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Adapting to a new idiom

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2018-08-17 08:03
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Yang Cheng, director of the Chinese version of the latest China Idiom Stories. [PHOTO BY ZHU XINGXIN/CHINA DAILY]

Beijing is due to host a major international summit for children's theater managers and artists, Chen Nan reports.

China Idiom Stories is one of the most popular shows produced by the China National Theatre for Children. Launched in 2014, each production in the series features three short plays based on traditional Chinese idioms.

On August 18 and 19, the Children's Theatre of Charlotte, a theater company from the United States, will perform their own version of the latest edition of the China Idiom Stories at the China Children's Theatre Festival in Beijing.

Ten US student actors will perform in three plays: Ban Men Nong Fu (Show Off Axe Skills Before Lu Ban, the Master Carpenter), Dong Shi Xiao Pin (Ugly Dong Shi Apes the Famous Beauty) and Ye Gong Hao Long (Lord Ye Loves Dragons). One of the pieces, Dong Shi Xiao Pin, will see the overseas actors perform in Mandarin.

"Chinese idioms, or cheng yu in Chinese, usually contain four Chinese characters. They are mostly born from ancient Chinese literature and tell traditional Chinese stories, which are usually moral tales," says director Yang Cheng, who is also the director of the Chinese version of the latest China Idiom Stories. The 37-year-old director who graduated from the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing, joined the China National Theatre for Children in 2004. Yang spent two months at the Children's Theatre of Charlotte last year as part of a cultural exchange program organized by the China National Theatre for Children.

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