Theater festival offers high-quality stage productions
Eleven high-quality stage productions from home and abroad will be featured at the 2023 Great Theater of China Theater Festival, to be held from September to December.
The festival, part of Shanghai's Show Life cultural brand, has been running since 2018 and has exhibited many original works by talented theater artists.
Art has no boundaries, said celebrated theater director Tian Qinxin, art director of the Great Theater of China, and theater can connect people to the world.
"The festival is our effort to explore and contribute to the recovery of theater, and it is also a good opportunity to feel the collision and resonance of artists' thoughts," Tian added.
Among the domestic and foreign stage productions, there are three global premieres, one Asian premiere, four Chinese premieres, and three Shanghai premieres.
French drama "A Bergman Affair" from the Wild Donkeys company is based on the novel "Private Confessions" by Ingmar Bergman.
It focuses on the desires, fears and dilemmas of a 40-something woman who is trapped by her current life and relationships. The story is told in a physical and experimental form with elements of drama, dance and puppetry.
American theater director Thaddeus Phillips steps back onstage for monodrama "17 Border Crossings," a new theatrical work that takes the audience to the frontiers of many countries, including Egypt, Cuba, Brazil and Austria.
Based on Phillips' own border-crossing experiences, the play weaves these accounts into a dramatic, visual and surreal examination of imaginary lines and curious customs.
The performance style begins as a classic monologue told from a desk and chair, but quickly morphs into its own skin, drawing inspiration from stand-up comedy, the Balkan films of Emir Kusturica, musicals about Austria, and native myths from the Amazon jungle.
"Silence in Bloody Wedding" marks the collaboration among artists of China, Spain and Japan.
Adapted from a play by Spanish poet and playwright Federico Lorca, the drama tells the story of a man, who, despite getting married under family pressure, cannot forget his former lover. Therefore, on the day of the lover's marriage, he rushes to the bride's house and they decide to elope.
Japanese director Hiroshi Koike applies elements of varied art forms to the play, including flamenco, singing and live guitar performance.
Professor Lu Xiaoping from Nanjing University directs the Chinese version of the South Korean hit "The Last Commitment."
Lu said that the drama takes a realistic glimpse into the collapse of two formerly elegant and gentlewomen due to life difficulties.
Concert "Wuxing" is inspired by the ancient Chinese philosophy of five elements. Ancient Chinese people believe that the elements of jin (metal 金), mu (wood 木), shui (water 水), huo (fire 火) and tu (earth 土) are the foundation of everything in the universe.
Famous percussion artist and composer Wang Beibei wrote the score for the concert. Wang said that she integrated a variety of music forms and art to express her understanding of the world.
Musical "July and Ansheng" is a stage interpretation of a heartwarming soulmate story from a hit novel, following the success of a film adaptation.
Producer and composer Jin Peida said that he was touched by the story about the growth of two women, who also experienced confusion and loneliness in this process.
Another highlight of the festival is original drama "Meng Xiaodong," which recounts the legendary Peking Opera artist's last stage performances at the Great Theater of China in 1947 through the blend of Peking Opera and modern theater.
For 10 consecutive days at that time, Meng and many other Peking Opera masters performed at the theater to raise donations for flood victims.
Also during the festival, Yuju Opera "The Qingfeng Pavilion," romantic comedy "Leading Actress," suspense drama "Traces and Lau 3" and drama "Caligula" will be presented. Art education activities will be offered so the audience can interact with performers.
Venue: Great Theater of China 中国大戏院
Address: 704 Niuzhuang Road, Huangpu District
For more information about the festival, follow the WeChat account of the Great Theater of China (中国大戏院).