Work Hard to Press Ahead and Strive for Dreams
2018 Shanghai • Jing’an Modern Drama Valley Is Opening Soon
2018 Shanghai • Jing’an Modern Drama Valley is set to run from May 5 to 23 in Shanghai. This year, Shanghai · Jing’an Modern Drama Valley will still remain true to its original aspiration to go forward with the past and open up the future, and intensively present classic and quality dramas with an international vision and inclusive spirits. Meanwhile, Jing’an District People’s Government will continue to benefit the public and further strengthen its favorable policies, lowering the threshold for citizens to enjoy diversified excellent dramas with less money and experience the profoundness and charm brought by drama.
2018 marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up. Facing the new era, new ideas and new goals, the Modern Drama Valley will start a new journey. This year, the festival focuses more on great plays and premieres, pays more attention to event quality, places more emphasis on international elements, and lays greater stress on benefiting people, aiming to enhance Jing’an District’s cultural vitality and influence as a central district of Shanghai, a cosmopolitan city, by bringing people a series of colorful drama shows and experiencing activities, as well as striving to make contribution of Jing’an to building Shanghai the performance capital of Asia.
The Modern Drama Valley this year is composed of 3 major parts: Famous Shows, One Drama Awards and City Dweller Theater. Being divided into 4 series, namely International Vision & Salute to Masters, Domestic Masterpieces, Popular Theater and “Lithuania Drama Festival”, a festival within the festival that has been newly set this year, the Famous Shows part will be conducted in the 6 major theaters in Jing’an District. 17 excellent domestic and foreign excellent dramas from 8 countries will be performed and exhibited in 36 shows intensively. The festival concentrates excellent dramas and notable stars. It is a professional and authoritative festival with considerable ornamental value and popularity. Compared with last year, the number of performances that will be debuted in Shanghai and even in China this year increases dramatically. 14 dramas have chosen Shanghai • Jing’an Modern Drama Valley as their first stage, accounting for more than 80% of the plays to be performed at the festival, which proves the brand influence and attraction of the Modern Drama Valley.
City Dweller Theater, another important part of Shanghai • Jing’an Modern Drama Valley, will pay more attention to the popularization of the art of drama than previous years. This year, City Dweller Theater will focus on building “Five Ones”. The first “One” is an international forum focusing on “Drama and City: The Future of the Performance Capital of Asia”. The second “One” is a walk of drama which takes West Nanjing Road as its main axis, along which domestic and foreign performing ensembles from North America, South America, Asia and Edinburgh will perform 165 plays of different styles and features. In addition, for the first time, a “reading pavilion” is set at the entrance of Jing’an Park at West Nanjing Road for citizens to read scripts. The third “One” is a ten thousand people-scaled concert of a new type of Kunqu. On the peak night of the Modern Drama Valley on May 18, “Kunplug” will be performed by Zhang Jun, the prince of Kunqu to salute intangible cultural heritage and promote traditional culture. The fourth “One” is a drama carnival for citizens. 21 teams from schools, communities, white collar ensembles, non-profit cultural organizations and enterprises will actively participate in the Citizen Drama Contest this year. What’s more, the Presentation Ceremony of the Citizen Drama Award will be held at 800 Show on May 20. The fifth “One” is a series of citizen-oriented drama workshops and activities including Master Class Focusing on Drama, Script-reciting Seminar, Face-to-Face Communication with Masters and Drama Workshop to be held in purpose of popularizing and promoting the art of drama. The festival aims to create cultural atmosphere in the public space of Jing’an District through various kinds of wonderful drama performances and exhibitions.
One Drama Awards is one of the most influential drama awards in Chinese-Speaking regions. It wins wide public praise especially for its justice and authority in drama appraisal and selection. The award-winning works this year will still be finalized through several rounds of selection by drama professionals and members of arts commissions. Awards including Best New Prominent Director of the Year, Best Director of the Year, Best Playwright of the Year, Best Actor of the Year, Best Actress of the Year, Best Play of the Year and “Academy Award”, which is newly created to encourage and support talented original drama creators and original dramas on campus, will all be announced at the Awards Ceremony to be held on May 23.
Converge Great Works, Present Classics and Focus on Premieres
Inheriting the traditional classics with international view, 2018 Shanghai • Jing’an Modern Drama Valley is guided by the win-win status on both art and market. In the Famous Shows part, 17 excellent domestic and foreign dramas will be performed for nearly a month through cooperation with the 6 major theaters in the district, namely Majestic Theatre, the Experimental Theater of Shanghai Theatre Academy, Daning Theatre, Shanghai Art Theater, Yunfeng Theater and the Jing Theater of Jing’an Culture Center. Compared with last year, the festival this year highlights more upscale plays, dramatically increased premieres and richer international elements.
The International Vision & Salute to Masters series gathers global-class heavyweights in the drama world: Alexandrinsky Theatre, a Russian theater with a long history of 262 years will perform Mother Courage and Her Children, a play of the same name of a drama written by drama master Bertolt Brecht. The play is personally adapted and directed by Theodoros Terzopoulos, a famous Greek Director and Founder of Theatre Olympics. Meanwhile, the ensemble will also bring audiences a work of Valery Fokin, Artistic Director of the theater, to re-enact Shakespeare’s classic work Hamlet. Along with SCOT, Suzuki Tadashi, a drama master who is regarded as Japan’s national treasure, will bring audiences the first Shanghai show of The Trojan Women, a classic adapted on the basis of Homer's Epic. Rimas Tuminas, Artistic Director of the Russian Vakhtangov Theatre and Founder of the Lithuania Vilniaus Mazasis Theatre and also a director who has become famous for being the Director of Eugene Onegin, the opening play of 2017 Wuzhen Theatre Festival, will also show his masterpiece to Shanghai audiences.
The Domestic Masterpieces series is also a combination of excellent works. The all-star cast Four Generations under One Roof directed by Tian Qinxin of National Theatre Company of China, Lao She Goes to a Fair, the latest work of Fang Xu, a director specializes in adapting Lao She’s works, and Xiao Hong, a large-scaled original play created by Qigihar City Repertory Theater will all step onto the stage of the Drama Valley. It is worth mentioning that The Ordinary World is adapted on the basis of a novel of the same title, by which the author Lu Yao has won the Mao Dun Literature Prize. Directed by Gong Xiaodong and written by Meng Bing, it is another great work created by Shaanxi People’s Art Theatre after the White Deer Plain. It will be the opening play of the Drama Valley to commemorate the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up.
The Popular Theater series is also eye-catching. A Moment of Remember, a musical with Han Hong as General Music Director and Tian Qinxin as the Playwright and Director,The Imperial Express, an absurd comedy written by Guo Shixing and directed by Yi Liming, The Flood, a Sino-Australia play that tells the story of a mother and her two daughters in a special family, and Institute, a new body drama created by the world-class award-winning theater company, Gecko, will be put on.
This year, the Drama Valley specially set a festival within the festival called “Lithuania Drama Festival”, aiming to present different excellence. The series is set to run intensively at Daning Theatre from May 17 to 23, during which the Lithuania Vilniaus Mazasis Theatre along “the Belt and Road” will bring audiences 3 classics: A Spiritual Matter, Masquerade and Three Sisters. Three Sisters, a classic drama written by Chekhov and Masquerade, an adapted verse play of the same name of Lermontov’s work, are both masterpieces of Rimas Tuminas, a drama director who is regarded as Lithuania’s national treasure, while A Spiritual Matter is the latest work created by the ensemble to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of Ingmar Bergman, a movie director and drama writer who is regarded as Sweden’s national treasure. The play will definitely set off a special upsurge in 2018 Shanghai • Jing’an Modern Drama Valley.
The Ticket for the Same Drama is at Different Prices in Different Cities, Which Embodies the Spirit of Remaining True to the Original Aspiration and Benefiting the Public
As a festival sponsored by the government, the Modern Drama Valley sticks to benefiting the public, aiming to benefit citizens fundamentally. 2018 Shanghai • Jing’an Modern Drama Valley will further strengthen its favorable policies to benefit the public. Except for the public ticket with a lowest price of RMB 80, all kinds of tickets will be subsidized as the high-priced tickets do while the highest ticket price is limited at RMB 580. The mainstream ticket price ranging from RMB 180 to 380 is quite affordable, covering all excellent domestic and foreign dramas to be performed at the Modern Drama Valley.
In the 5-city tour of Four Generations under One Roof, a repertoire of National Theatre Company of China featuring an all-star cast and an epic story of civilian, the most expensive ticket for the performances in Beijing, Tianjin and Suzhou is RMB 880 while the highest ticket price in Xi’an is RMB 1,080. As for the ticket price of the 3 invited performances at Shanghai • Jing’an Modern Drama Valley, the highest price will be as low as RMB 580, which is an exclusive perk for Shanghai citizens.
In order to benefit more people, to enable the art of drama to find its place in the lives of ordinary people, to deepen the cultural connotation of the city, and to resolve problems including ticket-buying inconvenience caused by varied distribution channels, this year, Shanghai • Jing’an Modern Drama Valley has appointed Damai.cn as the general agent of ticketing service of the 2018 festival. All kinds of tickets can be purchased conveniently from Damai.cn, which enables all citizens to get closer to drama and indulge themselves in drama.
Originated in Jing’an District, the Peak Night Salutes Kunqu
On May 18, Kunqu, an art with a history of over 600 years will welcome its 17th anniversary of taking the title of “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Human”. Zhang Jun, the “Prince of Kunqu” will present the great vitality of Kunqu in a way similar to a ten thousand people-scaled concert, to perfectly perform the charm of traditional culture, and to present the “Peak Night” of Shanghai • Jing’an Modern Drama Valley.
Zhang Jun lives and works in Jing’an District. In 2009, he founded Shanghai Zhang Jun Kunqu Art Center in Jing’an District; last year, he built his own studio in Jing’an Culture Center. As Art Consultant of Jing’an, on July 26, 2017, Zhang Jun conducted a whimsical Kunqu sharing seminar at the Jing Theater of Jing’an Culture Center and unveiled the “1+1+1 Influential Action”, namely integrating the aesthetic of Kunqu with the modern way of life through a “1 guided tour + 1 seminar of grace + 1 performance” combination to connect Kunqu with people and bring the graceful Kunqu culture into daily lives.
Zhang Jun believes that when it comes to promoting the art of Kunqu, a part of traditional culture, both inheritance and popularization are needed. This concept is right in the same line as the spiritual connotation of the Modern Drama Valley. Zhang Jun’s ten thousand people-scaled “Kunplug” concert revives the scene of verve and reproduces splendor for Kunqu. The reason why it is considered the “Peak Night” of 2018 Shanghai • Jing’an Modern Drama Valley is that from performance scale to audience size, it is an inheritance of and salute to traditional art and an incisive expression of confidence in culture made by contemporary Kunqu artists. This situation isn't unique. After co-producing a contemporary Kunqu called A Moonlit Night on the Spring River with Zhang Jun in 2015, this year, the Modern Drama Valley will bring I, Hamlet, Zhang Jun’ original contemporary Kunqu to Festival d'Avignon. From traditional cultural inheritance to modern performance and mass communication, from the debut in Jing’an District to an influential drama that affects the world, each of them has been vested a special meaning in the new era.
Explore “Drama and City: The Future of the Performance Capital of Asia”
Drama and city are closely connected. Drama is derived from lives, enriched by art, presented on stage and performed in cities. It enriches the city with vitality and passes it on to every one living in the city. Drama is an important carrier of the cohesion, inheritance and development of ethnic and national culture and the most revealing part that shows the cultural vein of a city. Against the backdrop of an accelerated process of urbanization and a transformation of city development, as an important part of the construction of city culture, the relationship between drama and city also shows its complexity in multiple aspects.
On May 22, Shanghai • Jing’an Modern Drama Valley will invite international heavyweights including Donald Wilson, Chairman of Culture Commission of the City of Edinburgh Council, Shona McCarthy, CEO of Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Rimas Tuminas, a drama director who is regarded as Lithuania’s national treasure, Suzuki Tadashi, a Japanese drama master, domestic experts, scholars and professionals in relevant fields over to Shanghai Theatre Academy New Space Theater to attend an international forum focusing on the relationship between “drama and city”. The participants are supposed to center on the request of “Building the Performance Capital of Asia” in “The 50 Cultural Policies of Innovation” and discuss the multiple-leveled connection between drama and city development so as to integrate the art of drama with city development.
Build a Cultural Brand to Let Dramas Warm the City
Drama embodies the temperature of a city. The city needs drama, and it is all the more necessary for a city to build its own drama brand. Shanghai • Jing’an Modern Drama Valley is more than a drama festival with drama awards; it is also a cultural brand belonging to Shanghai. Under the support of 3 heavyweights, namely Jing’an District People’s Government, Radio and Television Shanghai and Shanghai Theatre Academy, 2018 Shanghai • Jing’an Modern Drama Valley will remain true to its original aspiration, go forward with the past and open up the future, work hard to press ahead and strive for dreams, push the establishment of a cultural ecology with drama as a core, and integrate culture with the daily lives of Shanghai residents by building a public drama space that brings drama to the whole city.
International Jing’an makes waves all around the city through drama and lets all people enjoy the charm of arts!