Resident & New York Artists
Ever since its founding Kunqu Society has benefited tremendously from the support of outstanding kunqu artists who accepted invitation to become resident artists of the society as well as those who reside in the greater New York metropolitan area for its public programs. With their long-term support, the society is able to present to the general public performances, lecture-demonstrations, and workshop lessons on a regular basis.
A leading kunquperformer of clown roles in China, Mr. Cai is a graduate of the Shanghai Academy of Performing Arts and a former member of the Shanghai Kunqu Troupe. He engages and mesmerizes his audience from the moment he takes the stage, and throughout the performance. He has been invited to appear in many performing art festivals in Spain and United States. Mr Cai has been a Resident Artist of the Society since its inception.
Specialized in the painted-face type, Mr. Chen is a master portrayer of warriors and other characters with bravery, chivalry and a fiery temper. One of the first distinguished graduates of the prominent Shanghai Academy of Performing Arts, Mr. Chen was for years a major kunqustar with the Shanghai Kunqu Troupe. With his high artistry in singing, acting and acrobatic motions, he has made a profound impression on audiences in and out of China.
A graduate of the Jiangsu Performing Arts Institute, Mr. Cheng specializes in the role types of young male and state official. He studied with Kunqu master Zhou Chuanying, Gao Jirong and Cai Zhengren, and had been one of the leading actors of the Jiangsu Kunqu Institute for many years. He was known for his portrayals of the leading male characters in Kunqu classics such as: “Princess Floret,” “The Broken Bridge,” “The Horse Trader,” “Weeping to the Statue” and “Kneeling by the Pond.” He was winner of the Orchid Award for Outstanding Young Kunqu Artists and was recognized as a top-ranked performer nationally in China.
A graduate of the Shanghai Traditional Performing Arts School, Ms. Lok studied with kunqu masters Shen Chuanzhi and Zhang Chuanfang, and learned the performing skills of three female role-types: young vivacious female, young cultivated female and the virtuous female. Prior to her emigration to Hong Kong, Ms. Lok was one of the leading female performers of the prestigious Shanghai Kunqu Troupe. While in Hong Kong, she worked as a lecturer and an instructor for the Hong Kong Kunqu Association, and was in charge of a TV series of “Introductions to Kunqu Performing Art”. She helped organize many successful presentations to introduce China’s outstanding kunquartists and their signature plays.
A graduate of the Department of Performing Arts, National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts, Mr. Jing Shan specialized in the role type of wenchou (civilian clowns) and was employed by the department after graduation. He joined the Lincoln Center production of The Peony Pavilion and toured with the production around the world. He took the lead role in Chinese version of The Orphan of Zhao, another production by the center. Mr. Shan has long participated in the performing events of the Chinese American cultural-arts groups in New York. In addition to traditional theatre works, he has also performed in productions of budai xi (Taiwanese hand puppetry), piying xi (Chinese shadow puppetry), and experimental blending of various performing elements.
A well-known Kunqu performer of young and old male role types, Mr. Shen graduated from the Shanghai Chinese Opera School. He is a former member of the famous Shanghai Kunqu Troupe and had been on tours with the Troupe to many countries.
A leading Kunqu performer of vivacious young female roles, Ms. Shi is a graduate of the Shanghai Academy of Performing Arts and a former member of the Shanghai Kunqu Troupe. Her exemplary acting, dancing and singing – enhanced by her natural beauty of voice and appearance on stage – make her a star of Kunqu theater. She has been invited to appear in many performing arts festivals in Spain, Taiwan, and the United States. Ms. Shi has been a Resident Artist of the Society since its inception and a teacher of the Kunqu Workshop.
A consummate performer of the role type of guimen dan, elegant and refined ladies in Kunqu, Ms. Tu is a graduate of the Shanghai Kunqu School. With expressiveness, loveliness and an unusually lyrical soprano, Ms. Tu has made memorable to her audience all the parts she has played.
A well-known actor of the old male role type in kunqu, jingju, and yueju, Mr. Wen is a graduate of the Shanghai Academy of Performing Arts. He was a member of the Zhejiang Kunqu Opera Company. He joined the Lincoln Center’s production of The Peony Pavilionin 1999 and toured around Europe. Mr. Wen has been a Resident Artist of the Kunqu Society since its founding.
Mr. Wen graduated from the Beijing Traditional Opera School, specializing in the young scholar role. As the principal actor in the Northern Kunju Opera Company, he performed throughout China, Taiwan and Europe. In 1999, he joined the Lincoln Center’s production of The Peony Pavilion to play the male lead. In the U.S. Mr. Wen has performed with the Kunqu Society in New York and other Chinese cultural-arts organizations.