Stage play celebrating CPC centenary debuts in Shanghai

By Xu Xiaoxuan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, December 15, 2020
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"Birth of the Communist Party of China (CPC)", a stage play commemorating the centenary of the CPC's founding, made its debut in the Great Theatre of China in Shanghai last Friday. 

A still of the stage play "Birth of the Communist Party of China (CPC)". [Photo provided to Xuefeng]

Adapted from a documentary of the same name authored by the late renowned Chinese writer Ye Yonglie, the play depicts the founding of the CPC in Shanghai in July 1921 and its subsequent development up to January 1933.

During the 100-minute-long performance, audiences can relive the history of those 12 years, including the translation of "The Communist Manifesto" in China and the convening of the first CPC National Congress.

To bring the revolutionary pioneers in those turbulent times alive on stage, all the 16 performers from the youth theatre troupe of Shanghai Theatre Academy spent 40 days in rehearsal, striving to perfect every detail.

"Most of us play the revolutionary trailblazers. To better present the characteristics of those historical personalities, we read a large number of historical materials and watched relevant images and videos," Xu Yuanchi, the actor playing Li Dazhao, one of the main founders of the CPC, told

Expressing the sense of responsibility and mission espoused by China's first Marxists is an important part of the play, according to Luo Lan, one of its directors. Therefore, time was specially set aside for figure training despite the tight practice schedule, so as to help the actors and actresses better understand and prepare for their roles. 

"Young people today usually live a secure and comfortable life, so it's not easy for them to show the aspiration and resolution needed in those turbulent years. Such body training can ‘wake up' their muscles and help them better convey the pioneering spirit," said Luo. 

A still of the stage play features Xu Yuanchi (C), the actor playing Li Dazhao, one of the main founders of the CPC. [Photo provided to Xuefeng]

"That historical period is far away from our experiences and some lines were beyond my comprehension at the beginning," Xu said, "With the rehearsals and then performances going on, however, I gradually understand the daunting challenges facing the Chinese people in that era and the indomitable spirit of the revolutionary heroes."

Audience members spoke highly of the play, including young viewers. "It never occurred to me that a political -themed play could be rendered in such a modern way. It's just like a vivid lecture about the CPC's history, from which I can benefit a lot," commented a young viewer. 

The play will run at the Great Theatre of China until Dec. 13, and then go on tour across a dozen of provinces and cities where milestones in the development of the CPC took place, including late Chinese leader Mao Zedong's hometown in Hunan province and the frontier of China's reform and opening-up Shenzhen city.

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