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Theater festival to offer children summer treat

By Yang Xiaoyu | | Updated: 2024-05-20 15:34
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A group of students are invited to participate in the press conference for the 13th China Children’s Theater Festival and the inaugural “Summer Tour 100+” in Beijing on May 16, 2024. [Photo provided to]

A press conference for the 13th China Children's Theater Festival, hosted by the China National Theater for Children, was held on Friday in Beijing.

Themed on "Lighting Up Young Minds, Shaping the Future", the 38-day festival, running from July 12 to Aug 18 in Beijing, will feature three major components—an exhibition of excellent domestic children's plays, an online showcase of top international productions and various theatre-related activities, according to Feng Li, president of the theater.

As the first national-level children's theatre festival which has also organized the most performances in the broadest scope in China, the event has grown to become an important platform for showcasing the achievements of theater for children, promoting its international exchanges and energizing its growth, Feng said.

Feng Li, president of the China National Theater for Children, speaks at a press conference for the 13th China Children’s Theater Festival and the inaugural “Summer Tour 100+” in Beijing on May 16, 2024. [Photo provided to]

With sub-festivals in Jiaxing of Zhejiang province and Changzhou of Jiangsu province, this year will see over 221 performances of 33 productions from 25 children's theater groups across eight countries mesmerize young audiences.

Opening the festival will be The Cat God in the Forbidden City, a popular song and dance drama co-produced by the China National Theater for Children and the Palace Museum in 2023. Uproar in Heaven, a family-friendly Peking Opera presented by the China National Peking Opera Company, will close the celebration.

Four plays selected from the third season of "Blooming and Sailing", an incubation program of theater and performing arts for young audiences, will be staged during the festival. In addition, rural children from Guangshan, a remote county in Henan province, will be invited to perform two dramas authorized by the theater as part of its charity project.

A scene from The Cat God in the Forbidden City. [Photo provided to]

To promote cultural exchange, eight plays from Russia, Japan, Norway, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Spain will be broadcast via various video-streaming platforms during the festival. The dramas, spanning mime, puppetry, dance and fairy tale, aim to offer Chinese audience a glimpse of today's global children's theater, according to the festival organizers.

The national theater also announced the inaugural "Summer Tour 100+" during the press conference. Adhering to principles of high quality productions at low ticket prices for public benefit, the tour, held from July to August, will send 172 performances of 10 excellent plays to 29 cities across 15 provinces.

A variety of enrichment activities such as workshops on Peking Opera and behind-the-scenes tours will also be held during the festival to engage young theater-goers and ticket presales for onsite performances begin today, according to the press conference.

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