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July 17, 2009

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The Hobbit, Ugly Princess, Little Woodman take to the stage

The Little Woodman, Aunt Tigress, the Ugly Princess and many other charming characters are celebrating summer vacation during the ongoing Shanghai International Children's Theater Festival.

This afternoon, Shanghai Camphor Tree Theater will present "The Cat and the Mouse" at the Metro City shopping complex at 2pm.

Free puppet and acrobatic shows will be performed at Grand Gateway Mall tonight at 7pm. Both malls are in Xujiahui in the city center.

The one-month event features more than 30 performances by children's theater companies from Australia, Canada, Singapore and other countries, plus China.

The idea this year is to offer fewer but more quality and innovative theater. The festival started in 2004.

Themed events throughout the city include charity performances, free puppet and acrobatic shows and children's theater arts forums.

This year's festival focuses on higher-quality performances, according to festival director Gan Qingyuan, president of the Children's Art Theater of China Welfare Institute.

For example, "The Wonder World of Paper" by Taiwan's Puppet Beings Theater Company will present an innovative theater form, "object theater," for the first time.

The opening performance of the festival, "The Hobbit," by Canada's Theater Sans Fil was staged with huge, lumbering characters at Shanghai Art Theater last Friday.

Some were more than two meters high.

"Through the festival, we would like to showcase new concepts of children's theater from overseas," Gan says. "At the same time, we also want to introduce children's arts development in China to the world."

Free charity shows will be performed around the city, so more children can interact with actors from all over the world. They will visit public parks and cultural centers next week.

Other highlights include "The Adventure of the Little Woodman" by Shanghai Puppet Troupe about a boy's search for a golden key in the vast forest; children's musical "Check Out!" by Australia's Polyglot Puppet Theater about a baby's adventure in a supermarket; as well as "The Little Mermaid" by The Children's Art Theater of China Welfare Institute.

Shanghai International Children's Theater Festival"Check Out!"

Polyglot Puppet Theater from Australia

Date: July 18-19, 3pm, 7pm

Tickets: 80-150 yuan

Venue: Drama Theater of Shanghai Grand Theater, 300 People's Ave

"Check Out!" free show

Date: July 21, 7pm

Venue: Meilong Culture Center, 415 Meilong Rd

Date: July 22, 7pm

Venue: Xinzhuang Culture Center, 326 Qixin Rd

"The Little Mermaid"

Children's Art Theater of China Welfare Institute (Shanghai)

Date: August 1, 2pm

Tickets: 80-150 yuan

Venue: Malan Flower Theater, 643 Huashan Rd

Tel: 6253-7561, 962-388

"The Wonder World of Paper"

Taiwan's Puppet Beings Theater Company

Date: July 25, 2pm, 7pm; July 26, 10am, 2pm

Tickets: 80-150 yuan

Venue: Xuhui Cinema, 588 Tianlin Rd E.

"Aunt Tigress"

Taiwan's Little Frog Theater

Date: July 25, 3pm?, 7pm?; July 26, 10am, 3pm

Tickets: 80-1580 yuan

Venue: Malan Flower Theater, 643 Huashan Rd

"Aunt Tigress" free Show

Date: July 22, 7pm

Venue: Xiangyang Park, 1008 Huaihai Rd M.

Date: July 23, 7pm

Venue: Xujiahui Park, 889 Zhaojiabang Rd

"The Adventure of the Little Woodman"

Shanghai Puppet Troupe

Date: July 25, 10am, 3pm

Tickets: 90-150 yuan

Venue: Ciro's Theater, 5/F, 388 Nanjing Rd W.


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