STA graduate student hold a script reading session at Columbia University

11 April 2018

In the evening of 9 April American Eastern Time, a full script reading session of "Where Is My Maple Town", a play written by He Yuting, a master’s degree candidate of the Shanghai Theatre Academy (STA) was held at the Schapiro Studio of the Columbia University. This reading session was directed by Teng Xiaopeng, a doctoral candidate student of STA. Post graduate students Ding Mengran and Gu Xiaoyang and undergraduate student Bai Lena of STA participated in the reading session. One of the performers, Zhang Yuyu, is also a graduate of the Directing Department of STA, who is currently a student of MFA Acting at the Columbia University.

The setting of the story of the play is ancient China. The whole play is centered on and around the word of "integrity", telling the story of how Li Yufeng who used to be an upright gentleman goes step by step from a forced malpractice of favoritism initially to final destruction. The performer was dressed in Han Dynasty clothes and promoted the Chinese classical culture at the Columbia University, demonstrating the aspiration of STA students to go abroad as well as the endeavors of the Asian theatre practitioners.

Master degree candidates He Yuting and Ding Mengran are visiting scholars at the Columbia University sent by the Shanghai Theater Academy's Center for Dramaturgy Studies, and the doctoral candidate Teng Xiaopeng is a visiting scholar at the Marvin Carlson Center of The City University of New York sent by the Shanghai Theatre Academy. Besides the Center for Dramaturgy Studies, the reading session was also supported by the Graduate School, the Department of Dramatic Literature and the Division of Academic Affairs of the Shanghai Theatre Academy, as well as the Department of Theatre of the Columbia University. Professor Hu Kaiqi, a guest professor at the Shanghai Theatre Academy and a famous translator, and Professor Morgan at the Department Theatre of the Columbia University, attended the reading session. The performers and staff of this script reading session were from the Columbia University, the New York University, the School of Drama at The New School in New York, the Manhattan School of Music, and The City University of New York, and there were also some professional actors. The script reading session was unanimously praised by the audience and also received a lot of feedback from the audience which would assist the creative team to make a better production and present an even better performance in the show at Broadway in August this year.