Story behind a missing boy and his family to be staged
Inspired by the 1979 disappearance of New York City boy Etan Patz, a play named "Deadline" premiered at the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center on Friday night. As the first original project of this year's "Postwave" performance season, the play will run through April 16.
Revolving around a couple who search for their missing son for decades, the story focuses on the mother who lives in a dilapidated and cluttered house filled with expired items and newspapers. The woman who suffers from memory loss and often mutters to herself becomes stagnant in her life. The family also has a daughter who is ostracized by her mother for many years. The story shows how the family copes with the aftermath of such a tragedy.
"Sadness makes memories painful, and remorse distorts reality," said the playwright Yu Hanting. "The play 'Deadline' is an allusion and a voice that reminds us that reality is just ahead of us."
Yu recalled his own experience when his mother was ill, he felt stuck in his life. Yu's first version of "Deadline" was performed in Hong Kong in 2012. In 2019, Yu readjusted the script after a discussion with the director Zhou Xiaoqian and the actress Tian Shui who plays the role of the mother in "Deadline."
The play also stars Wang Heng and Zhu Jie.
"After four years, I am engaged with the script again, and the feeling is even stronger," said Zhou. "The play is like finding light in the darkness."
The play merged with the real and the imaginary explores the complexities of human emotions in a delicate and powerful way.
Dates: March 24 - April 16
Tickets: 198-380 yuan
Venue: Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center
Address: 288 Anfu Rd