Bergerac, Madame de Sade and many others. Besides productions with his own company, he has directed several international collaborations, such as The Tale of Lear, co-produced and presented by four leading regional theatres in the US; King Lear, presented with the Moscow Art Theatre; Oedipus Rex, co-produced by Cultural Olympiad and Düsseldorf Schauspiel Haus; and Electra, produced by Ansan Arts Center/Arco Arts Theatre in Korea and the Taganka Theatre in Russia. Not just one of the world’s foremost theatre directors, Suzuki is also a seminal thinker and practitioner whose work has a powerful influence on theatre everywhere. Suzuki’s primary concerns include: the structure of a theatre group, the creation and use of theatrical space, and the overcoming of cultural and national barriers in the interest of creating work that is truly universal.

Shen Lin is professor in the Central Academy of Drama, Beijing. He received his PhD and MA degrees at the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, U.K., and did post-doctoral studies in the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. He was awarded “Distinguished Young Professor of Beijing Universities and Colleges,” “State Council Special Grant for Contribution to Culture and Art,” Ministry of Education’s “Millennium Endowments for Leading Scholars,” and “All China Drama Award” (Theory and Criticism). He has published in both English and Chinese on intercultural theatre, drama translation, Shakespeare and contemporary Chinese theatre as well as translations of Western plays and operas. He has been visiting professor at various universities in Europe and Northern America, and is currently fellow in Verflechtungen von Theater Kulturen, Institut für Theaterwissenschaft, Freie Universität Berlin. He has created and co-created Bootleg Faust (1999 ), Che Guevara , collaboration, 2000-2004, and Good Person of Beijing (2010-2011).

Stan Lai (Lai Shengchuan) is the most celebrated Chinese language Playwright and Director in the world. Asiaweek hails him as “Asia's Top Theatre Director,” and the BBC calls him “The best Chinese language Playwright and Director in the world, and pretty prolific, too.” Lai's iconic work has transformed the path of theatre in Taiwan and China today. The Orange County Register says, “Few theater artists can claim the kind of far-reaching impact Stan Lai has achieved.” Lai's oeuvre of over 30 original plays has pioneered new horizons in modern Chinese theatre, being described as “rare works that blend fine art with popular culture.” His most famous works include That Evening, We Performed Crosstalk (1985), which revived the dying art of "Crosstalk" in Taiwan; Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land (1986), described by the New York Times as "the most popular contemporary play in China"; The Village (2008), described by the Beijing News as "The pinnacle of our era of theatre"; and the epic A Dream Like A Dream, which China Daily has called "a major milestone in Chinese theater, possibly the greatest Chinese-language play since time immemorial," and which opened the inaugural Wuzhen Festival. Lai is also an award-winning filmmaker and twice winner of Taiwan's most prestigious National Arts Award. Lai was Professor and Founding Dean of the College of Theatre at Taipei National University of the Arts, and has taught at Stanford University. He holds a Ph.D. in Dramatic Art from the University of California at Berkeley, where he recently lectured as Avenali Fellow Artist in Residence. His book Stan Lai on Creativity has become standard reading for creative industries in China. In 2015, Lai's English translation and direction of his Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land was performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Thomas Ostermeier was born in 1968 in Soltau. From 1992-96 he studied directing at the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst »Ernst Busch«, Berlin. In 1990-91 he worked as an actor in Einar Schleef‘s Faust-Project at the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin, and in 1993-94 he was assistant director and actor with Manfred Karge in Weimar and at the Berliner Ensemble. From 1996-99, Ostermeier was Artistic Director of the Baracke at the Deutsches Theater, Berlin. In 1998 the Baracke was nominated “Theatre of the Year.” It featured many productions of contemporary dramatists, often by British authors until-then unknown in Germany, such as Mark Ravenhill, David Harrower and Sarah Kane. Since September 1999, Ostermeier has been resident director and member of the Artistic Direction of the Schaubühne. He has also directed several productions as a guest in other German theatres: Der starke Stamm by Marieluise Fleißer in 2002, Vor Sonnenaufgang by Gerhart Hauptmann, 2007, Die Ehe der Maria Braun by Rainer Werner Fassbinder (invited to the Theatertreffen 2008) and 2009 Susn by Herbert Achternbusch (all at the Münchener Kammerspiele),  and The Master Builder by Henrik Ibsen, 2004, at the Burgtheater in Vienna. In November 2004, Ostermeier was appointed as a curator (artiste associé) for the Festival d’Avignon. Knives in Hens (1997), Shopping and Fucking (1998), Nora (2003), Hedda Gabler (2006) and Die Ehe der Maria Braun (2008) have been invited to the Berliner Theatertreffen. In addition to numerous awards for individual productions, such as the Friedrich-Luft-Prize (Measure for Measure), the Grand Prix de la Critique for John Gabriel Borkmann (2009) and the “Barcelona Critics Prize” (Hamlet, 2009), Thomas Ostermeier received the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale for the entirety of his work in 2011. His latest productions at the Schaubühne are An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen (2012), Death in Venice/Kindertotenlieder after Thomas Mann/Gustav Mahler (2013), The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman (2014) and Richard III, by William Shakespeare (2015). In May 2015, he directed the world premiere of Yasmina Reza’s new play, Bella Figura. His productions are touring worldwide to places such as Paris, Avignon, Bordeaux, Marseille, Rennes, Reims, Barcelona, Madrid, Vienna, Naples, Sarajevo, Belgrade, Bucharest, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Novi Sad, Prague, Krakow, Dublin, London, Copenhagen, Oslo, Tampere, Brussels, Lisbon, Athens, Tel Aviv, New York, Caracas, Québec, Ottawa, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Taipei, Tianjin, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Moscow, Omsk, Venice, Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile, New Delhi, Kolkata, and Chennai.

Shi Hang, one of China's most prominent playwright/screenwriters, and also a producer, educator and critic. Shi graduated from the Central Academy of Drama's Dramatic Literature Department. His works include: I Love XXX, Maze, Labyrinth, The Magic Mountain, My Wife’s Name is Chang, and Murder of Hanging Garden, as well as the TV series Thunderstorm, and The Bronze Teeth I & III. He has also published a novel and has been host of several online talk shows.