Shanghai Theatre Academy
October 17 & 18
Leeds Theatre, Lyman Hall
77 Waterman Street
The Shanghai Theatre Academy visited Brown for two performances of Confucius’ Disciples.
On tour from Shanghai, China, Shanghai Theatre Academy (STA) presented Confucius’ Disciples, a series of short plays about China’s greatest educator, Confucius (551‐479 BC) and his three fictional teenage disciples. Modeled after the classic novel Journey to the West about Buddhist monk Xuan Zang (602‐664) and his three disciples, these plays are set during Confucius’ historic travels trying to promote his philosophy and statecraft. While the plays are essentially allegories dealing with issues relevant to today’s people, all characters are based on traditional Chinese opera roles rendered in stylized movement patterns, somewhat similar to those of commedia dell’arte.
Brown University and the Shanghai Theatre Academy have developed an ongoing partnership. In the summer of 2010 Brown University students, Jarrett Key '12 and Phoebe Nir '14, attended workshops at the STA in China. The students were part of a month‐long Shanghai Summer School program where more than 300 students from around the world gathered to learn about Chinese culture ‐ from opera to calligraphy to ping pong. The aim of the program is to promote traditional Chinese culture and to improve understanding of China and friendship between countries.
The Shanghai Theatre Academy performers were in Providence as part of their US tour, which includes stops in Boston and New York. These performances were also recently presented as part of the UNESCO ITI World Congress Festival in Xiamen, China. Shanghai Theatre Academy is a 62 year‐old comprehensive university of performing arts, with a focus on theatre training and studies. The Academy is one of China’s outstanding higher educational arts institutions with academic and artistic exchange programs with institutions in 26 countries and districts around the world.
Co-sponsored by the Year of China and the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies.