Megan Evans


Teaching in 2018

Research interests

Chinese Theatre, Intercultural Performance, Training Pedagogy


AB Stanford, JD San Francisco, MFA and PhD Hawai'i

Megan Evans received her MFA in directing and PhD in Theatre from University of Hawai'i at Mānoa where she studied Asian and Western performance history, theory and practices. She lived in China for three years, studying language at Nanjing University in Nanjing and xiqu performance techniques, theory, and history at the Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts and Central Academy of Drama in Beijing.

Current research projects

Research interests focus on efforts to maintain the aesthetic (and market) viability of xiqu (Chinese opera) in contemporary China, particularly on experimentation in the creation of new xiqu works. She is currently investigating the impact of China's explosive economic growth and shift away from central control and support of arts organisations on the infrastructures for xiqu performance and training in Beijing.

Areas of supervision

Asian Theatre, in particular, Traditional and Contemporary Chinese and Japanese Practice.

Major achievements

  • John Young Scholarship in the Arts, Honolulu, 2003–2004.
  • University of Hawai'i Frances Davis Graduate Assistant Teaching Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, September 2000.
  • State Commission of the People's Republic of China Chinese Cultural Scholarship and Asian Cultural Council (New York) Fellowship for dissertation research and study at the Central Academy of Drama and the National Academy of Traditional Chinese Opera in Beijing, 1998–99.
  • Law Clerk to the Alaska Supreme Court, 1986–87.

Selection of publications


Evans, M. "Translating Instability: Adapting and Staging Madam X and Mister Q (based on Can Xue's Five Spice Street)", Modern Chinese Language and Culture (MCLC) Resource Center Web Publication Series (April 2015)

Evans, M. "'Brand China' on the World Stage: Jingju, the Olympics, Broadway, and Globalization," TDR: The Drama Review, v. 56, no. 2 (May 2012), pp. 113-130.

Evans, M. "Two Belles in Love: Staging a 'Tradition' of Sexual Diversity in a Grand Scale Contemporary Chinese Opera," Compass Points, Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies 2012 Conference Proceedings.

Evans, M. "Signifying Beijing: Legitimizing Innovation in the Jingju Play Camel Xiangzi," Studies in Musical Theatre v. 5 no. 2 (Aug 2011), pp. 181-94.

"The Emerging Role of the Director in Chinese Xiqu," scheduled for publication in Asian Theatre Journal, Fall 2007.

Book chapter

Evans, M. 'Li Yuru and Female Role Innovation',  Published in Mandarin Chinese under my Chinese name (Fan Simei), translated from English by Jackie Wei, with assistance from Dr Siyuan Liu Continuity, Creativity & Life: Li Yuru and the Jingju Innovation in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century, edited by Fu Jin and Dan Yuejin (Beijing, Culture and Arts Publishing House, 2012), pp. 173-178

Conference presentations

"Slow Steps for Fast Times: Acting Challenges in Ōta Shōgo's The Water Station." Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies Annual Conference, Sydney, Australia, June 2015

"'Where There's a Forest, People Can Have a Good Life': A NZ Staging of Gao Xingjian's 1985 play Wild Man." Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies Annual Conference, Wellington, New Zealand, June 2014.

"Staging Sexual Diversity with Chinese Characteristics", full conference paper for the Asian Theatre Working Group of the International Federation of Theatre Research Annual Conference held at Warwick University, UK, 28 July to 1 August 2014

Live performance

Director of stage production, Wild Man by Gao Xingjian, staging inspired by study of and embodied training in jingju, noh, kyogen and Suzuki Method of Actor Training, VUW Studio 77 (2014)

Director of stage production, The Water Station by Ōta Shōgo, slow motion, language-less, post-catastrophic journey by characters passing a watering place, VUW Studio 77 (2013), remounted for semi-professional production at Bats Theatre, Wellington (2014)

Director and Adapter of Madam X and Mister Q, based on the book Five Spice Street by avant-garde Chinese writer Can Xue. NZ Fringe Festival 2013 (VUW Studio 77). Production tied for "Best Theatre" show and was nominated for Best Production Design, Best Ensemble, and Best Performance for one of the actors.

Director of stage production, Big Love by Charles Mee, inspired by Aeschylus’ The Suppliants, staging inspired by study of and embodied training in jingju, noh, kyogen, kabuki, and Suzuki Method of Actor Training, VUW Studio 77 (2011)

Director of stage production, The Master and Margarita based on Bulgakov’s novel, adapted by Edward Kemp, staging inspired by Chinese opera, Japanese noh and kyogen, Butoh, and Meyerhold’s Biomechanics, VUW Studio 77  (2010).

Performer, 'Auguste' in development workshop of show titled Auguste, I think, written and directed by Sara Brodie for NZ and Auckland Arts Festival.

Performer, "Beth" (supporting female role) in Holding On, by Gavin McGibbon. Bats Theatre, Wellington, NZ (28 August – 8 September, 2012).

View all Publications by Megan Evans


Teaching in 2018