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Nan Zhang joined the faculty of the theater department at Smith College in 2001. Nan received her B.A. in English Literature from Beijing University (PKU), her M.A. in Theatre History, Literature and Criticism, and her M.F.A. in Lighting Design and Technology from the Ohio State University.
As a lighting designer, Nan has designed for more than 30 productions in both the United States and China, including stage plays, dance concerts, musicals, operas and rock concerts. Her recent designs include Fuwa, a children's musical based on the 2008 Olympics mascots, commissioned by the 2008 Beijing Olympics Committee and produced by the Beijing Children's Art Theatre; concerts of the legendary Chinese rock singer Cui Jian at the Capital Stadium in Beijing as well as in Shenyang; Everyman Jack, an original opera based on the life of Jack London produced by the Sonoma City Opera; The Last Adventure of Sherlock Holmes at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre; and Meirenjiao, a new Huangmei opera at the National Center for the Performing Arts of China in Beijing.
As a theatre scholar, Nan has contributed to the Greenwood Encyclopedia of Asian Theatre (Greenwood Press, Westport, CT., 2006), and has served as dramaturg and script translator for a number of plays. Her new translation of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House was directed by renowned Chinese director Lin Zhaohua at the Beijing People's Art Theatre in 2007.