Claire Conceison is a professor of Theater Studies at Duke University. She was formerly at Tufts University, where she was also on the faculties of programs in International Relations, Asian Studies, American Studies, and International Letters and Visual Studies. She earned her PhD in theatre studies from Cornell University in 2000, her master’s degree in Regional Studies-East Asia from Harvard University in 1992, and her undergraduate degrees in theatre and East Asian studies from Wesleyan University in 1987. Her first book, Significant Other: Staging the American in China (2004) examines how Americans are portrayed in contemporary Chinese plays. She has conducted research in the Beijing and Shanghai theatre communities since 1990 and is the translator of several Chinese plays, as well as an active director. She is an associate-in-research at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University.
Ying Ruocheng (1929-2003) graduated from Qinghua University in 1950 and became a founding member of the Beijing People’s Art Theatre. A renowned stage and screen actor, he is also the translator of many plays from English into Chinese and vice versa. Between 1982 and 1993, he was a visiting professor and guest director at several US universities, and received an honorary doctorate from Bowdoin College in 1993. He was appointed China’s vice minister of culture 1986-1990 and remained a member of the National Congress until shortly before his death. He is remembered for his acclaimed roles in Bernardo Bertolucci’s films The Last Emperor (1987) and Little Buddha (1993), and he starred as Kublai Khan in the 1982 NBC television miniseries Marco Polo. His son, Ying Da, is a celebrity film actor, television sit-com director and talk-show host.