Theater festival to run 3 months in Tianjin

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The Haihe Theater Festival is set to open its three-month run on Sept 25 in Tianjin, the first of its kind to run such a long period of time devoted to the theater arts.

Honoring Cao Yu (1910-96) — the father of modern Chinese drama — and showcasing Tianjin's vibrant theater scene, the festival will feature performances by professional troupes, shows by university students, cultural tourism and other activities.

Cao, who was born in Tianjin, made significant contributions to modern drama in China during his lifetime. Some of his well-known works include Sunrise, Thunderstorm and Beijingers.

The Beijing People's Art Theatre will present Cao's masterpiece Thunderstorm in Tianjin during the festival, and the Tianjin People's Art Theatre will perform three of his works. Also, a variety of Peking Opera works will be showcased throughout the three-month run.

Renowned domestic and international groups such as the China Oriental Performing Arts Group, Xi'an Drama Troupe, Britain's TNT Theatre and Britain's Chapterhouse Theatre Company will come to Tianjin during the event. They will perform a variety of shows, as well as English plays such as Romeo and Juliet and Pride and Prejudice.

Influential and cutting-edge productions, such as Meng Jinghui's drama Red and Black and the comedy Highly Suspicious produced by Gulou West Theatre will also be presented in Tianjin, showcasing the avant-garde nature of contemporary theater.

Tianjin, known as the cradle of Chinese drama, has witnessed generations of theater masters nurtured by the waters of the Haihe River, the city's mother river.

More than a century ago, Chinese drama emerged on campuses in Tianjin, and this year's festival is expected to see the younger generation continuing to carry the torch of theatrical brilliance that has been passed down by their predecessors, organizers said.

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