Arts Hong Kong Preview Theatre

Arts of Hong Kong 2022: Poon Wai Sum appointed as new HKRep Artistic Director

HKRep Artistic Director Designate Poon Wai Sum assumes the role of Artistic Director upon the retirement of Anthony Chan at the end of March 2023. Photo Credit: Eric Hong

The Council of the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre announced on 22nd August 2022 the appointment of Poon Wai Sum as the company’s sixth Artistic Director, upon the retirement of Anthony Chan at the end of March 2023. Beginning in September, Poon will serve as Artistic Director Designate, planning the company’s 2023–24 season and strategies for artistic development. He will officially assume the position of Artistic Director on 1st April 2023.

A Hong Kong veteran playwright and director with a prolific output and multiple awards, Poon Wai Sum served as Artistic Director of Prospects Theatre for 19 years, after which he taught at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts’ School of Drama for another decade, most recently stepping down as Dean. He is well-versed in the operations of a theatre company, artistic outreach and theatre education. He will lead the HKRep team in elevating the company’s artistic standards, promoting theatre education and developing cultural exchange platforms, bringing the HKRep to new heights.

HKRep Council Chairman and Artistic Director Search Committee Chairman Dr. David Mong says, “On behalf of every member of the HKRep, I welcome Poon Wai Sum as our sixth Artistic Director. I’m convinced his extraordinary artistic vision will bring the HKRep forward in great strides. Since 1986, Poon has worked closely with our company, creating such works as The Emperor, His Mom, a Eunuch and a ManHu Xueyan, My Dear and The Diary of Song. We look forward to Poon joining the HKRep and collaborating with Executive Director Marble Leung. Together they will uphold the company’s fine heritage, continue to introduce innovation, leading the company to mark new milestones.”

HKRep’s current Artistic Director Anthony Chan states, “With the blink of an eye, I’ve spent 19 seasons with the HKRep family. I must express my gratitude to the companionship and camaraderie I’ve enjoyed through the years, and extend my thanks to all of my friends on the Hong Kong theatre scene for their support. Having reached a new phase in my life, I’m happy to pass the baton to an old friend of the HKRep—Poon Wai Sum. Poon is a unique artist full of creative ideas, his artistic vision is expansive and his plays have won countless accolades; he is a rare talent on the Hong Kong theatre scene. I’m extremely happy and must also thank Poon for choosing our big family that is the HKRep. Under his banner for innovation, the HKRep will breathe a new life, setting new records for Hong Kong theatre.”

Artistic Director Designate Poon Wai Sum affirms, “Although the HKRep and I had met many years ago, I never expected, as life continued, that we’d find our tracks linking together. This is indeed serendipity. I’m also humbled and grateful that the HKRep chose me at this juncture. I’m deeply honoured that we are thus connected now. I will do my best to build upon the sturdy foundation laid by my predecessors with three goals in mind: solid dramatic texts, diverse theatrical styles, and capturing the spirit and energy of our time. Although my abilities are limited, I very much look forward to working closely with my HKRep colleagues. United in our dedication to make dreams come true in Hong Kong, we contribute what we can for what we love.”

Confrontations is the first production helmed by Poon Wai Sum since being appointed as HKRep Artistic Director Designate. He not only pens but also directs this seemingly dark comedy. The production runs from 24th September to 8th October at The Box, Freespace, West Kowloon Cultural District. Tickets available here

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