Organic Design: A Dream like a Dream and Ago with Stan Lai and Sandra Woodall

Lecture | April 11 | 12-1:30 p.m. | Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Osher Theater

 Sandra Woodall; Stan Lai

 Arts + Design

Stan Lai and Sandra Woodall will hold a lively conversation about “organic design” and how that plays out in the upcoming play being created at Berkeley, Ago.

Sandra Woodall is a visual artist and scenic and costume designer. Ms. Woodall has contributed scenic and costume designs to American Conservatory Theatre, Eureka Theatre, Magic Theater, San Francisco Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet, National Ballet of Georgia, the Norwegian National Ballet, the State Opera Ballet of Austria, Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Houston Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Project, Singapore Dance Theatre and many other companies around the world. Recent productions include visual design of Winter Journey in Beijing, written by Wan Fang and directed by Stan Lai, Camino Real at the Atlanta Ballet and Games at the New York’s Joyce Theatre, both choreographed by Helen Pickett, and sets and costumes for the opening season of Theatre Above, in Shanghai, featuring the dramas of Stan Lai. Ms. Woodall is currently designing costumes for a 2019 world-premiere ballet by Liam Scarlett at San Francisco Ballet. She has, in addition, worked with designer Robert Israel in realizing the costumes for Philip Glass’s Akhenaten and for Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival’s presentation of Miracolo d’Amore by Martha Clark. Her designs have been featured as part of PBS programming.

Ms. Woodall’s artwork and designs have been shown in solo exhibitions at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut and the San Francisco Museum of Performance and Design, and in numerous group exhibitions, including the 2011 Wearable Art exhibit in Hong Kong and the 2014 NYC X Design exhibit. In 1999 and 2000, she was a Fulbright scholar teaching at what is now the Taiwan National University of the Arts (TNUA); she has contributed designs and visual consultation to many productions in Taiwan and China, including 2009’s stadium-scale opening pageant for the Deaf Olympics, scenic designs for the 100th anniversary-celebration of Taiwan National Day.

Ms. Woodall received DANCE/Bay Area Isadora Duncan Awards in 1997 for Costume Design for Michael Smuin Ballet’s Frankie and Johnny, in 1996 for San Francisco Ballet’s Lambarena, in 1991 for Visual Design for Margaret Jenkins Dance Company’s Age of Unrest, and in 1989 for Sustained Achievement in Design. She received Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Costume Design in 1995 for the American Conservatory Theater production of Light Up the Sky and in 1989 for the ACT production of St. Joan.

Stan is one of the most acclaimed playwrights/directors in Asia, known not only for creating some of the most memorable works for the contemporary Chinese stage, but also for creating bold new genres and staging innovations. He is artistic director of Performance Workshop in Taiwan and festival artistic director of China’s Wuzhen Theatre. Lai’s works, which include over 30 original plays, two feature films, and four operas. Born in the U.S. and based in Taiwan, Lai received a doctorate degree in dramatic art from UC Berkeley. He was a professor and founding dean of the College of Theatre at Taipei National University of the Arts and has also been a visiting professor and artist-in-residence at both UC Berkeley and Stanford University.

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