Drama or dinner?
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.