The push for grander productions and cutting-edge drama comes as part of this year's Festival theme: Emerge. The theme is meant to convey the message that theatre is not stagnant, but constantly evolving, growing from stage to stage and performance to performance. The 7th Wuzhen Theatre Festival hopes to provide ample opportunity for performers and directors to embody this theme and for theatre-goers to partake in it with several highlights.
The Opening Play to Set the Tone for the Festival
Anton Chekhov's classic play "Three Sisters" will be presented by leading Russian director Yury Butusov and the St. Petersburg Lensoviet Academic Theatre. As a renowned contemporary director in Russia, Butusov is known for his poetic and associative directing technique. Rather than focus on the linear progression of the play, his mode of conveying the story is through melody and rhythm. His production of "Three Sisters" will be a fundamental transformation of the exemplary play, providing a jumping-off point for the Festival's other productions.
Iconic Theatrical Celebrities and Productions from around the World
Along with Yury Butusov, luminaries from throughout the theatre world will oversee productions during the Festival, including Peter Brook, Eugenio Barba, Theodoros Terzopoulos, Konstantin Bogomolov, Philippe Genty, and Michael Thalheimer, the two-time winner of Russia'sGolden Mask award and multiple Nestroy-Award winner. These directors will be joined by production teams and ensembles acclaimed for their skill on the stage. The Berliner Ensemble from Germany will make its first appearance in China. In addition, dramas influenced by Russian theatrical greats, Shakespeare, Brecht, Meyerhold, and other dramatic forebears will be on the playbill.
Water Theatre to Heighten the Drama
Wuzhen's Water Theatre, constructed of 2,300 wooden logs, will provide an enthralling backdrop for several of the Festival's productions. The Water Theatre fans out to provide a panoramic view of the main stage in the middle of the 7,000 square-meter Yuanbao Lake. Surrounded by the lake and Wuzhen's iconic buildings dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties, the venue provides the perfect atmosphere to appreciate the transition from the old to the new, further tying into the Festival's theme.
New Pioneers with Diverse Works Emerge
As theatre is often the birthplace of pioneering ideas and stories, the 2019 Wuzhen Theatre Festival will host a strong showing of rising and groundbreaking directors and productions. Chen Minghao, an emerging director in the Chinese theatre scene, will showcase avant-garde design and performance techniques with a play that will begin at midnight and reach its conclusion at sunrise. In addition, "Where Do We Come From, Who Are We, Where Are We Going 2.0", produced by Théâtre du Rêve Expérimental, will present a mysterious and romantic work in which the intimate setting and audience (only four audience members per showing) will allow the viewers to not only watch the play but also partake in it, as they experience four distinct aspects of a dramatic performance.
In addition to theatre works, the Wuzhen Theatre Festival will also present Outdoor Carnival. Actors, directors, and producers with the ability to shock and awe are encouraged to register. The carnival includes the traditional performing arts as well as contemporary avant-garde drama, video and multimedia productions, art installations, music, dance, crossover creativity and other art forms. All creators are invited to join. Registration can be found at: www.wuzhenfestival.com
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