The story appears on

Page A14

September 13, 2021

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature

Seeking meaning of life after multiple catastrophes

THE epic drama “Ago” will return to Theater Above in January two years after its debut. The five-and-a-half hours’ production was written and directed by Stan Lai, an award-winning playwright and theater director from Taiwan.

Featuring five acts and more than 200 roles, the play is a collection of stories about a group of people from a tranquil mountain village in Yunnan Province.

Passing through almost three decades, they move from their hometown after a powerful earthquake disrupts their peaceful lives and razes their village to the high mountains of India, then onto the steel and concrete canyon of New York City where they stand on the brink of destruction once again on September 11, 2001. During the journey, they face catastrophes, one after another, and seek the meaning of existence.

Fate, time, space, humanity and nature are woven together in the play.

“Ago” is Lai’s second extra-long theater piece after the eight-hour play “A Dream Like a Dream.” It took him 10 years to write it. During those years, the play’s creative process started and stopped many times. It was not until early 2019 when Lai visited and taught a master class at the University of California at Berkeley that the play was written.

“It is like simmering food,” said Lai. “I accumulate inspiration from life little by little.”

Like “A Dream Like a Dream,” “Ago” highlights its staging configuration known as “lotus pond” — where the audience is seated in the middle of the theater with actors performing around them.

Both the staging and costumes were designed by Sandra Woodall.

The play stars renowned Chinese actress Hao Lei in the role of Xuelian, who runs a noodle shop, and pop singer Jason Zhang as Dorje, who has supernatural abilities.

Before returning to Shanghai, “Ago” will be performed at the Hangzhou Grand Theater in November and the Shaanxi Opera House in Xi’an in December.




Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend