International Exchanges

Teachers and students from Shanghai Theatre Academy's Directing Department participates in the 3rd International Festival of Drama Schools of BRICS in Russia

31 May 2019

In late May 2019, at the invitation of the Organizing Committee of the International Festival of Drama Schools of BRICS, the teachers and students from the Department of Directing of the Shanghai Theatre Academy, headed by teacher Han Xuesong of the Department of Directing and Lou Yan of the International Exchange Center, traveled to Russia to participate in the 3rd International Festival of Drama Schools of BRICS which was held in Moscow from 8 May to 3 June. The participating BRICS countries included China, Russia, Brazil and South Africa participated in the festival, while Armenia and Belarus were also invited to join this year’s festival.

The theme of this festival went back to the origin of drama, i.e. ancient Greek drama, with the designated play for performance being “Oedipus the King” by Sophocles. It was required that while telling the stories, the version of each country should display the classical traditional elements of the country concerned.

The director of the play brought by STA was Associate Professor Wang Yanan of the Department of Directing. In the rehearsal stage, he made a detailed abridgement and selection of the text, and set the theme as seeking. On the basis of exploring the relationship between Oedipus and Jocasta, he retained and emphasized on the narrative and commentary functions of the chorus. In addition, as the director, he also attached great importance to the body expression and action rhythm of the actors, and trained the actors with a large amount of figure movements of Chinese traditional opera, thus making the performance style, acoustic effect and actors' performance full of Chinese charm and flavor.

On the afternoon of 28 May, the festival was held in the open-air theatre at the Zaryadye Park near the Kremlin Palace. Tobias Biancone, Director-General of the International Theatre Association (ITI), also attended and addressed the opening ceremony, affirming the significance of holding the International Festival of Drama Schools of BRICS. At the end of the opening ceremony, all participating came onto the stage. When introducing the STA team, the music of “Spring Festival Prelude” was played, and the members of our team danced to the music. The dance featuring strong Chinese national characteristics attracted the teams of other countries to follow and imitate, bringing the atmosphere on the spot to a climax.

On the morning of 29 May, the teachers and students of STA’s Department of Directing came to the performance venue for the final rehearsal before the performance. The International Festival of Drama Schools of BRICS had more exciting components to be looked forward to. After the teams of different countries have finished their respective interpretations of “Oedipus the King”, they would collaborate to complete an international version of “Oedipus the King”. Oedipus and Jocasta from different countries would collide and merge culturally to bring an even more wonderful interpretation. This would be a carnival feast for dramatists!