Public Seminar One: Introducing the work of Jan Pappelbaum

This June, the 2018 edition of our three-year programme on scenography, “What Is Stage: From Text to Space”, opens with a public seminar in which theatre director and programme curator Edward Lam, a passionate observer of contemporary European theatre, shares his observations on the work of Jan Pappelbaum, Head of Stage Design at the Schaubühne Berlin.

Since joining the Schaubühne in 2000, Pappelbaum has designed the sets for more than fifty Schaubühne productions. This impressive body of work, evolved over a period of less than 20 years, makes Pappelbaum’s design aesthetics a force to be reckoned with. But his fundamental ideas on stage design are simple: a set must create a space in which the actors can be seen and heard well.

The son of actors, Pappelbaum’s relationship with theatre began early. While studying architecture at the Bauhaus-University in Weimar, he began to put his knowledge of materials into practice with stage design, developing a minimalist style that gives equal weight to form and function, as well as the nature of materials. Since the 1990s, Pappelbaum has worked with renowned director Thomas Ostermeier, who was made artistic director of the Schaubühne in 1999.

Pappelbaum’s work includes a number of classical adaptations transformed and interpreted with modern aesthetics and a contemporary social focus, which Lam will examine during the seminar, as both an introduction to this year’s What is Stage series, and an introduction to a highly influential contemporary scenographer.

The seminar is free and open to theatre professionals and those with an interest in contemporary theatre.

Local and international audiences will also be able to watch the seminar live-streamed from the West Kowloon Cultural District’s YouTube and Facebook pages.

Free Live-streaming date and time:
10 June 2018, 3:30pm-6:30pm
Language: Conducted in Cantonese and supplemented in Mandarin (simultaneous interpretation is not available for the live-streaming)
Free live-streaming channels:

10 June 2018 (Sunday)


Recital Hall, 3/F, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (1 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong)

Edward Lam (Artistic Director, Edward Lam Dance Theatre)

Conducted in Cantonese and supplemented in Mandarin

Target Participants:
Theatre professionals and those with an interest in theatre

Free admission. Limited capacity on a first come, first served basis. Advance registration required.


Mr Yu: (852) 2200 0804, 

Adverse Weather Arrangements:
If a black rainstorm warning, or a typhoon signal no. 8 or above is in force three hours before the start of the talk, the talk will be cancelled.

About the speaker:

Edward Lam
Artistic Director, Edward Lam Dance Theatre

Artistic Director and Theatre Director of Edward Lam Dance Theatre. He founded Zuni Icosahedron with friends in the early 1980s, and established Edward Lam Dance Theatre during his residence in London (1989 to 1995). Since returning to Hong Kong in 1995, he has devoted himself to theatre and directed 58 original works. Lam was awarded the Best Director in Modern Drama Valley’s One Drama Award in 2010 for his work Men and Women, War and Peace, and in 2012 for The Doppelgänger, and in 2017 for What is Sex. Lam was give the Artist of the Year (Theatre) award by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council in 2017. His latest work, Why We Chat will re-run in Hong Kong in June 2018.

Recent books include Leading Ladies of the Mandarin Cinema (2014), and his first book on directing, Who is Afraid of Edward Lam, published by Performing Arts Review in Taiwan in 2016.