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STA MFA graduation production stages original Shaoxing Opera playlet "The Dreamer"

2 April 2018

On 31 March 2018, produced by the Graduate School and College of Chinese Traditional Opera of the Shanghai Theatre Academy (STA) and with the performance support of the Shanghai Shaoxing Opera Art Inheritance and Learning Academy (Shanghai Shaoxing Opera Theatre), the original Shaoxing opera playlet "The Dreamer" was staged at STA’s White House Theatre. As the only Shaoxing opera work of the "Wisteria Blossom" Shanghai Theatre Academy 2018 MFA Graduation Performance Season Showcase Series, "The Dreamer" breaks through the traditional stage and demonstrates the charm of Shaoxing opera art from the visual, auditory, olfactory aspects. "The Dreamer" fully shows the inheritance of Shaoxing opera by today’s post-80s playwriting and creative team as well as their prospects towards it, and injects a new attempt on the stage of Shaoxing opera with a fresh and lively breath. As a highly innovative playlet, "The Dreamer" not only fully absorbs the traditional Shaoxing opera tunes and performance features, but also demonstrates great ingenuity in the stage design and theatrical impressions.

This play was jointly curated by Ms Yan Peishan, candidate of STA’s 2016 MFA Directing for Chinese Traditional Opera, and Ms Zhu Yanming, candidate for STA’s 2016 MFA Stage Design, and received the performance support from the Shanghai Shaoxing Opera Theatre and a number of companies. The play uses the stage framework of film texture and the performance techniques of Chinese traditional opera to present the overall performance. The combination of revolving Box and projection not only makes the dispatch of time and space flexible, but also provides the new possibility for the actors’ performance. The play is named "The Dreamer", which implies the creator's good wishes for traditional opera art and also the creator’s hope to explore the delicate dimensions between the actors, the fans and the audience through the play. As we enter into a new era, discussion has been ongoing with regard to the relationship between tradition and innovation in Chinese traditional opera which is an art form belonging exclusively to China. The graduation work of STA’s MFA students has given full play to the function of industry-education integration and presented an aesthetically appealing, youthful and touching Shaoxing opera playlet in collaboration with the outstanding young actors of the new generation capitalizing on the platform of MFA graduation creation.