From Shakespeare to 'Peking Man' ─ an art feast at Shanghai Poly Theater

The theater's new season offers 33 programs and 56 performances, covering a broad range of styles to offer a wide experience for local audiences.
Ti Gong

The dance drama "Soaring Wings: Journey of the Crested Ibises" is produced by the Shanghai Dance Theater.

Thirty-three programs, 56 performances ─ the Shanghai Poly Grand Theater will offer local audiences a rich cultural experience this spring.

The new season’s programs cover various categories including music, drama, dance, traditional Chinese opera and children’s theater.

Renowned violinist Pinchas Zukerman will perform with the Pacific Symphony, and German pianists Andreas Kern and Paul Cibis will “compete” against each other on stage.

“This will be a very interesting piano battle. The duo will be dressed in black and white and play black and white pianos,” said Qin Tiji, chairman of Shanghai Poly Theater Management Co Ltd. “The winner will be chosen by the audiences.”

Popular plays directed by Stan Lai, a Taiwan playwright and director, are among the highlights. One of them is the play “Peking Man” written by Cao Yu (1910-96) — arguably the paramount playwright of modern Chinese drama — which will premiere at Poly in May. Lai’s another commercially successful work “The Village” will also return to the city.

Poly will showcase splendid Chinese culture such as Kunqu Opera, Huangmei Opera, classical poetry, xiangsheng (crosstalk) and the guqin (Chinese zither). 

Serving as a bridge between troupes and schools, the theater is an education and practice base of traditional Chinese opera for students, dedicated to bringing traditional operas into classrooms.

With traditional Chinese music, the dance drama “Soaring Wings: Journey of the Crested Ibises,” produced by the Shanghai Dance Theater, will explore environmental issues.

Crested ibis, a rare creature, symbolizes good fortune in China.

“We try to host high-quality performances at low prices, which will allow more people to enjoy arts and culture,” said Yao Qiang, deputy director of the Jiading District Bureau of Culture, Radio, Film and TV.

The district’s fourth public culture week will take place at the end of March. During the week, four programs and six performances will be presented at the theater.

A symphony concert conducted by celebrated musician Chen Xieyang, an Argentine tango drama, A Shakespearean play and a children’s musical will be the highlights.

There are around 8,000 tickets in total for the culture week — 1,800 of them free. Prices for other tickets range from 30 yuan (US$4.76) to 80 yuan. The free tickets can be reserved on Culture Jiading Cloud (

For a full program schedule, check 

Ti Gong

Pinchas Zukerman will perform with the Pacific Symphony in May.

Ti Gong

"The Village," directed by Stan Lai

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