Invited Works of People's Art Theatres
Shaanxi People's Art Theatre Drama Ordinary World
Venue: National Centre for the Performing Arts - Theatre
Dates: January 04-06, 2018
Duration: Approximate 135 mins (No intermissions)
The drama Ordinary World is based on LU Yao’s novel of the same title, which was awarded the MAO Dun Literary Prize. Unfolding around the destiny of three families in Shuangshui Village, Loess Plateau in North Shaanxi, the drama builds up a picture of how society changes extensively in the late years of the Cultural Revolution until the early stage of reform, and describes the images of many ordinary people at all levels of society. Labour and love, frustration and pursuit, pain and pleasure, daily life and huge social conflicts are intertwined all together intricately, strikingly displaying the arduous and tortuous road on which ordinary people are walking forward under a general historical background. As a literary work that eulogizes ordinary laborers in a warm realistic manner, the drama conveys a spiritual connotation, which is conscious inheritance of the Chinese nation’s time-honoured spiritual tradition of “ceaseless self-improvement and virtue promotion.”
The drama was created by a professional production team, who try to produce a stage work that’s closest to the spirit of the original. MENG Bing, the vice president of China Theatre Association and writer of the drama White Deer Plain, partners with the director GONG Xiaodong, who directed and made popular TV plays such as The Years of Burning Passions, A Coroner in the Song Dynasty, Tracks in The Snowy Forest and Leaving for Xikou, in production, with LI Xuan, a Chinese class-A director, a member of Shaanxi Theatre Association and president of Shaanxi People’s Art Theatre, as the producer. Besides, set design is under the charge of ZHANG Wu, a pioneer of contemporary Chinese theatrical visual art that enjoys high reputation worldwide, while lighting design is under the charge of XING Xin, at a class-A lighting designer at the National Theatre of China that won the 7th Golden Lion Award for Drama and the 6th Splendor Award. In addition, DING Yiyan, who served as costume designer for Cock and Bull, A Murder in a Border Town and MAO Zedong lost in Wild and Fanciful Thoughts in Xibaipo, ensures the shocking visual and auditory effects with the sound designer ZHAO Xiaodan, deputy director of Music Sound Design Studio, Chinese People’s Liberation Army General Political Department of Drama Group, who won the Award for National Excellent Stage Art Engineering, Splendor Award and Golden Lion Award for Drama. His team has another member—Shaanxi People’s Art Theatre, which is at present one of the most excellent drama production groups in the country. Since its inception, the Theatre has created, adapted and rehearsed over 160 large-scale dramas and given over 6,000 performances. In more than 60 years of art creations, Shaanxi People’s Art Theatre has won many national grand awards, such as “Plum Blossom Prize”, “Golden Rooster Award”, “Golden Lion Award” and “the Best Works Award”; produced many classic dramas, including BAI Juyi in Chang’an, The Ancient City Wall, An’s Courtyard, Gate of the Century, GUO Xiuming, Another Dawn, Bell Tones Are Gone, Tianxinshun, Lights Are On, and White Deer Plain.
The story took place in Loess Plateau in North Shaanxi, China in the 1970s and mid 1980s. SUN Shao’an, who comes from a poor family, gives up his lover Runye to marry HE Xiulian owing to his old idea that couples should come from families of equal status. The new couple works hard with concerted efforts to shake off poverty and SUN Shaoping, SUN Shao’an’s younger brother, leaves the countryside for the urban area to work. However, it seems that fate wants to tease the afflicted brothers, as incurable disease, traffic accident and flood come to them one after another. They trudge step by step in the marsh, which means the shackles of the times, and no one knows where their destination is. The god of fate makes fools of them, but do they give in to him? Do they stick to or give up their faith and pursuit? These are all questions worth pondering...
Shaanxi People’s Art Theatre
Established in 1949, the Art Troupe of the 19th Army of the PLA was rebuilt into the Shaanxi People’s Art Theatre in 1960. The latter was restructured and renamed Shaanxi People’s Art Theatre Co., Ltd. in 2010.
Since its inception, the theatre has created, adapted and rehearsed over 160 dramas, and given more than 4,000 performances of these works. The representative works include: Companions in Adversity, Director of Intelligence, BAI Juyi in Chang’an, Ancient City Wall, An Family’s Courtyard, Another Dawn and The Bell Fading Away. For more than 60 years, it has repeatedly won the Plum Performance Award, Golden Rooster Award, Wenhua Award, Golden Lion Award and Award of Five “One” Project. In 2014 alone, it created 15 little theatre dramas and gave over 300 performances. The large-scale drama Tian Xin Shun won a number of awards at the 7th art festival of Shaanxi Province. In April 2015, the drama was presented in the National Collective Show of Excellent Original Plays at the National Theatre of China.