Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak in The Favorite Concubine Becomes Intoxicated. (Photo courtesy: Kennedy Theatre)

Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak, left, and Shuang Xin Tsao’s nephew and his wife.

Long-time University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Professor and Asian Theatre Specialist Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak in the Department of Theatre and 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.”

More about Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak

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 UH 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 the People’s Republic of 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 and Han Kuixi
  • 2013: Wang Peiyu
  • 2014: Chi Xiaoqiu and Zhang Huoding
  • 2015: Li Jun
  • 2016: Jing Lianlian
  • 2017: Li Hongtu
  • 2018: Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak