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UPDATED: November 29, 2013 Web Exclusive
Beijing Set to Host the Sixth Theater Olympics
By Yu Yan

The sixth installment of the Theater Olympics, a grand event in the international theater circuit, will be held in Beijing in November 2014.

Chen Dong, chief of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture, announced the theatrical development in a press release in Beijing on November 27.

Thanks to the support of the International Committee of Theater Olympics and the solid preparations of the Beijing Municipal Government, Beijing has officially become the host city of the Sixth Theater Olympics. The grand international event will be held next year, scheduled to last for one month.

The Theater Olympics was launched in Athens, Greece, in 1995 by a group of world-renowned theater directors and playwrights with the purpose of promoting the development of theater across the world. Over the past 18 years, it has been held in Shizuoka of Japan, Moscow of Russia, Istanbul of Turkey, and Seoul of South Korea. It has grown into an international gathering for theater performance and academic exchanges.

"A successful hosting of the Sixth Theater Olympics will strengthen exchanges and cooperation between the Chinese theater circle and the international community, enhancing Beijing's international influence and cultural softpower,"said Chen.

The series of events will be held with a thematic motif of "Dream." As Chen explained, "Theater is a way for people to express their dreams. Through plays, people express their feelings, envision the future and enlighten inner hope."

About 45 plays will be performed during the event, of which two thirds are foreign plays and one third are Chinese plays. These performances include drama, opera, dancing, traditional Chinese operas and so on. The Chinese organizing committee of the Theater Olympics will invite the world's top theater troupes to perform in Beijing.

"During the Theater Olympics, the residents of Beijing will be able to watch many excellent plays at a relatively cheap price. It is a big benefit," said Wu Ran, an inspector of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture.

This event will undoubtedly be good news for Beijing residents and even better for China's theater lovers as well as theater professionals.

"I am so proud and excited to see the Theater Olympics held in Beijing," said Liu Libin. Liu expressed his feeling as a Beijing resident, Chinese member of the International Committee of the Theater Olympics, and also a theater artist.

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