Growing market is bolstered by official support
In recent years, Dalian’s cultural market has grown steadily, according to Zhang Rongrong, manager of the People’s Culture Club of Dalian, in the northeastern province of Liaoning.
Every year, the theater hosts more than 300 performances, including classical music, ballet, opera, crosstalk (a type of comedic dialogue) and contemporary drama, regularly selling about 70 percent of the available seats.
Modern dramas performed by well-known actors and written by award-winning playwrights are the most popular offerings, along with comedies. However, when big stars are involved it’s difficult to obtain tickets, Zhang said.
The theater also cooperates with other venues in Dalian and in cities such as Beijing, Harbin, and Shenyang, Liaoning’s capital city, to invite well-known companies from both home and abroad to perform.
“This way, we share resources and reduce costs, and that means we can provide more high-end performances for our audiences,” Zhang said.
The market for modern drama is influenced by a range of factors, such as local preferences, incomes and the conditions of theaters and other venues.
In March, the city’s Zhongshan District provided a subsidy to people who bought tickets for three venues — Dalian People’s Culture Club, Hongji Grand Stage and Dalian Poly Theater.
Ten thousand premium cards were issued, costing 300 yuan ($43.50) and the local government provided a subsidy of 100 yuan. Each card provides entry to five different events at local theaters.
In November, the local cultural administration issued a further 10,000 cards for the three theaters, while a fourth, the Dalian Development Area Grand Theater, was added to the list. The subsidy has been increased to 300 yuan per card, which are valid for six performances.
“Local people need guidance about art, so we hope more locals will be encouraged to visit the theater,” Zhang said.
Local people need guidance about art, so we hope more locals will be encouraged to visit the theater.”
Zhang Rongrong, manager of the People’s Culture Club of Dalian, a theater in Liaoning