Soft opening for forest theater in southern outskirt

Yang Jian
The Nine Tree Art Center in Fengxian District will host a children's carnival during the National Day holiday ahead of its official opening.
Yang Jian

The Nine Tree Art Center in suburban Shanghai’s Fengxian District, known as China's first forest theater, will launch trial operations during the National Day holiday ahead of its official opening at the end of October.

The first top-level theater in the southern outskirt will present a children's carnival between October 3 and 5. The Zebra Camp Children's Forest Carnival will feature folk music, jazz, pop and folk songs at its indoor and outdoor theaters for children and parents.

The art center, covering an area of 71,700 square meters in Nanqiao Town, is surrounded by an 800,000-square-meter forest that is home to a number of wild bird species, mainly egrets. The center has three indoor and two outdoor theaters.

The theater, a work by French architect Frederic Rolland, is designed to resemble a growing seed.

One of its leaves wraps around the main theater with 1,200 seats, while the other leaf covers a 500-seat and 300-seat theaters.

The indoor theaters feature state-of-the-art holographic sound systems.

Audiences can also sit on the lawn in the outdoor forest theater, or be surrounded by flowing water near the water stage.

A number of other performances, such as a stage drama, a classical music concert and a Polish opera will be presented during the trial operation, said Tian Fei, deputy general manager of the art center.

Construction was completed on the structure late last year. To avoid affecting nearby birds, workers controlled the lights, dust and noise and stopped work at 10pm every day.

It is hoped that the theater will become a major cultural landmark in the city’s southern suburbs.

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