Across China: Beijing hutong theater dedicated to avant-garde dramas-Xinhua

Across China: Beijing hutong theater dedicated to avant-garde dramas

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2022-09-26 18:38:46

Wang Guang rehearses an avant-garde drama in the rehearsal room of Star Theater in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 13, 2022. (Xinhua/Chen Zhonghao)

BEIJING, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Inside a downtown hutong, a traditional alley in Beijing, Star Theater has become a landmark stage for avant-garde dramas, where Wang Guang has played the leading role in more than 30 performances of the drama "The Desperate Love" since June.

The shy and slim 23-year-old, who graduated from Jilin University of Arts in June this year, won the heart of Huang Yanzhuo, the drama director, and became the only actor to sign with the theater this year.

"Wang has the talent for making the drama character alive," Huang said.

Wang plays the character Wang Wenxue in the play, who is desperate for and faithful to love, while being a little shy.

The distance between actors on stage and the first-row auditorium seats is about 3 meters in the small theater, which can only accommodate an audience of about 200.

"When I am on the stage, I can interact with the audience easily by eye contact. My eyes were once caught by an elderly person who shed tears. Maybe she was touched by the play which reminded her of her youth," Wang said, talking about his special moments on stage.

Wang's outstanding performance in "The Desperate Love" has won him opportunities to participate in more plays in the theater. He said he is taking music and dance courses to improve his overall competence.

The theater providing some 1,000 performances on average a year has produced over 50 original plays, attracting audiences of all ages. Unlike movies and TV series, each drama requires continuous acting for about two hours without interruption.

"It is my pursuit to make the audience feel like they are involved in the drama," Wang said.

Deng Wei, vice president of Star Theater, said most of the theater's signed actors are in their twenties.

"We conducted a survey among the audience and found that Star Theater is the place where many college students in Beijing watched dramas for the first time in their lives," said Deng.

In recent years, small theaters are gaining popularity in cities across China. The theaters create an immersive and interactive atmosphere to involve the audience in the charm of drama stories.

Wang said the small theater performance provides him with a sound start to his career. "I hope someday I will become a drama director," Wang added.