Specially Invited Plays
 A Brief History of Human Evolution


New Youth Group

Directed by Li Jianjun


31st Oct. 2019, 20:00

1st Nov. 2019, 18:30

2nd Nov. 2019, 14:00/22:00

WHERE: Exhibition Hall 4

Duration: 100 minutes (without intermission)

Performed in Chinese, with Chinese and English subtitles

About A Brief History of Human Evolution

A single cell, a trilobite, a belodon, a gorilla, a human being, a stone, an axe, a language, a book, a steam locomotive, a jet plane, a computer, a spaceship that takes human to the universe, a party, a farewell, a birth, a death, an ideology, a hurricane, a broken angel.

This is a brief history of human beings comprised of notions of progression. This is a human evolution that happens in the theatre. Words, stories and ideas that constitute this history are derived from our collective memories and private experience. On the stage, every performer writes history with their gestures. Humorous while dignified, these gestures are their creations that link up our perceptions of the past and the future.

  Text, sound recording and videography. Significant inventions that demonstrate and motivate the advance of human civilization are performers of this piece as well. As a memory cloud, they document our history and reconstruct us at the same time. Over and over again, performers try to imagine and imitate the mythology of civilization with their ever-shifting gestures. Are they attempting to trace back our lost memory, or struggling to resist the discourse of progression?


Director: Li Jianjun

Performed by New Youth Group

About Li Jianjun

Li Jianjun is an independent theatre director, living and working in Beijing. In 2011, he founded the New Youth Group. Li Jianjun is an important practitioner of contemporary theatre art in China. His series of theatrical works reflect his concern for the living situation of ordinary people. He combines the historical experience of visual arts with the study of theatre media, which gives his work a distinct spirit of innovation. In recent years, his works have received extensive attention and controversial discussion because of their critical cultural stand and exploration of theatre aesthetics.

About The New Youth Group

The New Youth Group was founded in 2011. They have created Madman’s Diary, Say Goodbye to Your Shadow, A Beautiful Day, 25.3km, A Man Who Flies Up to the Sky, and more. The group is devoted to exploring new theatre aesthetics and using the stage art as a tool for intervening in the daily life of contemporary China. New Youth Group has been invited to the Beijing Fringe Festival, Wuzhen Theatre Festival, Festival/Tokyo, German Ruhr Art Festival, Italy VIE Art Festival, Festival International New Drama(FIND) and more.