Anthony Chan, Artistic Director of the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre (HKRep) from 2008 to 2023, is now the company’s Director Laureate. He is among the few distinguished theatre professionals in Asia with expertise not only in playwriting and directing but also in acting, set design, theatre education and stage management. To date, his scripts (including translations and adaptations) number more than a hundred; he has directed over 80 productions and designed sets for 13 shows. A former Head of Directing and Playwriting at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA), having served at the institution for 19 years, he has dedicated himself to nurturing a new generation of playwrights and directors. He also devised the institution’s curriculum for the MFA degree in Drama (Directing).
A frequent award-winner, Chan was named Artist of the Year by the Hong Kong Artists’ Guild in 1991. Other accolades include “Outstanding Achievements of the Decade” (1994) and “Outstanding Translator—Silver Jubilee Commemorative Award” (2009) from the Hong Kong Federation of Drama Societies. His works have also received numerous awards from the Hong Kong Federation of Drama Societies and the Chinese Drama Festival.
Chan’s scripts, each a microcosm of dramatic mastery, cover a wide range of topics, from his first masterpiece Metamorphosis under the Stars, to Footprint in the Snow (“Best Production” at the 10th Chinese Drama Festival, 2016), an adaptation of Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus, the original musical Field of Dreams (“Best Overall Performance” at the Hong Kong Drama Awards, 2008), A Bowlful of Kindness, a nostalgic look at the good old days of Hong Kong. All are testaments to Chan’s unique perspective and ability to shape words for the stage and his enthusiasm and talent in the dramatic arts.
Pior to joining the HKRep in 2008, he had collaborated with the company in such works as 1841 (playwright), You Can’t Take It with You (director, translator, set and costume designer), 1941 (playwright) and Formula of the Thunderstorm (playwright, director). Productions he helmed during his tenure leading HKRep include Caligula (translator, director), A Flea in Her Ear (adaptor, director), Boundless Movement (director), Scrooge – the Musical (translator), Cao Yu’s Last Soliloquy (playwright), Love’s Labour’s Won (playwright, director), Reverie of an Empire (playwright), 18/F Flat C (co-playwright, director), Wait Until Dark (translator, director), Hello, Dolly! – the musical (translator, director), Wolf in the House (director), The Imaginary Invalid (translator), 1894 Hong Kong Plague – the Musical (co-playwright), In Times of Turmoil (director), Buried Child (translator), Reincarnation of the Prunus Mume (playwright, director), The Big Meal (translator, director), La Cage aux Folles (translator, director), Speaking in Tongues (Cantonese adaptation, director), The Finale of Mr. AD (playwright, director) and All Good Things (playwright, director). Adhering to the HKRep's artistic mission, Chan contributed his talents in playwriting, directing and management, boosting productions of original local works and the Black Box Theatre, expanding the company’s offerings such as the Reader’s Theatre and Playwright Lab, fostering theatre literature studies, publication and education while strengthening international exchange. Always keen to discover the next generation of theatre artists, Chan has helped forge a new direction for HKRep.
Chan obtained his MA from the University of Colorado at Denver, having received prior training in theatre, art and design. In June 2013, he was made an HKAPA Honorary Fellow. He is currently a member of the China Theatre Association and an assessor of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.