Our Company 劇團簡介

about Four Seas Players

THE FOUR SEAS PLAYERS was founded by Dr. Joanna Chan, Ms. Sun Fu Lo, Dr. Leo Yam, and Mr. Chung Lo in October 1970 in New York City’s Chinatown, as a community outreach program for young people and recent immigrants. Its purpose is to promote a spirit of harmony and cooperation through artistic involvement and to nurture an interest in and appreciation for the dramatic arts, especially in the tradition of Chinese culture and its relationship with the Western art form as seen in New York. The name “Four Seas” represents the first two Chinese characters in the ancient saying: “Within the four seas, all men are brothers.”

With the financial support of the New York State Council on the Arts (since 1973) Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (since 2010), the community and its members, the Company has been able to produce two to three productions each year in Cantonese Chinese, Mandarin Chinese, and English. Through our corporate sponsorship program began in 1990, corporate sponsors has become major participants in a theater company that has been bringing pleasure and enrichment to residents of both the Chinese community and greater New York for almost five decades.

Under the artistic direction of Dr. Joanna Chan (1970-1972, 1984-1992), Mr. Yeh Yung-Ching (1973-1983), Ms. Liang-Tee Tu (1993-1998, 2004-2006), and Mr. Jackie Huang (1999-2003, 2006–Present), the Company has presented more than one hundred productions, ranging from Chinese and Western classics, such as The Monkey King, The True Story of Ah Q, Thunderstorm, Madame White Snake, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Lady Windermeres’s Fan to contemporary Chinese works, such as Fou Lei and Fou T’song, The Lion Bridge Tavern, The Peach Blossom Land, The Truth About Lying, I Love A-Ai, and Murder in San Jose.

Ms. Ruth W. Messenger, President of the Borough of Manhattan, proclaimed September 8, 1990 as in recognition of the Company’s “contributions to the world of theater and to the Chinese-American community.” She also cited the Company’s 20-year effort “to reach out to Chinese-Americans of different generations and to bridge the cultural gap between traditional Chinese and Western art forms.”

On September 17, 2005, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former New York City Councilman Alan Gerson, and Councilman John Liu all acknowledged the Four Seas Players for our outstanding achievements in the last thirty-five years.

Throughout its first decade, the Company was a vibrant and visible presence in various sectors of the Chinese community, especially among its youth. The second decade saw many of its members maturing and becoming professionals in their own right while remaining dedicated to the Company’s original vision. In the meantime, new immigration from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan has brought to the city a large number of performing artists and theater professionals. In the Company’s third and four decade, it found itself a meeting ground for Chinese actors, directors, writers, and designers. In addition to a core of professional artists, the Company has also attracted individuals from a diversity of professions, educational backgrounds, and talents.

紐約四海劇社於一九七零年成立,初以華埠天主堂為基地為僑社供康樂活動,並藉中國傳統藝術,促進中西文化互相了解及溝通。由紐約州政府(自一九七三年)和市政府(自二零一零年)資助,現為全美最大之華裔劇團。劇社成員除劇界專業人士外,還包括背景經驗各異的律師、時裝及廣告設計、電腦專才、建築師、商人、投資經紀、工程師、記者、會計、家庭主婦及學生等。

四海劇社每年在華埠鄰近之劇院以粵語、國語、或英語舉行二至三次公演,近五十年來未曾中斷。曾演出過百齣作品包括外國名劇,例如莎翁的《仲夏夜之夢》、小仲馬《茶花女》、王爾德《少奶奶的扇子》;中國經典作例如魯迅的《阿Q正傳》、曹禺《雷雨》、關漢卿《竇娥冤》、《白蛇傳》及現代作品,包括杜國威的《我愛阿愛》、賴聲川的《暗戀•桃花源》、黃詠詩《香港式離婚》和莊梅岩《聖荷西謀殺案》等。一九九一年上演上海戲劇家胡偉民以文化大革命為背景創作之《傅雷與傅聰》,由紐約新聞日報名劇評家史釗域譽為「劇藝瑰寶」。

為表揚劇社「在僑社之服務及促進中西藝術溝通之成績」,紐約的民鐵吾區長麥珊潔特於劇社二十周年當日頒賞文告,定一九九零年九月八日為「四海劇社日」。同期劇社在劇界邁進一大步,特選觀點獨立,反映時事的中國作品,介紹給廣大的觀眾,並致力培育新作品。近年更加闢亨利街藝術中心為演出場地。

紐約市長彭博、紐約市議員郭亞倫和劉醇逸在二零零五年的九月十七曰,皆宣佈表揚四海劇社在過去三十五年來在紐約市作出的卓越成就。

為致力培育新劇作,四海劇社成立贊助計劃,邀請各界人士參加活動之餘,每年一度熱心捐助,以支持華人劇藝繼續在美國發揚光大。