Industry-Education Integration and Two-Way Empowerment – Faculty and Students from Directing Department Visit Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center Teaching Practice Base


To further enhance the quality of talent cultivation and advance the new development of industry-education integration, on the afternoon of March 21st, nearly 30 faculty and students from the Directing Department entered the Shanghai Drama Arts Center, which serves as their teaching practice base, for an artistic practice exploration and study. This was the first time that second-year undergraduate students and first-year graduate students of the Directing Department moved their classroom into the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center.

During the visit, the staff led the students through the Shanghai Drama Arts Center, sequentially exploring the SDAC Exhibition Hall, the Art Theater, leisure areas, drama salons, and the D6 Space. They gained an understanding of the center's historical legacy, the set design, costumes, and props of classic plays, the functionality of different theaters, and learned how directors capitalize on actors' strengths to stage plays within commercial theaters to achieve a fusion of artistry and commerciality. In this event, the students also had the opportunity to observe the live performance synthesis of "A Panorama of Rivers and Mountains" directed by Wang Xiaoying, a PT expert and master's supervisor at the Directing Department and a national first-class director.

At the end of the activity, the students unanimously expressed that they had gained substantial benefits from this artistic practice and exploratory study. It allowed them to step out of the traditional classroom and genuinely understand the industry's development trends and employment demands of organizations, clarifying their future career directions. This event served not only as a lively professional course but also as a guide to their career paths.

Guided by the teaching philosophy of "student-centered education, providing an optimal base for artistic creation practices; and setting sights globally to integrate the world's finest teaching resources," the Directing Department is committed to the innovative development of drama and film directing programs. Under the guidance of the "broad ideological and political education" framework, it continuously explores new pathways for the integration of industry and education, science and arts, and interdisciplinary fusion. Against the backdrop of years of strategic cooperation between the Shanghai Theatre Academy and the Shanghai Drama Arts Center, in November 2022, the Directing Department formally signed a cooperation agreement with the Shanghai Drama Arts Center. The agreement details the scope of collaboration, with the Shanghai Drama Arts Center officially becoming the teaching practice base for the Directing Department. Both parties will further share resources, complement each other's strengths, and jointly build platforms for industry-education integration and student internship practices.

In recent years, several directors and actors from the Shanghai Drama Arts Center have taken on significant roles in the teaching, enrollment, and postgraduate supervision of the Directing Department. Renowned national first-class director Lei Guohua serves as a "PT expert" for the Directing Department. Her courses on "Fundamental Theories of Directing" for undergraduates and "Director's Thinking and Creative Process" for postgraduates are immensely popular among students. She also mentors several postgraduate students of the department. National second-class actor Yuan Ye currently serves as an externally engaged part-time teacher of line training for the Directing Department, conducting weekly classes for first and second-year undergraduates. In addition, a number of directors from the Shanghai Drama Arts Center have joined the expert pool of the Directing Department.

There are also quite a few “Directing Department affiliates” at the Shanghai Drama Arts Center. A number of outstanding alumni serve as directors at the Shanghai Drama Arts Center, and several other alumni have become cooperative directors or actors with the center.

For the year 2023, the Shanghai Drama Arts Center has provided almost ten internship and practical training positions for the Directing Department, offering performance observations, and implementing on-site research and teaching for teachers and students from the Shanghai Theatre Academy through working and learning in rehearsal halls and observing dress rehearsals at the theater, thus laying a solid foundation for the students' future participation in theatrical work.

Additionally, original drama works by several teachers from the Directing Department, including Zhou Ke, have been showcased at the Shanghai Drama Arts Center. The "Director Training Plan" launched by the center has also been influential among the faculty and students of the Directing Department, becoming an excellent platform for stimulating the creative passion of young directors, establishing stable creative teams, and exploring sustainable collaboration models.

The Directing Department has always insisted on strengthening practice-oriented education, building a practical teaching system, and driving the reform of practical teaching. It actively explores a model of excellent talent cultivation that integrates industry and education. Going forward, the Directing Department will continue to enhance collaborative cooperation in talent cultivation, scientific research, and technological services with external experts, scholars, arts institutions, cultural enterprises, and theater troupes. By fully integrating and leveraging the resources and strengths of all parties, it aims to create an alignment of university needs, industry demands, and social expectations, promoting an organic linkage between education, talent development, innovation and industry chains. It seeks to achieve synchronous resonance between education and industry, as well as win-win mutual growth between the university and enterprises. At the same time, it actively works to bridge the "last mile" in the transformation of artistic creative achievements, to accelerate the conversion of these achievements, stimulate the vitality of artistic creativity, and contribute to the innovation and thriving development of the arts industry.