Sunday, March 9, 2014

Nick Rongjun Yu - Shakespeare and Censorship in China

What was your first experience of theater that converted you to wanting to pursue it as a career?

I watched a play, Othello, by Shakespeare in the theater when I was in university in 1994, it is the first time I watched a drama in theater, I got a job in hospital as a doctor after I graduated from the university, but I quit the job and found another job in theater in 1995, during that period I watched many plays and then I decided to be a playwright and started to write play.

If you can have a drink with any dramatist (living or dead) who would it be and why?

Shakespeare, I am adapting a play from Richard III, and I have a lot of questions for him.

Why is theater important to you?

It is a good way to express myself. Also I can use theater to connect with people and share the thoughts.

If you could have one of your plays produced in any country in the world, which play and which country would you choose, and why? 

My new play The Eighth Day of the Week, in China, because it is a play about the period of 1959-1960 in China, but it can not be presented on stage right now.

Nick Rongjun Yu (China) is the most produced living playwright in mainland China and the Deputy General Manager for Shanghai’s only state-run theater company, the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre (SDAC). Since 2000, Mr. Yu has authored more than forty-seven works for stage and screen with performances in other countries as well as in China. He received Asian Cultural Council Fellowships in 2004 & 2007 to conduct research on cultural exchange programs in the USA and participated in the International Residency program at the Royal Court Theatre in 2008. He has also translated works from other lands, which have been performed in China and other countries. His plays have been presented in English and Japanese as well as other languages and dialects with performances in the United States, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Egypt, Austria, Romania, Italy, Turkey, Germany, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Macao. His works were published in Chinese, Japanese, English, and Turkish. As the manager of the Arts Theatre, Drama Salon, and D6 Studio of the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center, Mr. Yu has hosted more than four hundred projects on three stages in Shanghai, including Chinese and international productions, and has facilitated international tours for SDAC productions. Since 2003 as a dramaturg and producer of the SDAC, he also has co-produced several productions with theatre companies from abroad. Since 2005, he has been the Chief Director of the Shanghai International Contemporary Theatre Festival, which is an annual festival for theatre companies from all over the world.

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