'Three Monks' proverb hits Shanghai stage

Zhu Ying
The children's theater "Three Monks" makes a welcome appearance at the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center on May 19 and 20.
Zhu Ying

The children’s theater “Three Monks” makes a welcome appearance at the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center on May 19 and 20.

The play, produced by the China National Theater for Children, is based on an old Chinese proverb, which inspired movie director Xu Jingda to create an animated short film in 1981.

As the proverb goes “One monk will shoulder two buckets of water; two monks will share the load; but when a third one comes, no one will want to fetch water,” it was introduced to encourage children to understand the significance of unity.

The stage version of the “Three Monks” not only continues the original theme, but also adds to the story a new character — the master monk. The plot features three little monks: the naughty, the fat and the thin, who are studying Buddhism under the guidance of their master — a friendly, tolerant and senior monk.

The four stay at a temple on top of the mountain. One hot summer day, no one wants to fetch water from the river at the foot of the mountain even though everybody is thirsty. But a sudden fire forces the three monks to unite and make a concerted effort to put out the blaze.

Combining martial arts, Chinese traditional opera, modern dance and multimedia technology, the theater uses a myriad of creative ways to attract theatre goers, including a semicircular stage with two movable screens, designed by Bao Erwen.


Date: May 19 and 20, 7:30pm

Tickets: 60-380 yuan

Tel: 6473 0123

Address: Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center, 288 Anfu Rd

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