Dr Li Ruru, Department of East Asian Studies, University of Leeds
Throughout China the 'Cao Yu Centenary' is being marked by a year of events including symposia, lectures, an international conference, exhibitions in mainland China, Hong Kong and Japan. 24 September was his 100th birthday and therefore the month saw the release of a TV documentary series Dramatic Poet Cao Yu, the publication of Cao Yu's pictorial biography, chronology, and a set of commemorative stamps. In addition to spoken drama productions of his works, performances of adaptations in ballet, opera and regional operas will continue until the end of the year.
Why is Cao Yu significant for modern Chinese drama? To what extent does his personal life affect his career? Where does modern drama stand in the 21st century? The speech will attempt to answer these questions. Participants will also have the opportunity to view three short clips of the spoken drama productions: Thunderstorm and Peking Man by Cao Yu, and WWW.COM by Yu Rongjun, a play depicting the urban life in today's Shanghai.