Across China: Mini drama in NW China puts local residents on stage

December 3, 2023
Updated 2023/12/03 at 2:34 PM
3 Min Read

YINCHUAN, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) — Li Siyao, a 31-year-old drama director, has just organized a successful performance by inviting people from all walks of life and of all ages to participate in it.

The play, entitled “One Day,” was put on show last week at a theater in Yinchuan, capital of northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, during the debut of the Yinchuan Mass Drama Festival. The two-month event, focused on city life, is organized by local government.

“I invited people to join the play, because they are the truest players in real life scenarios and know how to tell the stories of our city. Moreover, by participating in dramas, people will be able to get closer with each other,” said Li, a chief advisor to the festival.

Li has been engaged in drama writing and directing since graduating from the Arts School of Ningxia University several years ago. He believes in casting away restrictive rules of dramas, and encourages the audience to go onto the stage.

“We tried to let people say and express what they really want to say and express in their monologues and interactions,” he said.

Running a small theater in a modern business compound full of cafes, bars, restaurants and shops, Li and his team belong to a community of young artists in Yinchuan working to add more colors to life in the city.

Liu Yuanyuan, a 38-year-old art designer, joined Li’s drama performance, which she said lets people willingly share their feelings and experiences.

“Actually there is no script for ‘One Day.’ It is the brain child of chatting among all performers. Each is required to tell briefly one encounter, one activity or even one accident which happened to them one day,” she explained.

The performers are all amateurs including high school students, goods deliverers, office clerks, factory workers, doctors and nurses, and retired local residents.

Qian Licao, 72, is a retired worker and a big fan of theater dramas and operas since she was a child. She joined the play and won numerous fans with her presentation of the thoughts of her generation.

“I hope primary school kids will join us in performing the mini dramas in the future, so that they can cherish today’s happy life by interacting with senior citizens like me,” she said.

The drama festival in Yinchuan aims to use drama as a bridge and let more people feel the charm of drama and the vitality of the city through public participation, according to the city’s federation of literary and art circles.

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