Penghao Theater has reopened after two months’ worth of intense renovations, just in time for the Nanluoguxiang Theatre Festival. Penghao now boasts a full terrace with lovely views of the surrounding hutongs, a new coffee bar, fresh Mediterranean dishes from the kitchen and upgraded seats, lighting and sound systems in the theater itself.
This is the third year for the festival, which kicks off May 13 and runs to July 8. Audiences will be treated to 48 plays and 200 performances. The theme of this year’s festival is “return to literature,” meaning the performances will focus on bringing together the novel and the stage in new and creative ways.
Five foreign productions have been invited to join the festival, including two French nouveau cirques performances, Eppur Si Muove and Magic Night. In Eppur Si Muove, the two performers of Compagnie Morosof explore the weaknesses of relationships and the human spirit in a series of amazing stunts done in mid-air. Cie 14:20 fuses dance, magic, juggling and various media with traditional acrobatics to create a fantasy world of movement and color in Magic Night. Ruth Kanner Theatre Group will regale audiences with two tales of the sea in a href="http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/beijing/events/108448/">At Sea, while Sandra Penne directs a monologue based on Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Tang Shu-wing Theatre Studio will present a minimalist take on Shakespeare’s first work with Titus 2.0.
We’re the most excited about the premiere of several original works: Where Does the Sound of Singing Come From?, created by renowned critic and playwright Tong Daoming; Central Academy of Drama professor Chen Xiaoling’s monologue Lifetime Achievement Award; China, Cat Land, adapted from writer Lao She’s only work of science fiction; J 2012, a dance piece by the famous contemporary dancer and choreographer Hou Ying and Love Conquers All, a rom-com produced by Gu Yian, a well known teacher at the Shanghai Theatre Academy who is known for his creative stage designs and French humor.
Last but not least, The Story of Luoguxiang, penned by Penghao Theater founder Wang Xiang, is an interesting take on the theater’s history and the hutong it sits on. Call ahead for information on languages and subtitles.
What: Nanluoguxiang Theatre Festival
Where: Penghao Theater
When: Sun., May 13-Sun., July 8