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UH Manoa theater professor receives award for accomplishments in Chinese opera

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Contact:
Jessica L Jacob, 808-956-2602
Theatre Manager/Public Information, Theatre + Dance
Posted: Jun 8, 2018

Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak in The Favorite Concubine Becomes Intoxicated.
Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak in The Favorite Concubine Becomes Intoxicated.
Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak (left) and Dr. Tsao's nephew and his wife (right).
Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak (left) and Dr. Tsao's nephew and his wife (right).

Longtime UH Mānoa Professor and Asian Theatre Specialist Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak in the Department of Theatre & Dance was honored with the 2018 Dr. Shuang Xin Tsao Private Foundation Award for "Outstanding, Creative and Unique Accomplishments" in the field of Jingju (also called Chinese or Peking Opera). The award was established in 2010 and has recognized other respected Jingju performers throughout the years. Wichmann-Walczak is the first scholar/teacher and the 10th recipient of the award.

“I am enormously honored to be given this award by Dr. Shuang Xin Tsao, to be included in the company of such well-known and respected Jingiu artists,” said Wichmann-Walczak. “This achievement actually speaks to the quality of the Asian Theatre program at UH Mānoa, the excellence of the Chinese artists who come here to train our students, and the continued community support we receive.”

Wichmann-Walczak earned BA degrees in Theatre and Chinese from the University of Iowa, and her MA and PhD degrees in Performance and Asian Theatre, respectively, from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Her field work for her doctoral dissertation was on the aural performance of Jingju in the People’s Republic of China. During this time, she became the personal student of internationally renowned actor and teacher Madam Shen Xiaomei, and performed the title role in an iconic Mei play, The Favorite Concubine Becomes Intoxicated, in Nanjing as well as nationally via film and television, becoming the first non-Chinese to perform Jingju in PR China.

Wichmann-Walczak has been with UH Mānoa since 1981 and has worked with Madam Shen to produce an intensive Jingju training program every four years, each culminating in public performances of a major play in English which she has translated and directed. Other major awards she has received include the National Xiqu Music Association’s Kong Sanchuan Award for excellence in research, creation and performance, and China’s National Festival of Jingju’s Golden Chrysanthemum Award for outstanding achievements in promoting and developing Jingju.

Dr. Shuang Xin Tsao Private Foundation Award Honoree History:

2010 Qi Shufang

2012 Tong Xiaoling

         Han Kuixi

2013 Wang Peiyu

2014 Chi Xiaoqiu

         Zhang Huoding

2015 Li Jun

2016 Jing Lianlian

2017 Li Hongtu

2018 Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak


Full photo captions:

Photo 1:
Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak in The Favorite Concubine Becomes Intoxicated.

Photo 2:
Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak was honored with a miniature and highly detailed stage diorama featuring a statuette of herself in performance, presented by Dr. Tsao’s nephew and his wife.