Hosted Events


MADAM MAO Makes her American Premiere this fall

Devised by Janet Lo, Samantha Wan, Severn Thompson and Paul Thompson


The Toronto sold out production of Madam Mao is coming for a limited run at Boise Contemporary Theater Sept 20-22. Margaret Atwood, author of “The Handmaid’s Tale”, called the captivating and historically significant Madam Mao a “fascinating story”. The play examines the intriguing life of a major political figure during China’s Cultural Revolution; Jiang Qing, wife of Chairman Mao. This is the story of the most powerful, controversial and feared woman in the world; a woman who China is eager to forget and who the West never really knew.

Boise’s Madam Mao features the original Toronto cast of actors, dancers and musician.

–   Janet Lo (Jiang Qing) who has portrayed hundreds of roles and who is a regular in Canadian T.V comedy Second Jen.

–   Samantha Wan (Sergeant/Trickster) is an award winning actor and martial artist who stars in Jason Priestley’s Private Eyes airing on ION TV.

–   Amanda Zhou (Red Guard) is the former lead dancer of the Hong Kong Dance Company and is the granddaughter of singer Zhou Xuan who was known as China’s Golden Voice in the 1940’s.

–   Heidi Chan is a multifaceted musician who provides live music during each performance.

–   Madam Mao is directed by Severn Thompson who recently won a Dora award (Toronto’s equivalent to the Tony Awards) for best direction of Peter Pan.

–   Madam Mao co-creator Paul Thompson is one of the most remarkable and accomplished voices in Canadian theatre. He has received a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement and the Officer of the Order of Canada (equivalent to a knighthood).


Clever and engaging, it is a cohesive and terse-brimmed drama with exciting dance pieces, skilled choreography and a haunting score. The play Madam Mao is a tribute to the hundreds of thousands of people Jiang Qing persecuted while in power during the Cultural Revolution.


About The Play

“There is no such thing as Art for Art’s sake” – Mao Zedong.

In a Bejing jail cell, a young Official is drawn into the telling of Madam Mao’s story. The widow of Chairman Mao, who was once the most powerful and feared woman in the world, now a political prisoner, relives her life, replete with idealism and contradictions. Born into poverty, Madam Mao rose to power and then used propaganda art as the means of controlling a nation. With her sights set on becoming the next ruler of China, her quest for power led her to destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of her real and perceived enemies. Was she driven by revenge and ambition? Or has she been vilified by historical perspectives? Incorporating Revolutionary music and choreography, Madam Mao exposes the life of a woman who World History is eager to forget and who North Americans never really knew.


Director: Severn Thompson, Choreographer: Jeffrey Chan, Music Composer: Heidi Chan.

Original Concept: Paul Thompson, Janet Lo, Cast: Janet Lo, Samantha Wan and Amanda Zhou.


Show dates & times: Sept 20 – 22, runs Thurs, Fri & Sat @ 8pm, Matinees Thurs & Sat @1:30pm

Audience Talk Back after each performance

Approximate running time: 75 Minutes

Tickets HERE


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