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October 12, 2021

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Home » District » Songjiang

A workshop to cultivate new playwrights

Talent is the key link to preserving, inheriting and utilizing excellent traditional culture. Days ago 55 students, with a large age span and engaged in different occupations, including government civil servants, teachers, company staff and rural art lovers, attended a special class in Songjiang District Library. They have one thing in common: They all love theater and hope to learn playwriting from professionals and quickly mastering the writing techniques.

It was the first playwriting workshop launched by Xinbang Town of Songjiang District. The town was nicknamed the "hometown of theater.”

Through cooperation between local government resources and schools, Xinbang Town has introduced the mature teaching mode of playwriting workshop to rapidly cultivate and expand playwriting talent.Through training talent, the town has consolidated the foundation of Songjiang's traditional theatrical culture.

Xinbang is deeply connected to theater. Stages are seen in every village, and opera fans can be found in every family.

Theater has become a common entertainment for ordinary people in Xinbang.

The town has a history of nourishing folk culture.

Its folk song, with lyrics like "rowing an oar and crossing a river,” was once staged on CCTV. Its local Han ethnic narrative poetry “Sister Zhuang,” “Yao Xiaoer Guan” and “Second Sister Liu” have filled the gap of Han folk narrative poetry in the written history of the Chinese language.

Thanks to the rich folk culture, a group of creative people with their representative works have emerged in Xinbang.

The playwright Ou Yue's “Giving the Runaround (Dao Jiang Hu)” won first prize in the Sketch Creation Competition of Six Provinces and One City in East China. And the original children's musical “Rooster Laying Eggs” by young playwright Yu Yue’e won the drama award from the 34th Tian Han Drama Awards.

Lu Jun, a dramatist who was born in Xinbang Town, created China's first opera reflecting the rural contract responsibility system, China's first acrobatic play about bringing order out of chaos and China's first drama themed around epidemic prevention and control.

Many of the 36 large-scale dramas and dozens of small plays Lu created bear the marks of Xinbang.

In August Xinbang Town was designated as the "Hometown of Shanghai Folk Culture and Art (Hometown of Theater)” from 2021 to 2023.

"Talent training should go first for the inheritance and development of culture,” said Lu.

The workshop faculty consists of influential teachers in the field of playwriting, who have made remarkable achievements in the fields of both creation and research.

They will take seven weeks to introduce the workshop’s mature teaching methods of scriptwriting to the group of students in Xinbang.


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