1994 Honorary Fellow
Cao Yu is the nom-de-plume of Wan Jia-bao. Born in Tientsin in 1910, he joined the Nankai Theatre Company at the age of 15 and soon assumed the principal roles in such major works as Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and Public Enemy. He began writing poetry, fiction and essays while still at school, and at 23, on the eve of his graduation from Tsinghua University in Beijing, he completed his famous four-act play Thunderstorm, which brought him instant acclaim. Other dramatic works followed, including Sunrise, Savage Land, Metamorphosis, Peking Man, Family, Bright Skies, The Gall and the Sword, and Wan Qiao-jun. His plays have been translated into many languages and performed in many countries including England, France, Japan, Mongolia, Rumania, Russia and the United States. All over China, his works continue to enjoy wide popularity through new productions and revivals as well as through adaptations into movies, musical plays, ballet, traditional sung drama and ballads. Cao Yu lives in Beijing and serves as the Chairman of the Federation of Chinese Literary Associations and President of the Chinese Theatre Association. In accepting his nomination to be a Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts while recouperating in a hospital, he sends his sincere good wishes for the Academy and expresses regrets for his inability to be present to receive the honour himself. Mr Chung King-fai, Dean of Drama of the Academy, will accept it on his behalf.