Introduction to Shakespeare in Asia

Co-authored by project co-founders and co-directors Alexander Huang and Peter Donaldson

While Shakespeare and Asia have been connected on stage and screen for centuries, Asia-related performances in Asia, the Americas, and Europe are currently experiencing an exciting new wave of creativity. Such encounters have generated extraordinary artistic and intellectual energy, leading to the transformation of traditions that has worked in both directions at once.

The center of creativity in Shakespeare performance is shifting from Europe and the U.S. to Asia, where directors such as Ninagawa Yukio, Suzuki Tadashi, Ong Keng Sen, Wu Hsing-kuo, and many others experiment with combinations of traditional and contemporary theatre, new strategies for working across languages and genres, new ways of reaching diverse audiences.

These works are widely recognized as among the most innovative and distinguished in the world; they are changing how we understand Shakespeare, serving as a forum for theatre artists to deal with such contemporary questions as national and Asian identity, and reshaping debates about the relation of East and West.






Thumbnail Title Play Director Year Company Language Country
36 Chowringhee Lane Henry IV, part 2, King Lear, Twelfth Night Sen, Arpana 1981 Film-Valas Bengali, English, Hindi India
A Midsummer Night’s Dream Midsummer Night's Dream Yang, Jung-Ung 2006 Yohangza Theatre Company Korean South Korea
A Midsummer Night’s Dream Midsummer Night's Dream Ninagawa, Yukio 1996 Point Tokyo Company Japanese Japan
A Midsummer Night’s Dream Midsummer Night's Dream Perng, Ching-hsi Green Music, Inc. Mandarin Taiwan
Akatsuki no rooma (Rome at Dawn) Julius Caesar Kimura, Shinji 2006 Takarazuka Revue Japanese Japan
All’s Well That Ends Well All's Well That Ends Well Perng, Ching-hsi 2004 Green Music, Inc. Mandarin Taiwan
Ang Pagpapaamo sa Maldita Taming of the Shrew Abad, Ricardo 2001 Filipino Philippines
Angoor Comedy of Errors Gulzar 1982 A.R. Movies Hindi India
Antony and Cleopatra (2011) Antony and Cleopatra Ninagawa, Yukio 2011 Ninagawa Studio Japanese Japan
As You Like It As You Like It Branagh, Kenneth 2006 BBC Films English United Kingdom; United States
As You Like It (Oki ni mesu mama) As You Like It Ninagawa, Yukio 2004 Saitama Art Theatre Japanese Japan
Bobby Romeo and Juliet Kapoor, Raj 1973 Yash Raj Films Hindi India
Bond (Merchant of Venice) Merchant of Venice Lü, Po Shen 2011 Taiwan Bangzi Company [Taiwan Yujutuan] Henan Dialect Taiwan
Bond (Merchant of Venice) Merchant of Venice Lü, Po Shen 2009 Taiwan Bangzi Company [Taiwan Yujutuan] Henan Dialect Taiwan
Charudatham Julius Caesar Harikumar, Sadanam 2001 Satwikam Malayalam, Sanskrit India
Chicken Rice War Romeo and Juliet Cheah, C.K. 2000 Mediacorp Raintree Pictures Cantonese, English Singapore
Coriolanus Coriolanus Lee, Hyon-u 2005 Hwadong Theater Company Korean Korea
Coriolanus (Korioreinasu) Coriolanus Ninagawa, Yukio 2007 Japanese United Kingdom
Curse of the Golden Flower Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth Zhang, Yimou 2006 Beijing New Picture Film Co. Mandarin China
Desdemona Othello Ong, Keng Sen 2001 TheatreWorks, Singapore English Japan
Desdemona Othello Ong, Keng Sen 2000 TheatreWorks, Singapore Australia
Hamik – Hamlet Hamlet Kim, Eunsung 2016 Seoul Metropolitan Theatre Korean South Korea
Hamlet Hamlet Kurita, Yoshihiro 2007 Ryutopia Noh-theatre Shakespeare Japanese Japan
Hamlet Hamlet Kent, Jonathan 2003 HoriPro Inc.; Setagaya Public Theatre Japanese Japan
Hamlet Hamlet Perng, Ching-hsi 2004 Green Music, Inc. Mandarin Taiwan
Hamlet Hamlet Yang, Jung-Ung 2009 Yohangza Theatre Company Korean Korea
Hamlet Hamlet Kishworjit 2001 Paradise Theatre Manipuri India
Hamlet Hamlet Yang, Jung-Ung 2010 Yohangza Theatre Company Korean Australia
Hamlet Cantabile Hamlet Bae, Yo-sup 2007 Tuida Theater Company Korean South Korea
Hamlet Project (references to Marowitz’s Hamlet) Hamlet Kim, Ara 1999 Festive Theatre Company Muchon Korean Korea
Hamlet Q1 Hamlet Lee, Hyon-u 2009 Dionysos Drama Group; The Flow Theatre Korean South Korea
Hamlet the Actor Hamlet Sung, Chon-mo 2012 MJ Company Korean South Korea
Hamlet the Actor Hamlet Sung, Chon-mo 2013 MJ Company Korean South Korea
Hamlet Unplugged Hamlet Lü, Po Shen 2005 Tainaner Ensemble Mandarin Taiwan
Hamulaite Hamlet Lin, Zhaohua 1995 Beijing People's Art Theatre; Lin Zhaohua Drama Studio Mandarin Japan
Heng li si shi Henry IV, part 1, Henry IV, part 2 Huang, Wushan 2002 Yi Wanran Puppet Theatre Co. Taiwanese Taiwan
In Othello Othello Abel, Roysten 2003 ANB Motion Pictures English India
Iruthiattam King Lear Raju, R. 2001 Arangam Tamil India
Josh Romeo and Juliet Khan, Mansoor 2000 United Seven Combines Hindi India
Kaamdeo ka Apna Basant Ritu ka Sapna (The Love God’s Own, A Spring Time Dream) Midsummer Night's Dream Tanvir, Habib 1993 Naya Theatre Chattisgarhi, Hindi India
Kaliyattam (The Play of God) Othello Nair, Rajasekharan Jayaram 1997 New Generation Cinema Malayalam India
Kannaki Antony and Cleopatra Nair, Rajasekharan Jayaram 2002 Malayalam India
Kathakali King Lear King Lear Leday, Annette 1999 Annette Leday/Keli Company Malayalam United Kingdom
Killbeth Macbeth Koh, Sun-Woong 2011 Playfactory Mabangzen Korean Korea
King Lear King Lear Tse, David 2006 Royal Shakespeare Company; Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center; Yellow Earth Theatre English, Mandarin United Kingdom
King Uru King Lear Kim, Myung-kon 2001 National Theatre of Korea Korean South Korea
Kingdom of Desire Macbeth Wu, Hsing-kuo 1986 Contemporary Legend Theatre Company Mandarin Taiwan
Kodumkattu (Tempest) Tempest Panikkar, Kavalam Narayana 2001 Sopanam Malayalam India
Lady Macbeth Macbeth Han, Tae-sook 1999 Theatre Company Mooli Korean South Korea
Lear King Lear Ong, Keng Sen 1997 TheatreWorks, Singapore Indonesian, Japanese, Mandarin, Thai Australia
Lear and the Thirty-seven-fold Path of a Bodhisattva King Lear Lai, Stan 2000 Performance Workshop of Taiwan Mandarin China
Lear Dreaming King Lear Ong, Keng Sen 2012 TheatreWorks, Singapore Bahasa Indonesia, English, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Singapore
Lear’s Daughters King Lear Tse, David 2003 The Women's Theatre Group & Elaine Feinstein; Yellow Earth Theatre English United Kingdom
Li cha san shi (Richard III) Richard III Lin, Zhaohua 2001 Beijing People's Art Theatre Mandarin China
Li’er zaici (Lear is Here) King Lear Wu, Hsing-kuo 2001 Contemporary Legend Theatre Company Mandarin Taiwan
Life Goes On (King Lear) King Lear Datta, Sangeeta 2009 Stormglass Productions English, Hindi UK
Ma ke bo si Macbeth Li, Zibo; Xu, Xiaozhong 1980 Central Academy of Drama Mandarin China
Macbeth Macbeth Kurita, Yoshihiro 2004 Ryutopia Noh-theatre Shakespeare Japanese Japan
Macbeth Macbeth Perng, Ching-hsi Green Music, Inc. Mandarin Taiwan
Macbeth Macbeth Chandradasan 2002 Lokadharmi Hindi India
Macbeth Macbeth Ninagawa, Yukio 1985 Toho Production Japanese United Kingdom
Macbeth Macbeth Kurita, Yoshihiro 2007 Ryutopia Noh-theatre Shakespeare Japanese Japan
Macbeth Macbeth Kurita, Yoshihiro 2006 Ryutopia Noh-theatre Shakespeare Japanese Japan
Macbeth Macbeth Chen, Dalian 2016 Chong Qing Theatre Company Mandarin China
Macbeth Unplugged Macbeth Lü, Po Shen 2007 Tainaner Ensemble Taiwanese Taiwan
Makbet Macbeth Estrella, Josefina 1999 Philippines
Makebai furen (Lady Macbeth) Macbeth Cao, Ping 2001 Sichuan Youth Chuanju Opera Co. Mandarin Taiwan
Maqbool (Macbeth) Macbeth Bharadwaj, Vishal 2003 Kaleidoscope Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. Hindi, Urdu Canada
Maze, Spectacle, and Music: King Lear King Lear Fu, Hongzheng 2003 OFF Performance Workshop in collaboration with Body/Sound Theatre Co. Mandarin, Taiwanese Taiwan
Meili de Shashibiya (Beautiful Shakespeare) Quintero, Craig 2003 Riverbed Theatre Mandarin Taiwan
Merchant of Venice Merchant of Venice Zhang, Qihong 1980 Chinese Youth Art Theatre China
Merchant of Venice Merchant of Venice Ninagawa, Yukio 2007 Ninagawa Studio
Metal Macbeth Macbeth Inoue, Hidenori 2006 Gekidan Shinkansen Japanese Japan
Midsummer Night’s Dream Midsummer Night's Dream Miwa, Elica 2006 Theatre Company Subaru Japanese Japan
Mr. Romeo Romeo and Juliet Mukherjee, Subhash 1974 Subodh Mukherji Productions Hindi India
Noh Macbeth Macbeth Izumi, Noriko 2006 Japanese Japan
Omkara Othello Bharadwaj, Vishal 2006 Big Screen Entertainment Hindi India
One Husband Too Many (Yi qi liang fu) Romeo and Juliet Chan, Anthony 1988 Cantonese China
Othello Othello Miyagi, Satoshi 2005 Ku Na Uka Theatre Company Japanese Japan
Othello Othello Perng, Ching-hsi Green Music, Inc. Mandarin Taiwan, Taipei
Othello: A Play in Black and White Othello Abel, Roysten 1999 India
Pericles Pericles Kim, Kwang Lim 2010 Hwadong Theater Company Korean Korea
Pericles Pericles Ninagawa, Yukio 2003 Japanese Japan
Prince of the Himalayas Hamlet Hu, Sherwood 2006 Hu's Entertainment; Shanghai Film Studios English, Tibetan Tibet
Puck (Midsummer Night’s Dream) Midsummer Night's Dream Koike, Shuuichirou 1992 Takarazuka Revue Japanese Japan
Raja Lear King Lear Bhuthiadia, Sharad 1993 Pratyaya Theatre Marathi India
Ran King Lear Kurosawa, Akira 1985 Greenwich Film Production S.A. Paris / Herald Ace / Nippon Herald Films Japanese Japan
Richard III Richard III Perng, Ching-hsi Green Music, Inc. Mandarin Taiwan
Richard III Richard III Wang, Xiaoying 2012 The National Theatre of China Mandarin United Kingdom
Rock Hamlet Hamlet Jeon, Hoon 1999 Seoul Musical Company Korean South Korea
Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet Perng, Ching-hsi Green Music, Inc. Mandarin Taiwan
Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet Oh, Tae-suk 2001 Mokwha Repertory Company Korean South Korea
Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet Oh, Tae-suk 2006 Mokwha Repertory Company Korean South Korea
Romeo and Juliet ’99 (Bow Shakespeare Series #3) Romeo and Juliet Ueda, Keiko 1999 Takarazuka Revue Japanese Japan
Romeo and Juliet in Saigon Romeo and Juliet Moustache, Cliff; Nguyen, Khai Thu 2012 Hat Boi Theater Company Vietnamese Vietnam
Romeo and Juliet Unplugged Romeo and Juliet Lü, Po Shen 2009 Tainaner Ensemble Mandarin Taiwan
Samrat Lear (King Lear) King Lear Brown, John Russell 1997 National School of Drama Hindi India
Search: Hamlet (Edison Theatre) Hamlet Ong, Keng Sen 2002 FACE to FACE; TheatreWorks, Singapore English, Indonesian, Japanese, Malay Denmark
Search: Hamlet (Kronborg Castle) Hamlet Ong, Keng Sen 2002 FACE to FACE; TheatreWorks, Singapore English, Indonesian, Japanese, Malay Denmark
Shakespeare in Tempo Year 12 Hamlet Ninagawa, Yukio 2005 Ninagawa Studio Japanese Japan
Shakespeare Must Die Macbeth Kanjanavanit, Ing (Ing K) 2012 Thai Thailand
Shamlet (Sha mu lei te) Hamlet Lee, Kuo-hsiu 1992 Ping Fong Acting Troupe Mandarin Taiwan
Shamlet (Sha mu lei te) Hamlet Lee, Kuo-hsiu 1995 Ping Fong Acting Troupe Mandarin China
Shamuleite (Shamlet) Hamlet Wang, Yue 2000 Ping Fong Acting Troupe Mandarin Taiwan
Shamuleite (Shamlet) Hamlet Lee, Kuo-hsiu 1996 Ping Fong Acting Troupe Mandarin Taiwan
Sintang Dalisay (Romeo and Juliet) Romeo and Juliet Abad, Ricardo 2017 Ateneo Fine Arts; Tanghalang Ateneo Filipino Philippines
Taitasu Andoronikasu (Titus Andronicus) Titus Andronicus Ninagawa, Yukio 2006 Ninagawa Studio Japanese United Kingdom
The Banquet Hamlet Feng, Xiaogang 2006 Huayi Brothers / Media Asia Films LTD Mandarin China
The King and the Clown (Wang-ui namja) Hamlet, Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night Lee, Joon-ik 2005 Eagle Pictures Korean South Korea
The Magic Hour Midsummer Night's Dream, Othello Raina, Arjun 2000 Khelkali India
The Tale of Lear King Lear Suzuki, Tadashi 1988 Suzuki Company of Toga English, Japanese U.S.A.
The Taming of the Shrew Taming of the Shrew Chung, Hsing-lin Tracy 2003 Denison University, Ohio English United States
The Taming of the Shrew Taming of the Shrew Perng, Ching-hsi Green Music, Inc. Mandarin Taiwan
The Tempest Tempest Dattani, Mahesh; Walling, Michael Playpen India
The Tempest Tempest Panikkar, Kavalam Narayana 2000 India
The Tempest Tempest Leday, Annette 2000 India
The Tempest Tempest Perng, Ching-hsi Green Music, Inc. Mandarin Taiwan
The Tempest Tempest Ninagawa, Yukio 1992 Ninagawa Studio; Royal Shakespeare Company Japanese United Kingdom
The Tempest Tempest Tsui, Hark; Wu, Hsing-kuo 2004 Contemporary Legend Theatre Company Mandarin Taiwan
The Tempest Tempest Tsui, Hark; Wu, Hsing-kuo 2008 Contemporary Legend Theatre Company Mandarin China
The Tempest Tempest Tsui, Hark; Wu, Hsing-kuo 2009 Contemporary Legend Theatre Company Mandarin South Korea
The Tempest Tempest Oh, Tae-suk 2011 Mokwha Repertory Company Korean Scotland
The Tempest Tempest Sohn, Jin-Chaek 2009 Korean Korea
The Tempest (Bow Shakespeare Series #6) Tempest Yoshimasa, Saitou 1999 Takarazuka Revue Japanese Japan
The Tragedy of Prince Zi Dan (Revenge of the Prince) Hamlet Shi, Yu-kun 2006 Shanghai Jingju Company Mandarin China
The Winter’s Tale Winter's Tale Perng, Ching-hsi Green Music, Inc. Mandarin Taiwan
The Winter’s Tale (Bow Shakepeare Series #1) Winter's Tale Kodama, Akiko 1999 Takarazuka Revue Japanese Japan
The Winter’s Tale (International Version) Winter's Tale Kurita, Yoshihiro 2008 Ryutopia Noh-theatre Shakespeare Japanese Japan
The Winter’s Tale -Barcarolle- Winter's Tale Kurita, Yoshihiro 2005 Ryutopia Noh-theatre Shakespeare Japanese Japan
Timon of Athens Timon of Athens Deguchi, Norio 1996 Shakespeare Theatre Japanese
Titus 2.0 Titus Andronicus Tang, Shu-wing 2009 Tang Shu-wing Theatre Studio (formerly No Man's Land Group) Cantonese China
Twelfth Night Twelfth Night Perng, Ching-hsi Green Music, Inc. Mandarin Taiwan
Twelfth Night (Bow Shakespeare Series #4) Twelfth Night Kimura, Shinji 1999 Takarazuka Revue Japanese Japan
University of Laughs (Warai no daigaku) Romeo and Juliet Mamoru, Hoshi 2004 Fuji Television Network Japanese Japan
Ur-Hamlet Hamlet Barba, Eugenio 2006 Odin Teatret Balinese, Danish, English, Japanese, Portuguese Denmark
Wangzi fuchou ji (The Revenge of the Prince) Hamlet Su, Leci 1994 Shanghai Yueju Company Mandarin China
War and Eternity Hamlet Wu, Hsing-kuo 1990 Contemporary Legend Theatre Company Mandarin Taiwan
Wayang Tempest Tempest Jenkins, Roger 2001 3.14 Company (Singapore) Singapore
Wu shi sheng fei (Much Ado About Nothing) Much Ado About Nothing Jiang, Weiguo; Sun, Huairen 1986 Anhui Huangmeixi Troupe Mandarin China