Blog, Edition 2015, TC 2015

Grass Stage’s Route to Social Theatre

_Y7A8226_1Lecture by Zhao Chuan
Writer, art critic, curator and theatre director

“The stage is a small world, and the world is a big stage”- how does reality unveil drama every day and make it impossible for us to stay out of social theatre?  Grass Stage is a theatre collective founded in spring 2005. Under the direction of Zhao Chuan—writer, curator and theater director, it has put on a number of programs and performances which steadily grew in influence and acclaim.  The members of Grass Stage encourage ordinary persons to enter the theater to create a social theater with a rich social conscience.  Grass Stage’s pieces, within a framework of the most basic “poor theater”, use a diverse set of techniques including physical theater, texts, documentary footage, oral story-telling, clown performance and performance art, engendering powerful spaces for intellectual exchange.  Over the years it has deployed various venues to stage not-for-profit performances and discussions in China. Their theatre has thus become a gathering spots for all kinds of people, continually creating fluid public spaces. Their post-performance talks have often become the scene of theatre unexpectedly.

Zhao Chuan is a writer, art critic, curator and theatre director who creates alternative, political theatre in Shanghai. He is the founding member and mastermind of the very important Chinese theatre collective Grass Stage since 2005. His work devoted to the promotion of new social theatre movement and the creation of non-profit public space. The collective has focused on deepening the connection between theatre and society, and has made use of a wide range of venues and situations for performances and discussions. Grass Stage events are not only spaces for bringing together diverse elements of society, but also provide, in a country relatively lacking in opportunities for public participation, a fluid and varied range of public social spaces. His theatre works have been performed in many Chinese cities, as well as in outside of China. Zhao Chuan has been awarded several literature awards, including the Unita Prize for New Novelists (Taiwan 2001). His curatorial projects including 2014 Performance Project at OCAT Shenzhen; “Action Asia” at Shanghai Rockbund Art Museum from 2013 to 2014. He was artistic director for Mecooon Fringe Festival in Shanghai in 2009 and 2010.
Thursday, October 29 – 7pm
Connecting Space Hong Kong