Wu Hsing-kuo

Wu Hsing-kuo (吳興國) is a Taiwanese actor of the silver screen and theater, known for both his performance of complex movie roles as much as for his innovative adaptations of Western classics into traditional Peking Opera. Wu was trained in classical Peking Opera since the age of 11 in Taiwan's state-run Fu-Hsing Chinese Opera School, specializing in wu sheng (male martial) roles. He was admitted with honors into the Theatre Department of Chinese Culture University in Taipei, trained under master Chou Cheng-jung (Zhou Zheng-rong) and became leading dancer of Lin Hwai-min's Cloud Gate Dance Theatre. In 1986, he and a group of enthusiastic friends founded the Contemporary Legend Theatre (當代傳奇劇場) in Taipei, seeking to revitalize traditional Chinese theatre by adapting Western classical plays to the style and techniques of Peking Opera. He was the leading actor and director of four Shakespeare adaptations, including the critically acclaimed Kingdom of Desire (慾望城國), an adaptation of Macbeth, and King Lear (李爾在此), in which Wu plays all the parts. In 1992, Wu was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study in New York with Richard Schechner.


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