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Chinese theater talent on the fringe of discovery

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2022-09-21 07:56
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Theater directors Yang Ting (left) and Meng Jinghui appear at the opening ceremony of the 15th Beijing Fringe Festival held at the National Theatre of China in Beijing on Sept 9.[Photo provided to China Daily]

When veteran director Yang Ting was invited to offer advice to young people interested in theater, she refused.

"I am happy to share my own experiences of working in theater, but I cannot give you any advice," she explained. "Theater is all about personal feelings and imagination. If you have some ideas, you just give them a try and immerse yourself in theater."

Her reply received applause and cheers from the audience, most of whom were young theater directors.

They gathered together to mark the opening ceremony of the 15th Beijing Fringe Festival, which was held at the small theater of the National Theatre of China in the capital on Sept 9.

Beijing Fringe Festival, founded in 2008 by Beijing Federation of Literary and Art Circles, and the National Theatre of China, offers a platform for young Chinese theater talent to showcase new work, promoting the development of a flourishing theater scene in China and fostering international exchange.

According to renowned theater director Meng Jinghui, who is the artistic director of Beijing Fringe Festival, nearly 500 theatrical productions have been staged by the festival since 2008, including 91 works from artists of 20 countries. Moreover, 32 works by young Chinese talent, which were originally shown during the festival, have been staged around the world over 600 times.

"Every year, we welcome young theater talent during the festival. Some attendees have participated in the festival from the very beginning, while some are very new to it. Some are even first-time theater directors," says Meng. "With the diversity of their works, we see emotions and feelings and the beauty of theater, which is so visceral."

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