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Special> The Dramatic Story of Drama> What's New
UPDATED: July 12, 2007 Web Exclusive
The Assassin Comes to Beijing
The Assassin (Ci Ke, in Chinese), a play directed by Lin Zhaohua, would make its debut at the Capital Theatre, Beijing on August 3, and run all the way through to August 19

A press conference held on Wednesday revealed that The Assassin (Ci Ke, in Chinese), a play directed by Lin Zhaohua, would make its debut at the Capital Theatre, Beijing on August 3, and run all the way through to August 19.

Lin, renowned director with the Beijing People's Art Theatre, made a brief introduction to the play. "The scenario, composed five years ago, is actually derived from one of the stories in The Records of the Grand Historian (Shiji, the first systematic Chinese historical text, written by Sima Qian from 109 BC to 91 BC). The revised edition was finished three years ago, and the first round of rehearsal began in February this year. Upon finishing the opera Poet Li Bai in the United States, I was able to return to direct the play."

According to Lin, the play would explore new and modern perspectives despite its historical scenario. Moreover, the team had tried something new in terms of acting during rehearsals; for instance, the extras had compulsorily taken cues from Peking Opera and modern dance to strengthen their performance on stage.

"So the play is actually a traditional costume drama rather than a historic play," he concluded.

After an absence of three years from the theatre scene, actor He Bing spoke about his new venture and revealed that he had high expectations for the play. "The most important reason for me to act in this play, besides my respect for the director and my colleagues, is that I am approaching a more personal style of acting, just as the director proposed during the rehearsals. I'd prefer to let the audience appreciate my style behind the character I play. Ideally for me, the play should resonate with the audience; interaction and communication between the audience and the actors are crucial to us."

Another actor, Pu Cunxin, also showed his appreciation for the director. "My presence in the play was partly because of my admiration for the atmosphere created by the director. The glamour of the drama, in my opinion, is rooted in the infinite possibilities of creation; the unpredictability of the stage is the most powerful lure for every drama player. The scenario of The Assassin is not hard to understand, but what we'd expect to see is the participation of the audience through our various ways of performing. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Chinese drama. I'd like to realize my dream: the total number of performances in my career will also reach at least 100 this year. As a drama player, it's my honor to fulfill that dream."

Oscar award winner Tan Dun has composed the score for the play. The team is scheduled to go on tour to other parts of China such as Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Chongqing, after its first round in Beijing this August.

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