Ping-Fong Acting Troupe to close

Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, Aug 28, 2013 - Page 4

The Ping-Fong Acting Troupe (屏風表演班), whose founder Hugh Lee (李國修) died of cancer last month, announced on Monday that it will suspend performances “indefinitely” after its current tour ends in December.

The company will shut down after the tour of the comedy Shamlet — inspired by William Shakespeare’s Hamlet — concludes on Dec. 29 because of operational and artistic concerns, Moon Wang (王月), Lee’s wife and Ping-Fong’s program director, said in a statement.

Lee once said that for a theater group to sustain its operations, the most important thing was its works, but unlike typical enterprises whose products are connected by a brand, a theater group’s works are linked by their creator, the statement said.

Lee created and directed 30 of the 40 productions the group had staged since it was founded in 1986, and without him, that connection was lost, Wang said.

She said her husband had agreed before his death to close the group after it had put on all of its planned performances.

She said she could imagine the regret many people would feel after learning that the group was ending its operations, but she believed the spirit of the company would carry on.

The Shamlet tour opens in Taipei on Sept. 6 and will end in Taoyuan on Dec. 29.

Lee died of colon cancer on July 2 at the age of 57.

Since Ping-Fong was founded, the troupe has performed 1,793 shows in front of 1.49 million people.