Hutong theaters revive Beijing's drama scene

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2015-11-29 12:30:50

Hutong theaters revive Beijing's drama scene

Located in Chaoshou Hutong, Star Theater boasts five small performance spaces in its courtyard complex, with total capacity of no more than 1,000. Some of the spaces have stages surrounded by seats, while others don't even have a stage.[Photo/IC]

Modern stories

Small theaters seat no more than 500, and many only have room for 100 or so.

"The stage is never too far away, even if you get the cheapest tickets," said Pan Danyang, a theater fan studying at Peking University, adding that performances at smaller venues are more likely to involve interaction between actors and the audience. "That adds a lot to the experience."

Smaller theaters generally stage modern plays featuring themes young people can relate to, helping them stand out against larger, more traditional venues.

Zhang Yiwu, a literature professor at Peking University, said contemporary plays tend to tell sensitive and humorous stories of modern urban life.

"Young people today are more willing to pay for theater, making it more important for drama practitioners to meet their demands," Zhang said.

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