New China Festival:  Staged Readings of Plays from the Chinese Speaking World

Sponsored by the National Endowment of the Arts


 Anu Bhatt

Staged readings of three plays translated from Chinese to English that highlight the work of contemporary playwrights from the Chinese speaking world. Stylistically and aesthetically diverse, the featured plays examine a Chinese society rife with tensions between tradition and accelerating change, consumerism and communism, and authoritarianism and personal freedom. New China Festival will also include a panel discussion about the state of theatre in the Chinese speaking world and the insights American audiences can gain from Chinese plays.


Speaking as Then by Ruoxin Xu (August 4th and 5th at 4pm)
On the eve of Chinese New Year, Dan is finally returning to China after several years in the U.S. But before the Tang family can celebrate a reunion, they must first confront their national, cultural, and political differences if they are to understand why Dan is really back—and why he immigrated to America in the first place.

Dialogue & Rebuttal by Gao Xingjian (August 11th and 12th at 4pm)
Two strangers find themselves stranded outside of both time and place and with only each other for company. Consumed by their personal loneliness, neither is able to truly listen to what the other has to say. Trapped in the existential crisis that follows a hook-up, their frustrations begin leading them down a path of mutual self-destruction.
Translated by Gilbert C.F. Fong

Sand on a Distant Star by Stan Lai (August 18th and 19th at 4pm)
Nightingale’s husband has been missing for nearly two decades. She’s convinced that he was abducted by aliens and will return on the twentieth anniversary of his disappearance. As Nightingale grows increasingly invested in her fantasies, her daughter and colleague grapple with an unsettling possibility: What if her husband doesn’t come back?  
Translated by Stan Lai with assistance by Tian Hongyi


Curator:  David Henry Hwang

Lead Director: Helen Young


Dates:  August 4th - August 19th, 2018
Run Time:  approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes