2016/01/12

Small theater season provides an intimate experience

It's time for the small stage to take center stage at the National Theater of China.
It's time for the small stage to take center stage at the National Theater of China.

It's time for the small stage to take center stage at the National Theater of China. The small theater season - presented to audiences of just a hundred or so - will present 19 plays over the next three months.

One of the most widely anticipated plays is "The Victors" by French writer Jean-Paul Sartre. It tells the story of a group of French guerrilla members captured at the very end of World War Two. Facing torture and temptation, the characters experience an emotional mix of love, hope, trust, hatred and despair, forcing them to make a choice: to be a hero or a coward.

Although it debuted in Paris almost 70 years ago, the director of this season's Chinese translation says the play still has a poignant message for audiences today.

"The beauty of play is the power of its ideas and values and it's sense of human warmth. This is more touching than the play's humorous moments," director Zha Mingzhe said.

Zha first directed the play in 2006 and has invited the original cast to return. Zha has a profound understanding of war-themed plays. He's directed three such plays including the popular Soviet film adapted for stage "Dawns Here Are Quiet."

"Mort Sans Sepulture" opens on Friday.

The small theater season features 14 plays produced by private companies, and four national theater productions.

Cheaper ticket prices are also a feature of the season as 40 percent of the tickets cost less than 100 yuan, while the most expensive costs only 120.