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Original small theatre Kunqu play “Wife of Yue Fei” presents a wonderful performance

2 April 2018

From 30 to 31 March, the original small theatre Kunqu play “Wife of Yue Fei” was staged at the Duanjun Theatre of the Shanghai Theatre Academy (STA). Through the unique perspective of Yue Fei’s wife, the play enables the audience to regain the strength behind Yue Fei, a historical figure as a symbol of Chinese traditional culture. Produced by STA’s Tian Mansha Chinese Traditional Opera Innovation Studio and with the strong support of STA’s College of Chinese Traditional Opera, this performance was the joint work of four MFA graduates of STA and a major production of the "Wisteria Bloom" Shanghai Theatre Academy 2018 MFA Graduation Performance Season to face the test by the audience.

The four MFA graduates of STA collaborated with a common effort and created a young but super strong professional team.

Kunqu performer: Yang Kun
2016 MFA Acting (Chinese Traditional Opera), Shanghai Theatre Academy
National Grade 1 Actor, Zhejiang Kunqu Opera Troupe
Winner of the 10th Wenhua Award for Acting

Stage Designer: Zhu Yanming
2016 MFA Stage Design, STA
Bachelor degree from Tongji University majoring in art design and industrial modeling

Lighting Designer: Liao Wei
2016 MFA Lighting Design, Shanghai Theatre Academy
Member of All China Youth Federation
Member of China Drama Association
Member of China Stage Design Society
Senior Member, China Lighting Society

Costume, Make-up and Modeling Designer: Lin Jia
2016 MFA Stage Costume Design (part-time)
Character Modeling Designer, Shanghai Peking Opera Theatre
National Grade 2 Stage Designer

With the guidance and assistance of their STA supervisors including Tian Mansha, Hu Zuo, Yin Tianfu and Pan Jianhua, they worked collaboratively to give full play to their respective strength and worked together with the key creative crew including the playwright, director and singing designer etc in the creation and rehearsal process. Besides, young teachers and students of the STA College of Chinese Traditional Opera dedicatedly assisted with the performance providing musical accompaniment with such traditional instruments as dulcimer and clarinet etc. and rehearsed intensively in preparation for the performance.
In recent years, the small theatre Chinese traditional opera has developed vigorously. It has retained the aesthetic features of virtualization, stylization and freehand nature of Chinese traditional opera. At the same time, it has a great spirit of exploration, and has trained a batch of new practitioners of Chinese traditional opera with independent thinking and original ability, leading the contemporary spirit of pioneering, experiment and innovation. It not only inherits the long history of Chinese opera tradition, but also opens up new ideas to connect with the times and connect with young audiences. It is believed that such attempts in Kunqu opera like “Wife of Yue Fei” will enable the young audiences in China to find a spiritual “shelter”.