Jing'an to raise curtains on annual drama fete

Li Qian
The city's annual theatrical extravaganza, the Shanghai Jing'an Modern Drama Valley, will return next month after last year's event was nixed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Li Qian
Jingan to raise curtains on annual drama fete
Ti Gong

A performer from the “red” drama “Once Upon A Time in Fudeli” stages an immersive performance on Wednesday afternoon at the Fudeli neighborhood in Jing'an District, where the Communist Party of China held its second national congress.

The city’s annual theatrical extravaganza will return next month after the novel coronavirus outbreak derailed it last year.

The 2021 Shanghai Jing’an Modern Drama Valley, to be held from April 23 to May 10, will present 20 productions at Daning Theater, Shanghai Majestic Theater and the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center, among others. Over 80 percent will be Shanghai debuts, according to the Jing'an Culture and Tourism Bureau.

Opening the festival will be Jing’an District’s first original “red” drama, “Once Upon A Time in Fudeli,” set against the backdrop of Fudeli, where the second national congress of the Communist Party of China was held. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC.

In July 1922, 12 CPC delegates gathered in secret at the residence of Li Da in the shikumen neighborhood Fudeli, one of few remaining clandestine Party sites in the city following a series of police raids. Over eight days, they shaped the first constitution of the CPC, which contained six chapters and 4,000 words.

Now, the museum of the CPC’s second national congress stands at the site on Laochengdu Road N.

Producer Li Dong said the drama is based on true stories and historical documents of the CPC and shows the early Party members’ relentless efforts to draft the first constitution.

After making its debut at Daning Theater, the play will tour east China cities, including Nanjing, Hefei, Wuxi and Yantai. It will return to Shanghai in June.

Other productions at the festival include “Copenhagen,” presented by the National Theater of China; Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting For Godot,” directed by Yi Liming; and “The Gadfly,” newly adapted by the Guangzhou Drama Art Center.

Tickets are now available on damai.cn.

Over the festival period, more than 200 free shows will be staged on roadsides, in malls and at tourist destinations across Jing’an. People can record and upload videos of performances on Douyin (China’s TikTok).

Jingan to raise curtains on annual drama fete
Ti Gong

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