Distorting History
Shinzo Abe's personal political ambitions endanger the region's stability  
Current Issue
· Table of Contents
· Editor's Desk
· Previous Issues
· Subscribe to Mag
Subscribe Now >>
Expert's View
Market Watch
North American Report
Government Documents
Expat's Eye
Photo Gallery
Reader's Service
Learning with
'Beijing Review'
E-mail us
RSS Feeds
PDF Edition
Reader's Letters
Make Beijing Review your homepage
Hot Links

cheap eyeglasses
Market Avenue

Top Story
Top Story
UPDATED: May 27, 2013 NO. 22 MAY 30, 2013
Water Town of Dreams
Picturesque Wuzhen hosts drama carnival
By Bai Shi

PUTTING ON A SHOW: An actress performs a solo act for audience in an ancient yard in Wuzhen (FILE)

To tourists, Wuzhen resembles a beautiful water town located in the rich and populous Zhejiang Province south of the Yangtze River. For artists, Wuzhen is a paradise isolated from noisy cities, especially during the First Wuzhen Theatre Festival from May 9 to 19.

"The festival presents dramas totaling 300 hours. It's like an ever-changing theater in which I flit from one dream to another," Huang Lei, co-founder and art director of the festival, said.

While many cities in China are interested in organizing cultural festivals, the really successful events often play out in smaller towns such as the Avignon Theatre Festival in France and Edinburgh International Festival in the United Kingdom. In light of this, Huang decided to establish an international drama festival in Wuzhen several years ago.

His idea was later echoed by Chen Xianghong, CEO of Wuzhen Tourism Co. Ltd., Stan Lai, a Chinese-American drama director, and Meng Jinghui, China's premier experimental theater director. In addition, Robert Brustein, one of the most distinguished and influential figures in American theater, has gladly given a hand to his Chinese counterparts as Honorary Chairman of the festival committee.

During the 11-day event, ancient Wuzhen showcased its theater to an exciting mix of international and Chinese artists. Performers and drama lovers as well as tourists enjoyed stage performances and carnivals along alleyways and riverside roads.

The Wuzhen Theatre Festival included a line-up of world class dramas such as Inside The Skeleton of the Whale by Denmark's acclaimed Odin Teatret, directed by Eugenio Barba; The Dance and the Railroad by Tony Award and Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award winner David Henry Hwang; Robert Brustein's latest The Last Will, based on the last days of Shakespeare; the legendary eight-hour epic A Dream Like A Dream by Stan Lai; the highly acclaimed Four Generations Under One Roof by the National Theatre of China, under the direction of Tian Qinxin; and Murder of Hanging Garden directed by Meng Jinghui.

Also, a young theater artist's competition was held during the event to promote the best new creative works.

"It's incredible. During the Wuzhen Theater Festival, artistic elements that we never thought compatible were mixed together to create a brand-new experience. For each one of us, it was pretty good," Stan Lai said as the event drew to a close.

Wuzhen, like many other ancient Chinese towns, has plenty of tradition, but still creates new ways of enriching its cultural appeal.

1   2   Next  

Top Story
-Doing Justice to the Past
-Special Coverage: Japan Consolidates Leadership
-Making Room for the Private Sector
-Special Coverage: Activating Private Capital
-Top 10 Economic News Stories in 2013
Related Stories
-Crossing the Cultural Divide
-The Dramatic Story of Drama
Most Popular
About BEIJINGREVIEW | About beijingreview.com | Rss Feeds | Contact us | Advertising | Subscribe & Service | Make Beijing Review your homepage
Copyright Beijing Review All right reserved