Apr 2014

the actors lab 2014

chekhov’s garden

Studio N2, Cattle Depot

The Actors Lab is a one-of-a-kind performance-based collaborative training and research programme for experienced and emerging theatre professionals.
Theatre du Pif invited a core of theatre practitioners to take part in a 6-week gathering devoted to practical skill extension and development, while researching and sharing ideas on the work of the Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov. Each week balanced informal discussions, scene-work, rehearsals and collaborative skill exchange between directors, writers, actors, musicians and video artists. 

Participants in the project explored during concentrated sessions with Bonni Chan and Sean Curran, scene-work, improvisations, physical, vocal and acting training and devising theatre based on Chekhov’s short stories and his play The Seagull

In April there were presentations of the work that had been developed throughout the project as well as talks and theatre skill workshops that were open to the public. 

Artists participating:
Tang Sai Cheong, Adrian Yeung, Cheng Yee Chai, Lau Ming Hang, Bonni Chan, Kenneth Sze, Or Ka Kee, Sean Curran, Andrea Nodroum, Winton Au, Yuen Wai Sun, Fayer Deng, Poon Chun Ho, Li Wing Hong^, Hofan Chau. 

Visiting artists and creative support:
Paul Poon, Lee Chun Chow, Victor Pang, Chan Wai Fat, Joey Leung, Luna Shaw, Edmond Tong, Chan Kiu.

^ With kind permission of Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

CAT•14 is financially supported by the Arts Capacity Development Funding Scheme of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.


"It is more valuable than endless production-based performances" Fredric Mao, Director Laureate of HKREP

"The respectfulness and concerns towards the text really moved me as a playwright" Paul Poon, Playwright, Resident Playwright and Discipline Leader in Dramatic Writing of HKAPA

"We really need this kind of project that takes theatre seriously, in this specific point of development in Hong Kong Theatre." Mandy Yiu, actress, Executive Director of Actors' Family

"This presentation reminds me what is the job and position as an actor" Rico Wu, local director and experienced drama teacher



Anton Chekhov  (1860-1904) 
Anton Chekhov was a critically acclaimed and landmark Russian dramatist and author. His career as a playwright produced four celebrated works (The SeagullUncle VanyaThe Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard) and his best short stories are held up as masterpieces of the literary form. 

Although he is now considered to be one of the world’s greatest dramatists his early plays were failures and it wasn't until The Seagull was revised in 1898 by Konstantin Stanislavsky at the Moscow Art Theatre that he gained popularity as a playwright. 
Stanislavsky understood that it was the internal and the emotional rather than the external plot that gave Chekhov's plays their depth and intensity stating:"Chekhov's art demands a theatre of mood as his characters often feel and think things not expressed in the lines they speak."

While Konstantin the aspiring symbolist playwright in Chekhov’s great play The Seagull declares: "What we need is a new kind of theatre... We need new forms... I don't want to show life how it is, or the way it should be, but the way it is in dreams."