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Theater director enjoys overseas success

By Chen Jie | China Daily | Updated: 2014-04-30 08:54

Theater director enjoys overseas success

A scene from Tian's acclaimed work Green Snake. Chai Meilin / For China Daily

Theater director enjoys overseas success
Silver Bear winner not afraid of risks
Theater director enjoys overseas success
A global stage

She returned to Beijing in 1997 and put all her passion into her first production, Severance (Breaking Wrist), a modern interpretation of a historical story that celebrates love and life.

"It was hard time. I lost my job. My parents didn't understand why I went to Shenzhen nor why I came back. I felt shame seeing my teachers. The worst was I cannot forget that (lost) love," she adds.

"Finally, I heard the voice from my heart saying that I must do this play, as a kind of ending ceremony."

Her script moved a friend who had also ended a 10-year relationship. He put up 200,000 yuan ($31,984) as a sponsor.

That tragedy was a huge success. It impressed Zhao Youliang, then president of Central Experimental Theater (the predecessor of the National Theater Company of China), who went to backstage to ask whether she would like to join the company.

"It was totally unexpected. Really? Can I?" The young director could not believe it and did not take it seriously.

The next year, Tian's second play, Peach Blossom at the Post, again caught Zhao's attention. He went to her again.

Thus Tian joined the country's leading drama company and soon directed her signature work Between the Living and the Dead in 1999. Adapted from the eminent woman writer Xiao Hong's (1911-1942) novel of the same title, the play created a new style of presenting Chinese rural people and life.

Between the Living and Dead earned her dozens of awards and high box-office revenue. Ever since, she has kept a comfortable rhythm producing acclaimed works.

Theater director enjoys overseas success

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