The Bard meets a Ming playwright

By Chen Nan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-09-26 08:06:40

The Bard meets a Ming playwright

The play A Midsummer Night's Dreaming Under the Southern Bough features young students from China and the United Kingdom, most of whom are not theater majors. [Photo by Zhu Xingxin/China Daily]

Li Ruru, who earned her bachelor's and master's degrees at the Shanghai Theater Academy, is now professor of Chinese theater studies at the University of Leeds, where she obtained her doctoral degree in drama and theater in 1993.

She has spent the last two years shaping an ambitious project - a stage production called A Midsummer Night's Dreaming Under the Southern Bough, which combines the 17th-century masterpieces of Shakespeare with works by Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) playwright Tang Xianzu, both of whom died in 1616.

"I knew that 2016 would be a great opportunity to celebrate these two literary giants. You cannot wait for another 100 years," Li tells China Daily.

"For me, it's also a wish to introduce Chinese theater to foreign audiences because people don't know about it."

The collaboration comprises two parts: Chinese students from the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing interpret Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream; and students from the University of Leeds perform Tang's play Record of the Southern Bough.

The production premiered at the University of Leeds on July 27 and moved to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Last week, it was staged in Shanghai and Beijing.

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