Chinese theatre for all
A Chinese theatre company encourages all audiences to attend, even those who can’t speak Mandarin.
Despite works being performed entirely in Mandarin, attendees don’t necessarily need to understand the words in order for the theatre to speak to them.
‘‘With the dancing and the music, you don’t need words to understand the play,’’ I-start Chinese Theatre playwright and director Yabing Liu said.
For English speakers, Liu supplies a short synopsis is English; however, she said that human beings’ share the same emotions.
‘‘The feeling of love is common and you can feel that: the struggle, the pain, the jealousy.’’
I-start Chinese Theatre began, almost by accident, in September 2014.
When Liu had the idea of writing her first play, a friend suggested she start a Chinese theatre company, because there weren’t any in Auckland.
It wasn’t long after that the Milford resident began looking for venues nearby and, when she found the PumpHouse, she knew she had found home.
‘‘It was affordable and fun,’’ she said.
‘‘It was the only one I looked at.’’
I-start’s upcoming play, Story About a Poet, is returning after a successful opening in May this year, to mark the PumpHouse’s 40 anniversary.
Unlike the rest of Liu’s original screenplays, the unusual story is adapted from a true story about a Chinese poet who lived on Waiheke Island.
I like to put together stories to encourage audiences to be
Aopen-minded, about our lives and other people’s lives, she said. ‘‘We could do classic plays, but I would rather us tell our own stories,’’ she said.
‘‘We feel more passionate and fulfilled when we write our own stories and connect to our audiences.’’
Attend A Story About a Poet, October 16 and 17, from 7.30pm at the PumpHouse, Takapuna.
Visit pumphouse.co.nz for tickets.
Playwright and director Yabing Liu said the Chinese theatre is her passion.