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Re-visit "Hengbangqiao" and Never Forget Original Aspiration

8 November 2019

On 2 November, some of retired leaders and retired officials of the Shanghai Theatre Academy (STA) from STA’s No.1 Party Branch of Retired Personnel of STA and invited old alumni from the “Hengbangqiao” time, totaling more than 10 people, came to the old site of STA located at Hengbangqiao, North Sichuan Road to carry out the Party Day activity with the theme of never forget the original aspiration and always remember the mission, re-visiting the place embracing their aspiration and reviewing the original aspiration of the old generation of artists and educators for running school and for education.

Hengbangqiao is the former site of the Shanghai Municipal Drama College, the predecessor of today’s Shanghai Theatre Academy, and it is now home of the Experimental Middle School of Hongkou District Education Academy (hereinafter referred to as Experimental Middle School).

Accompanied by Zhu Lu, head of the principal’s office of the experimental middle school, the old leaders, retired officials and old alumni visited the teaching building of the old years, which still has the commemorative plaque “Shanghai Municipal Drama College (1945-1949)” hung at the front entrance. The group took a photo together in front of the commemorative plaque, and then visited the classrooms, offices, canteen, trade union activity room and theater. The old comrades spoke highly of the experimental middle school for arranging classic drama columns on the wall along the corridors of the teaching building, and for displaying sculptures of classic drama characters on the campus. They felt that there was a strong drama atmosphere on the campus, which had a subtle impact on the cultivation of students' drama literacy. The old comrades stopped to talk from time to time during the school tour. With their memories, they kept looking for traces of the past from the school buildings, flower beds, mini swimming pool, theater and other structures, recalling scenes of their study and life here more than 60 years ago.

After the visit, the old comrades came to the  conference room to have a discussion with Quan Xun, party secretary and principal of the experimental middle school, and Wang Deming, deputy party secretary and vice principal of the experimental middle school. Professor Dai Ping, former party secretary of STA, Professor Hu Miaosheng, former president of STA, Liu Zhigang, former vice president of STA, Chen Jialin and Guo Dongli, former teachers of the STA Department of Directing, Wei Shuxian and Lu Ruoping, former teachers of the STA Department of Acting, and Pu Lianqing, former old alumni of STA from the “Hengbangqiao” time, spoke at the meeting, reviewing their study and life at “Hengbangqiao”, and expressing their gratitude to Xiong Foxi, Cao Yu, Li Jianwu and other artists of the old generation for their training and education. In their talks, the old comrades were full of affection for the cause of art education that they had been engaged in all their lives. Seeing that the experimental middle school now attaches such great importance to art education, they expressed on the spot their willingness to provide help whenever the school has a need.

Finally, Wu Bin, secretary of STA’s No.1 Party Branch of Retired Personnel of STA, expressed her gratitude to the party and administrative leadership teams of the experimental middle school for their warm reception, and looked forward to further exchanges and cooperation between the two sides, and sincerely invited teachers and students of the experimental middle school to come to watch the master play Xiong Foxi during the STA anniversary celebrations.