A look back at life of ancient Chinese reformer

Zhu Ying
The large-scale historical play "Shang Yang," produced by the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center, returns to the Yunfeng Theater where it premiered in 1996 and runs until November 7.
Zhu Ying

The large-scale historical play "Shang Yang," produced by the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center, returns to the Yunfeng Theater where it premiered in 1996 and runs until November 7.

Shang Yang was an ancient Chinese philosopher, politician and prominent legal scholar. Born in the state of Wei during the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), he moved to the state of Qin where the ruler Duke Xiao of Qin recognized his talent and authorized him to conduct a series of reforms.

The play chronicles the historical figure's successful reorganization of Qin over 19 years. Serving as a statesman, chancellor and reformer, he contributed to transforming the peripheral state of Qin into a militarily powerful and strongly centralized kingdom. His reforms paved the way for the eventual unification of the Chinese empire by the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC).

The stage was designed by Huang Kaifu, one of the country's top stage designers. Stage props like terracotta warriors, horses and chariots bring the historical era alive even though they were made 25 years ago.

Written by Yao Yuan and directed by Chen Xinyi, the play's strong cast features Guan Dongtian, Yang Shaolin, Liu Peng, Fu Chong and Zhou Xiaoqian.

"I've always believed the play will never be outdated because it is about history, life and the culture that has been solidified in China for thousands of years," Yao writes in the program.

The widely acclaimed play has toured around the country since its debut 25 years ago. It won the 7th Wenhua Grand Award, presented at China's highest-level arts festival every three years, the Cao Yu Drama Literature Award in 1997 and the 4th Shanghai Literature and Arts Award.

A look back at life of ancient Chinese reformer
Ti Gong

The play "Shang Yang" chronicles the historical figure's successful reorganization of the state of Qin over 19 years.

Performance info

Dates: Through November 7, 7:30pm (2pm on November 7)

Tickets: 180-680 yuan

Venue: Yunfeng Theater

Address: 1700 Beijing Road W.

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