The second Hangzhou International Theater Festival, a most anticipated carnival for theater fans that will last from September 16 to September 30, will start to sell tickets from July 17. Sponsored by famous Chinese director Meng Jinghui, the festival debuted last year. Compared to mature drama fests in Beijing and Shanghai, which usually stage tens of plays each time, the first Hangzhou International Theater Festival only invited five plays. They are all meticulous choices but the fest is small in scale.
The number of plays this year’s festival is going to stage soars to nine, and they are expected to best appeal to both ordinary theater fans and meet the need of the audience who love to see avant-garde stuff.
Avant-garde dramas that will be on show include “Partners” by Xu Xiaopeng, a 2012 Beijing Fringe Festival award winning director, “Five Clowns and One Chair” from Taiwan, Italian physical theatre “To Die Is Not Bad”, Dutch multimedia show “Space of the Departed”, “A Beautiful Day” by famous Chinese director Li Jianjun and “Dieu Tonnerre”, a physical theater adapted from “You Don’t Say” by Yuan Mei (1716–1797). The mix of western and local new theaters is expected to bring brand new sensory stimuli and introduce new channels to explore the human spiritual world.
Meng’s plays have always been a must for the commercial performance part of the fest. He will not stage “To Live”, a show that has been on show before, but present his new work “Guns, Lies and Roses”. The story tells the bizarre and funny encounter of a man who wants to commit suicide. “Donkey’s Niche”, the realistic and absurdist play that was a massive hit in 2012, will be presented during the fest for the first time.
In addition, this year’s fest will provide the viewers with a series of other activates, including masters’ performance workshop, contemporary drama forum, celebrated playwrights’ lectures and script reading clubs, through which the attendants will have deeper understanding of the contemporary drama development and learn the playwrights’ artistic lives.
The dramas will be staged at four venues this year, namely, Hangzhou Grand Theater, Red Star Theater, Wulin Theater and Hangzhou Library. The four locations are all in the city center and the transportations are convenient.