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City theater kicks off busy season with 60 productions
Post on 03/14/2022 | keywords:China | Hits:555

With new productions and theater spaces, Shanghai Grand Theater kicked off its 2022 spring and summer season on Feb 24. The new season consists of more than 200 performances of 60 productions.

The Shanghai theater established its own production center last year, and will launch three new productions this year: the Chinese editions of The Brothers Karamazov, a musical from South Korea; Frankenstein, a British play by Nick Dear that is based on the novel by Mary Shelley; and a new edition of the classical Chinese Kunqu Opera piece The Peony Pavilion.

The theater will introduce a new space, the Young Theater in Yangpu district in March, and the West Bund Theater in Xuhui district will open next year. Shanghai Grand Theater will also launch a themed art season in all three venues in the future.

The number of shows and box-office income dropped considerably in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but last year saw figures rising back to what they were in 2019, said Zhang Xiaoding, general manager of the theater at the season opening.

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"Theaters today not only have to present shows that are classical, innovative, interdisciplinary and crossover, we also have to provide an irreplaceable experience for audiences," Zhang says.

"One can watch the dance highlights of the poetic dance, The Painting Journey: The Legend of a Panorama of Mountains and Rivers, which was performed during the China Central Television's Spring Festival gala, and over and over online, but if you want a complete experience of a dance theater production, you will have to come to the theater and immerse yourself in it."

The dance performance will be presented again at Shanghai Grand Theater in April, and tickets to all four shows, scheduled from April 28 to 30, were sold out within minutes after they were made available on Feb 24. Following discussions with the performing company, two more shows are being added for May 1-2.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, Shanghai Grand Theater presented 419 shows last year, receiving more than 310,000 audience members. The theater also reported an unprecedented dominance of younger audiences-almost 65 percent were aged between 21 and 40.


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