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Drama "Sunrise" by Renowned Chinese Playwright Cao Yu

日出

Updated Beijing Time

Venue: Huang Hua Gang Theater
Time: 2008-06-13, 14 20:00
Tickets: ¥680, 480, 380, 280, 180
Tel: 8386 5690, 8384 6330

Cao Yu (曹禺) was a renowned Chinese playwright, often regarded as China's most important of the 20th century. His most well-known works are Thunderstorm (1933), Sunrise (1936) and Peking Man (1940). It is largely through the efforts from Cao Yu that the modern Chinese "spoken theater" took root in 20th-century Chinese literature.

In Cao Yu's second play, Sunrise, aka Ri Chu in Chinese, he continues his thematic treatment respecting individuals' progressive moral degradation in the face of a hostile society.

This full-length modern drama tells of the corruption and luxury of the rich and the suffering of the poor in the old China. The plot revolves around Chen Balu(陈白露), a high-class courtesan in Shanghai in the 1930s. Chen enjoys a pleasure-seeking life in the city but in the end commits suicide in the face of her benefactor's bankruptcy, the death of a teenage girl she has tried to save from being forced prostitution, and the departure of her childhood boyfriend.

The play was first premiered in 1956 in Beijing by the Beijing People's Art Theater and in Shanghai by the Shanghai People's Art Theater. It was in the repertoire of both Theaters. It's been adapted into a film by the Beijing Film Studio and musical by the China Musical Centre. The scripts for the film and the musical were written by Wan Fang, Cao Yu's daughter.



Chen Shu


The play Sunrise has been staging for several times. And sorts of people have played the female role of Chen Balu. This time, Chen Shu (陈数) is complimented as the most appropriate and beautiful Chen Balu by audiences. She is elegant, graceful and beautiful enough for the role. And she plays by heart.

Chen Balu is an actress of National Theater. Her dean said that, destiny gave Chen Shu the chance of playing the role of Chen Balu.

(By Luna Yang)

Source: lifeofguangzhou.com/China-Fun/Cri

Editor: Jessie Hwang

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