Desdemona Chiang is an Taiwan-born American stage director based in Seattle, WA and Ashland, OR. She directs in a variety of genres, including new plays, Shakespeare, and musicals. Chiang is known for her visceral, no-nonsense approach to theatre, with her distinct point of view as an immigrant and Asian American woman, and an interest in using storytelling to spark social discourse. Chiang co-founded Azeotrope with her colleague Richard Nguyen Sloniker to create theatre focusing on stories about invisible and marginalized people. Their most well-known production, Sound by Don Nguyen, was a bilingual show performed in American Sign Language and spoken English, and featured a mixed ensemble of deaf and hearing actors. Chiang learned American Sign Language for this project and co-directed with Seattle-based deaf actor Howie Seago.
Some of Chiang’s most notable productions include a re-imagined The Winter’s Tale at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival set in Dynastic China and New World America featuring an Asian American and multicultural cast, As You Like It at California Shakespeare Theater where the forest of Arden is transformed into an urban jungle, and a modern-day setting of The Crucible at PlayMakers Repertory Company. Her other directing credits include the Guthrie Theater (Minneapolis), Alley Theatre (Houston), South Coast Repertory (Costa Mesa, CA), Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Studio Theatre (Washington DC), Long Wharf Theatre (New Haven, CT), Seattle Children’s Theatre, and ACT Theatre (Seattle).
Awards/Affiliations: Princess Grace Award, Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Theatre, SDC Sir John Gielgud Directing Fellowship, Drama League Directing Fellowship.
BA: University of California at Berkeley. MFA Directing: University of Washington School of Drama.