Dongcheng, the Lo­cus for Theatre

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS - Trans­lated by Zhou Fu­jing Edited by Mark Zuiderveld Pho­tos by Li Xiaoyin, Wara­nun Chutchawan­tipakorn (Thai­land), Xiu Yuchen, Zhao Yue

Dongcheng is be­com­ing one of the dis­tricts with the best re­sources for theatre on the na­tional theatre cir­cuit. Its rep­u­ta­tion as an in­flu­en­tial theatre cen­tre con­tin­ues to rise.

The Na­tional Ex­cel­lent New Drama Per­form­ing Sea­son 2017 was held in De­cem­ber to com­mem­o­rate the 110th an­niver­sary of the birth of Chi­nese drama and the 10th an­niver­sary of the pro­posal of “Theatre Dongcheng.” Dur­ing the sea­son, top troupes from around the na­tion per­formed 18 orig­i­nal dra­mas at Bei­jing Com­edy Academy, Cap­i­tal Theatre, Na­tional Theatre of China, Bei­jing Tian­qiao Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter and Feng­shang Theatre. The par­tic­i­pat­ing dra­mas in­cluded: Qianzi bei (“a mon­u­ment with 1,000 char­ac­ters”) telling the sto­ries of Communist Party of

China (CPC) mem­ber Mao Feng­mei; Cixin guang­ming (“the up­right heart”) about Wang Yang­ming, a Ming Dy­nasty (1368– 1644) master of Con­fu­cian­ism; The Leg­end of “Dwelling in the Fuchun Moun­tains”; Shibadong (“Shibadong Vil­lage”) about tar­geted poverty al­le­vi­a­tion; and Tie­gan zhuangjia about vil­lagers walk­ing from the moun­tains seek­ing a new life.

This per­form­ing sea­son has seen Dongcheng District’s ef­forts to build “Theatre Dongcheng.” As a core func­tional district of the cap­i­tal, Dongcheng boasts rich cul­tural and the­atri­cal re­sources and put for­ward the tar­get to build “Theatre Dongcheng” in 2007. Since then, the district has made use of its ad­van­tages, en­riched theatre re­sources, built in­flu­en­tial brands, sup­ported orig­i­nal plays and utilised in­dus­trial up­grade and trans­for­ma­tion, to be­come a theatre in­cu­ba­tion base. Now, more than 700 plays are staged in Dongcheng ev­ery year, with to­tal per­for­mances sur­pass­ing 6,000. Dongcheng be­came one of the dis­tricts with the best the­atri­cal re­sources on the na­tional theatre in­dus­try cir­cuit. Its rep­u­ta­tion as an in­flu­en­tial theatre cen­tre con­tin­ues to rise.

A Decade’s Ef­fort

Bei­jing has seen the his­tory of Chi­nese theatre and wit­nessed its splen­dor and re­vival. As one of the ear­li­est birth­places of Chi­nese drama, Dongcheng launched the con­struc­tion of “The­atri­cal and Cul­tural City” in 2017, the 100th an­niver­sary of the birth of Chi­nese drama. Ten years af­ter 2007, Dongcheng ad­vanced the “Theatre Dongcheng,” work­ing out sup­port­ive poli­cies, al­lo­cat­ing spe­cial funds, gath­er­ing the­atri­cal re­sources and set up plat­forms for com­mu­ni­ca­tions among art academies and troupes, ex­perts and writ­ers.

In 2008, new mea­sures in­te­grated the district’s art troupes, ex­perts, me­dia, tick­et­ing re­sources, cul­tural units and com­pa­nies to es­tab­lish the Dongcheng District Theatre Fed­er­a­tion.

Dongcheng District Theatre Con­struc­tion Com­mis­sion es­tab­lished a 3-mil­lion-yuan sub­sidised fund for theatre de­vel­op­ment and a 10-mil­lion-yuan theatre in­dus­try guide fund and worked out ten­ta­tive man­age­ment mea­sures.

In 2009, the district is­sued Opin­ions con­cern­ing Ad­vanc­ing the Con­struc­tion of the Cap­i­tal’s The­atri­cal and Cul­tural City, worked out fis­cal poli­cies and fi­nanc­ing and in­vest­ment mech­a­nisms, and al­lo­cated sub­si­dies for pur­chas­ing or rent­ing houses to sup­port theatre cul­ture. In 2010, the district founded the Dongcheng District Theatre Con­struc­tion Com­mis­sion, which is a co­or­di­na­tion in­sti­tu­tion. An of­fice was es­tab­lished within the Dongcheng District Cul­tural Com­mis­sion to carry out the mea­sures that were de­vel­oped and de­ci­sions made by the Dongcheng District Theatre Con­struc­tion Com­mis­sion. The of­fice also takes charge of or­gan­is­ing meet­ings and han­dling daily af­fairs. The district also es­tab­lished a the­atri­cal art guid­ance com­mis­sion, the­atri­cal project as­sess­ment and an ap­proval com­mis­sion to stan­dard­ise the

de­vel­op­ment of theatre cul­ture.

From 2011 to 2015, Dongcheng es­tab­lished the de­vel­op­ment con­cept of “one cen­tre, two nodes, three con­tents and five mea­sures.” It fo­cused on con­struct­ing the Cap­i­tal The­atri­cal and Cul­tural City,” and took “theatre con­struc­tion, play cre­ation and in­flu­en­tial ac­tiv­i­ties” as its main con­tents.

The district en­cour­aged cre­ativ­ity and hosted a group of dis­tinc­tive the­atri­cal ac­tiv­i­ties. It in­tro­duced so­cial cap­i­tal to con­struct or ren­o­vate the­atres and con­structed an in­flu­en­tial clus­ter for the the­atri­cal per­for­mance in­dus­try. It en­cour­aged the cre­ation of plays and aimed to build a cen­tre for the cap­i­tal’s the­atri­cal tal­ents. The district sup­ported Chi­nese cul­ture and strength­ened in­ter­na­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tion to build an in­ter­na­tional ex­change cen­tre for the­atri­cal ac­tiv­i­ties.

“Theatre Dongcheng” has been ac­cel­er­ated as the is­su­ing of a se­ries of doc­u­ments, such as the Strate­gic Plan for the Over­all De­vel­op­ment of Dongcheng District, the Peo­ple’s Dongcheng Ac­tion Plan and the Theatre Dongcheng De­vel­op­ment Plan (2016–2020). They built a favourable pol­icy en­vi­ron­ment and set up plat­forms for the­atri­cal cre­ation, per­for­mance and com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

Dongcheng is home to both na­tion­al­level art academies and per­for­mance troupes, such as The Cen­tral Academy of Drama and Bei­jing Peo­ple’s Art Theatre, and a num­ber of pri­vate per­form­ing in­sti­tu­tions; there are na­tional-level art or­gan­i­sa­tions, tick­et­ing agen­cies such as Da­mai, var­i­ous per­form­ing venues, and re­hearsal spa­ces rep­re­sented by the 77 Cul­tural and Creative Park. As of De­cem­ber 2017, there were 83 per­form­ing groups in Dongcheng, which have at­tracted renowned drama ac­tors and screen­writ­ers, in­clud­ing Lin Zhao­hua, Yang Lip­ing, Meng Jinghui, Wu Qiong and Deng Chao. It has 34 the­atres, ac­count­ing for a third in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, and has in­flu­en­tial the­atri­cal ac­tiv­i­ties year-round.

Dongcheng has organised pub­lic the­atri­cal per­for­mances for the ben­e­fit of its res­i­dents. It held per­for­mances in res­i­den­tial com­mu­ni­ties, which led to a large num­ber of the­atri­cal at­ten­dees and pro­moted cul­tural con­sump­tion and the de­vel­op­ment of the theatre in­dus­try. The Theatre Art Per­form­ing Cen­tre has be­come one of the six in­dus­trial clus­ters in Dongcheng with “Theatre Dongcheng” as the artis­tic face of the district.

Theatre Re­sources

Watch­ing dra­mas is com­mon in Dongcheng. If one looks at a map, many the­atres can be seen in the district which form five the­atri­cal clus­ters: Wang­fu­jing, East Sec­ond Ring Road, Nan­lu­ogux­i­ang, Qian­men and Long­tan.

Near the Wang­fu­jing area, there is the Cap­i­tal Theatre, the Van­guard Theatre of the Na­tional Theatre of China, Chang’an Grand Theater and the For­bid­den City Con­cert Hall; along the East Sec­ond Ring Road, there is the Poly Theatre, Fengchao Theatre, Lei Theater and Bei­jing Com­edy Academy; near Nan­lu­ogux­i­ang, there is the Ex­per­i­men­tal Theatre of The Cen­tral Academy of Drama, Peng­hao Theatre, Feng­shang Theatre and Tang­guo (Candy) Theatre; in the Qian­men area, there is Liu Lao­gen Stage, Tian­leyuan Opera House and the Su­per Theater; around Long­tan Lake, there is the Red Theatre, Long­tan Theatre and Bei­jing Chil­dren’s Palace Theatre.

Ac­cord­ing to Dongcheng District’s Ac­tion Plan to Build into a Cul­tural District and Pro­mote Na­tional Cen­tre Con­struc­tion, these five the­atri­cal clus­ters will be up­graded from 2017–2020. In the Wang­fu­jing clus­ter, the con­struc­tion of Bei­jing In­ter­na­tional Theatre Cen­tre, east of the Cap­i­tal Theatre, will be ac­cel­er­ated, in­clud­ing the con­struc­tion of the Per­for­mance Av­enue. Dahua Cinema will be ren­o­vated into Dahua Theatre, sched­uled to be put into use in 2018. In the East Sec­ond Ring Road Clus­ter, the China Na­tional Opera House will con­struct a new theatre.

In Qian­men, Xida Theatre will be con­structed to sup­port Xi­damochang Street and re­vive the city’s cen­tral area; Guanghe Chalou will be re­paired and Guanghe Theatre will be re­stored. In the Long­tan Lake clus­ter, Happy Theatre, in­clud­ing a large theatre and two small the­atres, will be con­structed on Xingfu Street. It can ac­com­mo­date 900 au­di­ence mem­bers and will be put into use in 2018. Each clus­ter or theatre will be guided to form its own

char­ac­ter­is­tics. For ex­am­ple, Chang’an Grand Theatre will be a cen­tre for opera per­for­mance, the Nan­lu­ogux­i­ang clus­ter is for orig­i­nal dra­mas and the Happy Theatre is for mass per­for­mances. Each clus­ter con­tains both large and small the­atres, with the larger for com­mer­cial per­for­mances and smaller for cre­at­ing orig­i­nal plays.

Apart from these rich the­atri­cal re­sources, Dongcheng has the­atri­cal ac­tiv­i­ties and fes­ti­vals year-round, suit­able for all au­di­ences.

China Chil­dren’s Theatre Fes­ti­val is one of the renowned theatre fes­ti­vals in China and even in the world. Es­tab­lished in 2011, it has be­come a reg­u­lar event dur­ing ev­ery sum­mer va­ca­tion and has been held for seven con­sec­u­tive years. Since then, 177 per­form­ing groups from 21 coun­ties, Hong Kong and Ma­cau have per­formed 301 plays 1,443 times, ben­e­fit­ing 1.06 mil­lion au­di­ence mem­bers. The fes­ti­val is a plat­form to pro­mote com­mu­ni­ca­tion and en­rich the lives of chil­dren.

In 2010, Dongcheng co­op­er­ated with the theatre academies and per­form­ing groups within the district and Ji­adaokou Sub- district to host the First Nan­lu­ogux­i­ang Theatre Fes­ti­val. In 2013, the fes­ti­val was ex­panded into the Nan­lu­ogux­i­ang Theatre Per­form­ing Sea­son, com­mit­ted to high­light­ing el­e­ments of Dongcheng, spread­ing the­atri­cal ed­u­ca­tion and en­cour­ag­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion among the masses. It is held from May to July, at­tract­ing many the­atre­go­ers.

Bei­jing Fringe Fes­ti­val is an­other Dongcheng the­atri­cal brand. In 2008 and 2009, the district, to­gether with Bei­jing Fed­er­a­tion of Lit­er­a­ture and Art Cir­cles and Bei­jing Drama­tists As­so­ci­a­tion, hosted the Bei­jing Youth Theatre Fes­ti­val for two years, which was up­graded into the cur­rent Bei­jing Fringe Fes­ti­val in 2010. The fes­ti­val aims to ex­plore, dis­cover and cul­ti­vate young the­atri­cal tal­ents and of­fers them op­por­tu­ni­ties to prac­tice. The fes­ti­val has been held for eight years, ex­plor­ing po­ten­tial among young tal­ent in theatre.

The Cap­i­tal Theatre Great Plays Per­for­mance Sea­son is an in­ter­na­tional theatre brand cre­ated by Bei­jing Peo­ple’s Art Theatre and Dongcheng District in 2011, bring­ing to­gether world-renowned per­for­mance groups, di­rec­tors and artists. Since 2011, many great events emerged from the per­form­ing sea­son. Bei­jing Com­edy Fes­ti­val, es­tab­lished in Oc­to­ber 2016, is a younger one. It lasts two months, with ac­tiv­i­ties like fo­rums and com­edy stu­dios work­ing to bring com­edy to the cam­pus. It con­trib­utes to the spread and de­vel­op­ment of com­edy art.

Dongcheng has many the­atri­cal fes­ti­vals, but many of them don’t have strong in­flu­ence at home or abroad and haven’t formed defin­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics. In the fu­ture, Dongcheng will guide these fes­ti­vals to bet­ter de­fine their ori­en­ta­tion. For ex­am­ple, the Nan­lu­ogux­i­ang Theatre Per­form­ing Sea­son held in the spring will fo­cus on pop­u­lar­is­ing the­atri­cal knowl­edge and guid­ing the­atri­cal con­sump­tion. It will serve the pub­lic. The China Chil­dren’s Theatre Fes­ti­val in the sum­mer will per­form ex­cel­lent do­mes­tic and over­seas chil­dren’s plays and en­hance the in­dus­try by host­ing the In­ter­na­tional Chil­dren’s Theatre Salon. The Bei­jing Fringe Fes­ti­val in the au­tumn will stage plays cre­ated by young tal­ents to ex­plore the­atri­cal per­son­nel.

Sto­ries of Dongcheng

The­atres and events aren’t enough to at­tract au­di­ences though there must be great works also. Though these years have seen the emer­gence of more per­for­mance groups and more works, there are few orig­i­nal works fo­cus­ing on pop­u­lar is­sues and so­cial con­flicts.

In re­cent years, Dongcheng has is­sued mea­sures, es­tab­lished funds, and in­tro­duced celebri­ties’ stu­dios to en­cour­age orig­i­nal play cre­ation. It has gath­ered a sub­stan­tial amount of re­sources to at­tract per­son­nel. It gave sup­port to orig­i­nal plays that tell sto­ries of Dongcheng and launched the drama Nan­lu­ogux­i­ang No.7. Dongcheng en­cour­ages cre­at­ing ex­cel­lent his­toric plays and those re­flect­ing res­i­dents’ lives. With “Dongcheng’s sto­ries” as the core, these sto­ries ei­ther took place in Dongcheng or were rel­e­vant to the district.

Jiangjunli tells the story about the de­mo­li­tion of di­lap­i­dated houses, re­set­tling res­i­dents and re­con­struc­tion. Qi Ji­ay­ong from Dongcheng District Cul­tural Com­mis­sion, ex­plained that, “The di­rec­tor and screen­writer went to many streets to ob­tain ma­te­ri­als with plots based on real

sto­ries.” It dis­plays var­i­ous Bei­jingers in the process of rapid ur­ban de­vel­op­ment. The story, with strong lo­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics, is close to the lives of au­di­ences.

Shinian (“ten years”) is sim­i­lar to Jiangjunli. It tells the sto­ries of the el­derly cou­ple Sun Lina and Zhu Min­cai. Sun used to be a se­nior pri­mary school teacher and Zhu used to be a diplo­mat. Af­ter re­tire­ment, they give up the high life in Bei­jing and choose to teach in the moun­tain­ous ar­eas in Guizhou Prov­ince. They stay there for ten years. Di­rec­tor Song Tian­shuo talked with Sun and was touched by their ex­pe­ri­ence. Song se­lected sev­eral im­pres­sive sto­ries to cre­ate the drama. The cou­ple il­lus­trated the spirit of “not em­broi­der­ing flow­ers on bro­cade, but of­fer­ing timely help.” Thanks to the drama, their story be­came widely known.

There are about 100 plays re­flect­ing the life of Dongcheng res­i­dents, such as Chao­gan (“stir-fried liver”), Long­fusi (Longfu Tem­ple), Qian­men ren­jia (“house­holds in Qian­men”) and Quyun Zhong Gu Lou (“Drum Tower and Bell Tower”). Ac­cord­ing to in­com­plete statis­tics, in 2016, Dongcheng and the per­form­ing groups within the district launched 52 orig­i­nal plays, ac­count­ing for 30.9 per­cent of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity and 10.1 per­cent of the coun­try.

To sup­port orig­i­nal cre­ation, the district gov­ern­ment changed the pro­duc­tion process. It so­lic­its screen­plays with Dongcheng style char­ac­ter­is­tics and se­lects teams to trans­form them into plays. In the past, the gov­ern­ment ini­tially com­mis­sioned a per­for­mance team to cre­ate a play and took the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the pro­duc­tion and tick­et­ing. It cost about 1 mil­lion yuan to pro­duce a play. The new method now com­bines gov­ern­men­tal sup­port and mar­ket- ori­ented op­er­a­tion. The gov­ern­ment of­fers ma­te­rial that the per­form­ing group writes screen­plays based on. Af­ter ex­perts’ as­sess­ment and ap­proval, the per­for­mance group can be­gin pro­duc­tion and stage the plays. The gov­ern­ment pur­chases tick­ets to sup­port the plays. Un­der this model, it costs 30– 40 mil­lion yuan to pro­duce a play.

Dongcheng District gives three-round sup­port to orig­i­nal plays. The first-round is pur­chas­ing tick­ets, the sec­ond round is to fund per­for­mances and the last round is award­ing ex­cel­lent plays ac­cord­ing to spe­cific cri­te­ria. This method ben­e­fits per­for­mance groups, who are mo­ti­vated to cre­ate plays and re­ceive awards. These groups also have a plat­form to show­case them­selves to au­di­ences.

Dongcheng se­lected four pop­u­lar plays in re­cent years to join The Na­tional New Drama Per­form­ing Sea­son 2017. Dongcheng con­sid­ered the sea­son to be an op­por­tu­nity to pro­mote it­self and to com­mu­ni­cate with other state- owned per­form­ing troupes, such as Shenyang Drama Troupe, Liaon­ing Peo­ple’s Art Theatre, Dalian Drama Troupe and Qing­dao Drama Troupe.

Un­like some other types of art, theatre can’t be eas­ily copied or du­pli­cated. To let more au­di­ences ap­pre­ci­ate plays at the­atres, Dongcheng com­bined “Theatre Dongcheng” con­struc­tion with pub­lic cul­tural ser­vice. The gov­ern­ment pur­chased tick­ets and 100,000 res­i­dents in the district got the chance to watch per­for­mances for free, en­sur­ing low- in­come fam­i­lies the abil­ity to watch a per­for­mance each year.

The district of­fers tar­geted ser­vices for spe­cial groups, such as mi­grant work­ers, the dis­abled, se­niors and teenagers. It ad­heres to low-price tick­ets for per­for­mances at the China Chil­dren’s Theatre Fes­ti­val and the num­ber of tick­ets whose prices are less than 100 yuan ac­counted for 37 per­cent of the to­tal. It en­ables more chil­dren to ac­cess to the per­for­mances. Or­gan­is­ers also pre­pared per­for­mances for mi­grant work­ers, low-in­come fam­i­lies, or­phans and chil­dren with dis­abil­i­ties and oth­ers.

A Theatre Base

Sev­eral years ago, the Bei­jing Off­set Print­ing Fac­tory sat on the Meishuguan (Art Gallery) Back Street. There are two signs at the gate now: a bronze one with the char­ac­ters for “Bei­jing Off­set Print­ing Fac­tory” and an iron one with the char­ac­ters for “Bei­jing Theatre Re­hearsal Cen­tre.” The fac­tory was re­con­structed into a re­hearsal cen­tre in­side the 77 Cul­tural and Creative Park.

In 2011, the noise and smell pro­duced

by the fac­tory ex­ceeded lim­its and the fac­tory’s busi­ness de­clined. In early 2012, the CPC Bei­jing Dongcheng District Com­mit­tee and Bei­jing Dongcheng Peo­ple’s Gov­ern­ment re­lo­cated the fac­tory’s off­set print­ing busi­ness. The fac­tory signed a 20-year co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment with the state-owned Bei­jing Ori­ent As­set Man­age­ment Com­pany to jointly con­struct a cul­tural and creative in­dus­trial park. On Novem­ber 19, 2015, the Bei­jing Theatre Re­hearsal Cen­tre, lo­cated in­side the park, opened. The re­hearsal cen­tre, ren­o­vated from old plants, of­fers re­hearsal ser­vices to reg­is­tered sta­te­owned and pri­vate per­for­mance troupes.

In Bei­jing, pri­vate per­for­mance troupes ac­counted for 90 per­cent with the num­ber in­creas­ing. It is not easy for them to find a suit­able re­hearsal space in Bei­jing. De­vel­op­ing per­for­mance groups led to in­ad­e­quate re­hearsal spa­ces and the­atres. Most of the pri­vate troupes had to rent a venue just to re­hearse. As the re­hearsals and venues weren’t en­sured, this af­fected the qual­ity of their work. Ac­cord­ing to an in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­port, the rent for Bei­jing’s re­hearsal rooms ranged from 800 yuan a day to 10,000 yuan a day, a large ex­pen­di­ture for many per­for­mance troupes.

The Bei­jing Theatre Re­hearsal Cen­tre solves pri­vate troupes’ dif­fi­culty in find­ing a re­hearsal venue. The cen­tre cov­ers a con­struc­tion area of 3,000 square me­tres (sq.m) and con­tained 19 large, mid­sized and small rooms in var­i­ous sizes and a 130-sq.m hall for dress re­hearsal. Un­der the model of gov­ern­ment pur­chas­ing ser­vices, the re­hearsal cen­tre is a non­profit in­sti­tu­tion and of­fers ser­vices for per­for­mance troupes, but charges less. The fee is 500 yuan per day for rent­ing a large hall, 300 yuan per day for a mid­sized hall and 200 yuan a day for a small hall. The rent is half the mar­ket price. In prin­ci­ple, the max­i­mum con­tin­u­ous rental pe­riod should be no more than 50 days.

The low rent at­tracts many per­form­ing troupes to re­hearse here. Since its open­ing, 350 dra­mas were re­hearsed here, 340 of which were staged, mean­ing half of the orig­i­nal dra­mas staged in Bei­jing’s per­form­ing mar­ket were re­hearsed here. Some were staged in other cities or even over­seas. Fa­mous ac­tors, di­rec­tors and hosts, such as Zhang Guoli, Zhang Tielin, Wang Gang, Chen Peisi, Lai Shengchuan and He Jiong all once re­hearsed here. The stage art cre­ation fund es­tab­lished by the gov­ern­ment will be al­lo­cated to sup­port orig­i­nal and out­stand­ing plays. The per­for­mance troupes with mu­nic­i­pal­level plays within the cir­cle have pri­or­ity. Plays whose re­hearsals are com­plete get the chance to be per­formed in 39 the­atres af­fil­i­ated with the Poly Group with the help of the Bei­jing Poly For­bid­den City Theatre Man­age­ment Co., Ltd. There­fore, Bei­jing Theatre Re­hearsal Cen­tre is re­garded as “Heng­dian in the cir­cle of theatre” by in­sid­ers.

This re­hearsal cen­tre of­fers high qual­ity, yet af­ford­able, venues for re­hearsal. It low­ers per­form­ing troupes’ pro­duc­tion costs and en­ables au­di­ences to en­joy rea­son­ably-priced per­for­mances. The Bei­jing Theatre Re­hearsal Cen­tre in­side 77 C&C • Park, is an ex­am­ple of a fac­tory’s suc­cess­ful trans­for­ma­tion and is not an in­di­vid­ual case. As the re­lo­ca­tion and shift­ing of func­tions un­re­lated to the city’s sta­tus as the na­tion’s cap­i­tal ad­vances, many un­der­ground spa­ces used for civil de­fence are in­tended to be­come pro­fes­sional re­hearsal venues.

The Dongcheng District Cul­tural Com­mis­sion is com­mu­ni­cat­ing with gov­ern­men­tal de­part­ments and plans to trans­form the un­der­ground spa­ces used for civil de­fence in Min’an Com­mu­nity, Beix­in­qiao and Donghuashi sub- dis­tricts into theatre in­cu­ba­tion bases. The space, com­pris­ing about 1,000 square me­tres, can be di­vided into 10 re­hearsal rooms. Af­ter be­ing ren­o­vated, it will open to more troupes and the­atre­go­ers. In the fu­ture, more pub­lic re­hearsal venues like the Bei­jing Theatre Re­hearsal Cen­tre will ben­e­fit both au­di­ences and troupes.

As a core district of Bei­jing, Dongcheng has seen the birth and de­vel­op­ment of the theatre in the city. It is an im­por­tant force for the de­vel­op­ment of China’s theatre. In the fu­ture, Dongcheng will con­struct a “theatre ecosys­tem” char­ac­terised by the­atri­cal tal­ents, more plays, lead­ing in­sti­tu­tions, per­for­mances and in­ten­sive com­mu­ni­ca­tion. It as­pires to be­come a place with a com­plete in­dus­try chain and im­proved ser­vice, bring­ing to­gether Chi­nese and for­eign per­for­mance troupes.

The Grand Theater at Bei­jing Tian­qiao Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter

Cap­i­tal Theatre

The drama The Drum Tower is at Beix­in­qiao staged at Lei’s Stu­dio

A Xiju Opera troupe from Chang­shu, Jiangsu Prov­ince per­forms Happy Tro­jans at the China Chil­dren’s Theatre Fes­ti­val.

77 C&C • Park in Dongcheng District

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