Adaptation and Transformation: A Conversation with Mary Zimmerman and Stan Lai

Lecture | January 31 | 12-1:30 p.m. | Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Osher Theater

 Mary Zimmerman; Stan Lai

 Arts + Design

Mary Zimmerman is a playwright and director of theatre and opera based in Chicago. She is the 1998 recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the 2002 Tony Award and Obie for Best Director (for her play Metamorphoses), and many Chicago Joseph Jefferson Awards, including Best Production and Best Director. She specializes in the adaptation of classical texts for the stage. Her plays – particularly Metamorphoses, The Secret in the Wings (based on fairy tales) and The Odyssey – are produced over 100 times each year around the world in universities, high schools and other amature and professional venues. This talk will discuss adaptation as a theatrical method, and the current staging of Metamorphoses at the Berkeley Rep.

What does it mean to provide campus-wide arts access and engagement to 40,000 students at one of the top public research universities in the Nation? In 2017 UC Berkeley's Arts + Design Initiative and the Campus CTO set out to provide arts access by developing the first ever digital Arts Passport App using Modo Labs. The Arts Passport and accompanying pilot program removes economic and accessibility barriers so students can claim free and subsidized tickets to on- and off-campus events and programs and future incentivizes participation. Since its launch and promotion in 2018, the passport has served nearly 1/4 of the student population and continues to thrive.

Course Description: Co-taught by Peter Glazer and Stan Lai, this series will explore the specific and metaphoric connections amongst Creative action—adapting Stan Lai’s concepts and training—and the possibility of personal, cultural, and social transformation. How do we understand movement, migration, and change both metaphorically and literally? How do artists working in literature, visual art, film, performance, and design explore and enact transformation? Aside from featuring insight into the works and creative methods of Asia’s Stan Lai, the series will also delve into current trends in Latino-American/Latino arts, as well as European and African art and performance.

Arts + Design Thursdays is made possible thanks to support from the Big Ideas Courses Program in the College of Letters & Science at UC Berkeley and from generous supporters of Berkeley Arts + Design. For more information, visit

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 All Audiences