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Wuzhen Theater Festival: The other side of an ancient town
Updated:2017-10-27 13:35:00

The annual international festival, which kicked off on October 18 and continues until October 29, has gradually become one of the most significant symbols of Wuzhen, a traditional water town in east China’s Zhejiang Province. The town has a history that traces back 7,000 years.
During the 10-day festival, a total of 100 performances from 24 productions and 12 invited countries including Russia, Germany and the UK, will be shown at the seven indoor theaters. Productions are organized into five sections: “Classics Revisited,” “Female Perspectives,” “Multimedia Productions,” “Physical Theater,” and “New Voices.”
The Wuzhen Theater Festival, jointly founded by the chairman of Culture Chen Xianghong, award-winning playwright and theater director Stan Lai, well-known Chinese actor Huang Lei and highly-reputed experimental drama pioneer Meng Jinghui, is welcoming its fifth year since the first Wuzhen Theater Festival was launched in 2013.
In last four years, the festival has been expanding, with a total of 65 plays, 218 performances, 16 theater activities and more than 5,100 carnivals, attracting nearly 100,000 theatergoers and almost a million tourists.
Chen Xianghong summarized the past five years as "the renaissance of a town," which has broadened the Chinese vision of plays and presented a window to Chinese theaters on the world stage, making this astonishingly charming water town known to a foreign audience.
Because the Wuzhen Theater Festival has attracted a large number of young people and young artists, the town has transformed from a "tourist town" to an "art scene."
"It is now hard to imagine Wuzhen without a theater festival," Chen said.
The town has become busier in the last four years, with a larger number of theater productions and outdoor carnival events.



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