Drama or din­ner?

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZHANG XIAOMIN

Wang Bo, founder of the Mod­ern Drama Pro­ducer, the first crowd­fund­ing plat­form for mod­ern drama in Dalian, Liaon­ing prov­ince, is mak­ing a con­certed ef­fort to en­cour­age more peo­ple to par­tic­i­pate in the­atri­cal pro­duc­tions.

“Many peo­ple are pes­simistic about this. I know there will be ob­sta­cles and even losses, but I will see it through — no mat­ter how hard it is,” he said.

Wang, an an­chor for Dalian TV, set up the plat­form in Septem­ber, re­sult­ing in the pro­duc­tion of the group’s first drama — The Jiang’s House 1912 by lo­cal play­wright Wang Dong.

The on­line plat­form raised 15,000 yuan ($2,200) from 123 peo­ple.

“It ac­counts for less than 10 per­cent of the to­tal cost, but it means a lot to us be­cause we have re­ceived trust and en­cour­age­ment from a po­ten­tial au­di­ence’,” Wang Bo said.

How­ever, he be­lieves that Dalian res­i­dents pre­fer to visit restau­rants with friends rather than buy tick­ets for mod­ern drama.

“If we are pro­duc­ing goodqual­ity drama, how many peo­ple would be will­ing to pay for it? It’s about the same price as a bar­be­cue meal,” he said, adding that he isn’t op­ti­mistic about the an­swer.

“I used to have a num­ber of hob­bies, such as per­fumes, tea, par­ties and col­lect­ing strings of beads, which are still pop­u­lar. I’m 47 now, so it’s time to let go of those ‘bor­ing things’ and do some­thing re­ally mean­ing­ful,” he said.

Hav­ing worked in TV for two decades, Wang Bo has a spe­cial feel for the stage, so he chose mod­ern drama as a rem­edy for those “bor­ing things”.

He said the group will con­tinue to present come­dies to gain greater au­di­ence recog­ni­tion, but later it will pro­duce works with deeper in­sights.

“Good-qual­ity work speaks louder (than com­edy). I hope more Dalian res­i­dents will visit the theater in­stead of restau­rants or mas­sage clubs in their leisure time,” he said.

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