The Wuzhen Theatre Festival
The Wuzhen Theatre Festival is an annual theatre event in the ancient water town of Wuzhen, Zhejiang Provice, China, co-founded by Chen Xianghong, Huang Lei, Stan Lai and Meng Jinghui, and organized by Culture Wuzhen Co., Ltd. Though only in its 8th year, the Festival has already become one of the premier festivals in China and Asia.
A grand celebration of the art of performance and a hub for cultural exchange amidst the stunning backdrop of ancient canals and alleys, the Festival consists of various inter-related parts: the Specially Invited Plays, the Emerging Theatre Artists Competition, the Outdoor Carnival, and the Wuzhen Dialogues, etc. The entire town of Wuzhen, which has a history of more than 1,300 years, is transformed into a stage, and theatre lovers all over the world are invited to enjoy this tantalizing feast of the theatrical arts.
Audiences can choose from a selection of the world’s great theatre groups and creative masters who bring their works to Wuzhen, as well as the best of Chinese language offerings. They can also be inspired by the new works from the Emerging Theatre Artists Competition that are created just for the Festival. The Wuzhen Dialogues, along with the Theatre Forums, bring the artists together with the audience to explore the theatrical event in all its facets, and you can’t miss being dazzled and delighted at the nonstop Outdoor Carnival in the streets and plazas of the town.
One of the unique qualities of the Wuzhen Theatre Festival is the charm and variety of all of its theatre spaces. Within walking distance of each other, there are over ten indoor venues that sport widely differing characteristics — all exuding the charm and beauty of the old town. There is also a large amphitheatre, and several outdoor plazas suited for performance. These striking venues create a theatre cluster that is not only unique in China, but in any theatre festival in the world. To see great theatre in these special, historic venues is to experience the unique spell that the Wuzhen Festival casts on its audiences.
"Beyond the Real, All Wuzhen's a Stage." People come to Wuzhen to dream. In the theatres, by the canal, in the little side streets. It is a place for artistic nourishment and reflection, where the world meets China, and China meets the world, in the theatre.