In Wuzhen, it is a frequent and unexpected pleasure for festival-goers to cross paths with great artists, hear what they have to say about their work and even receive their professional guidance. You don’t need to pay tuition, but you may have to reserve or line up for a seat. This year, Wuzhen has reconfigured this free-of-charge but reservation-required section. It has three parts: The 14 Dialogues center around either the invited plays or topics related to hot trends in Chinese or World Theatre, branching out to broader topics such as the management of student productions and the cross-pollination of artistic disciplines. Five Workshops, together with a special series of events by IATC, offer further hands-on guidance for both practitioners of the art form and those who study or critique it. A total of 10 Readings have been organized, one series for unannounced celebrities and the other for everyone interested in participating, sharing our passion for the art of words and the body language that so appeal to us. This year we have added two English events to the Midnight Readings. The Exhibition of the portraits of 100 theatre masters creates an immersive environment for theatre lovers and tourists alike. While we gaze at their faces, their eyes pierce through hundreds and even thousands of years of history and illuminate our world with acute insights into humanity.
The Wuzhen Dialogues have been a fundamental fixture of the Wuzhen Theatre Festival since its inception in 2013. It is an occasion for the lover of theatre to be in the same room with the master artists at the Festival, to hear them talk about theatre, art, life, and the world. This year, in addition to a return visit by the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC), a group of Young Critics will also attend. A new performance sector named Academic Ripple has also been added to the Specially Invited Plays, and so topics for the Wuzhen Dialogues seem to be gaining in diversity.
Top artists, critics, and our totally engaged listeners from all over the world meet again in the Traditional Storytelling Hall to talk about the mysteries of theatre, in an exchange of minds and souls. The Dialogues are free to the public. Come join us for a cup of tea, and enjoy this year's fascinating dialogues!
— Stan Lai, Co-founder and Festival Director