International Exchanges

Support the cultural exchange of the Belt and Road and show the charm of intangible cultural heritage – Teachers and students of STA College of Chinese Traditional Opera's puppet major participated in the International Puppet Theatre Festival Albania

5 June 2019

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Albania, at the invitation of the International Puppet Theatre Festival Albania, a group of 10 teachers and students from the puppet major of the College of Chinese Traditional Opera of the Shanghai Theatre Academy (STA) participate in the 2nd International Puppet Theatre Festival which was held in Tirana, the capital of Albania, from May 25 to 31. This was the second time that our puppet major had participated in the International Puppet Theatre Festival Albania.

The group arrived in Tirana on 25 May local time, and was warmly welcomed by the organizers. Zhu Zhixue, director of the Political Section of the Chinese Embassy in Tirana, and Wang Xinhao, an attaché from the same office, also came to visit our teachers and students and extended the greetings. On the evening of 26 May, the puppet show performed by the students from the STA College of Chinese Traditional Opera officially began. The puppet show included three small programs, namely, the traditional puppet show “Silk Ribbon Dance” and “Oil Paper Umbrella” in which the figures were manipulated by wooden rods and the innovative puppet show “Spring Imagination”. The students broke the barriers of language and culture with perfect performances, and truly demonstrated that there are no national borders for art. At the end of the performance, the audience was still immersed in the wonderful performance and did not want to leave for a long time. They responded with warm applause and cheers, and came forward one after another to take pictures with the actors and puppets. Members of other participating teams and organizers also came to the front of the stage to interact with the actors and exchange skills and techniques of the handling and performance of puppets with our performers. They expressed their appreciation of the charm of the traditional culture of the Chinese nation, praised our students' performances as very appealing, and expressed their desire to come to China to learn about Chinese culture.

In this festival, besides bringing wonderful performances, our school was also invited by the organizers to hold two workshops for their local young actors and art school students, so as to facilitate the exchange and learning in the area of puppets between the two countries. Albanian students and actors have developed a strong interest in Chinese puppet shows, and expressed that this ancient technique is worth learning and is of a unique charm in its performance. They sincerely thanked us for bringing them such wonderful workshops, and looked forward to more opportunities to learn about and study Chinese puppet shows in the future.

The festival also invited puppet performance teams from Poland, Britain, Mexico, Italy, Israel and Spain, who all brought very wonderful performances, which our teachers and students also watched and studied. Among them, the show “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon” performed by the Albanian Theatre, is a special program created by the Albanian side in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Albania. The story is adapted from a fairy tale, and the entire show is full of Chinese elements as an expression of their love for Chinese culture.


After the successful completion of the performance and workshops, the organizers presented trophies and certificates to the various countries for the wonderful performances and as a token of appreciation for all their hard work dedicated to this festival. In this performance exchange, our students not only showed their wonderful skills, but also learned a lot from the others. This puppet art exchange has also enhanced the feelings of the two peoples of China and Albania. On the basis of the traditional friendship between the two countries over the past century and with the construction of the Belt and Road as a new starting point, we will continue to strengthen friendly exchanges and use what we have learned and are good at to make our contribution to achieving the mutual understanding, mutual respect and mutual trust between the peoples of the Belt and Road countries, and to creating a community of a shared future for humanity with shared responsibilities and shared interests.