INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGES

Teaching result showcase of STA and Columbia University postgraduate exchange training program in playwriting is held successfully

25 December 2017

On the evening of 20 December, the teaching result showcase of the postgraduate exchange training program in playwriting between the Shanghai Theatre Academy and the Columbia University in 2017 was held successfully at the New Space Theatre of the Shanghai Theatre Academy, presenting the demonstration performance of the original plays created by the postgraduate students from the Columbia University. The showcasing performance was produced by the Dramaturgy Studies Centre of the Shanghai Theatre Academy and co-organized by the Shangyi Drama Association, with Professor Ye Changhai as the advisor and Professor Lu Jun and Associate Professor Huang Xi as the tutors.

 

The two works performed “Maybe Tomorrow” and “Into The Zone” were created by Max Mondi and Gordon Penn, two postgraduate students of playwriting from the Columbia University, which were their final course assignments completed at the Shanghai Theatre Academy under the instruction of Professor Lu Jun who was their supervisor. Interestingly, the two seemingly absurd stories were both abased on real life. “Maybe Tomorrow” came from a news report in the middle of the United States in 2009, while “Into The Zone” was based on the bureaucracy rampant in the military zone that Gordon had served originally.

 

The performers of the two works were mainly the students of the playwriting specialty. Although many of them had never performed on the stage before, they gave an excellent performance which fully reflected the original intent of the scripts in front of nearly 130 guests of honour, professors and audience. This was largely attributed to the results of cultural interaction between the students of the two countries. During the rehearsal process, the students from the Columbia University explained the intent of the script and space arrangement to the students of the Shanghai Theatre Academy, and the students of the Shanghai Theatre Academy tried to find localized expression of the American elements of the script. Finally, with the concerted efforts of both sides, the performances were presented in a way that was easier for Chinese audience to accept. After the showcasing performances, a number of experts and professors spoke very highly about the performances.

 

The postgraduate exchange training program in playwriting between the Shanghai Theatre Academy and the Columbia University has been successfully completed for three times. The program is conducted by way of Professor Lu Jun, leader of Shanghai Theatre Academy’s dramaturgy discipline, and Professor David Henry Hwang of the Columbia University, author of “M. Butterfly”, exchanging students for cooperative training. Each year, the Columbia University and the Shanghai Theatre Academy send two students of their respective universities to study at the other side.