Director of HA Program in the Godot Theatre Company
Ying-Ju Tsai is the Director of History Alive (HA), an inter-generational community theatre program that shares elders’ life stories in schools and on the stage. One of her successes in the last ten years was when Taiwan’s Ministry of Education adopted HA into its national educational plan and helped roll out the program to 130 schools across the country.
HA was originally created and supported by Elders Share the Arts in the USA, and co-developed in Taiwan by the Godot Theatre Company and the Shin Kong Life Foundation, where elders’ life stories are integrated with the elementary school curriculum. However, under Tsai’s leadership it also evolved into stage plays such as, The Launderette and Hide & Seek with original scripts based on reminisces from many elders; these 70 minute plays consist of both old and young actors, who are not typecast for roles according to their age and have since been appreciated by over 11,000 audiences.
With her well-rounded experience in acting, scriptwriting and directing, Tsai feels satisfied by her personal development as an artist. Now she sees her main mission in life as an educator, using the arts to bring communities together and to challenge the existing stereotypes of age. In recent years, Tsai’s experience has been sought out in China, where she is invited regularly to conduct workshops for actors, musicians and the elderly. Tsai has an M.F.A. in Acting and Performance Theatre from Taipei National University of the Arts (Taiwan).