Filled with Dreams: The Night of Drama Gala
Author：Brenda Teh Xiao Tong, Wang Zongnan December 24,2018
The Night of Drama Gala was successfully held at CUC Auditorium on Friday, Dec 21. This gala has come to its 21st anniversary since first held in 1997. This is an annual event held by Student Union of Faculty of Art and is favored by students of CUC due to its professional production and uniqueness. The Night of Drama Gala is a platform for students to join and experience drama and help push the development of drama industry in China.
Combining features of Chinese culture and the number 21, the poster of the Gala is rich in meaning
The theme of the 21st Night of Drama Gala conjures with the 21st Century which depicts a world where the Eastern and the Western world combines. The theme for this event is, Opening up One’s Heart and Finding their True Self. A total of 24 teams contested for the five slots at the drama gala. The selection process started during October and every detail fell under scrutiny of the judges from the Film and Theatre Faculty to make sure that the performance is top notch.
Tickets for the Gala, with the list of programs on back
The ticket, is one of the special features of the gala. The 21st Night of Drama Gala sheds the tradition and uses a darker tone with a LOMO filter for their tickets. There are five designs of the tickets, each of them combines the elements from all 5 skits and can be combined to be made into a bookmark. The design specifically includes the elements of love hate relationships between different dynasties, places, and time to serve as a reminder for people to embrace the past and enlighten the path to the future.
The Final Night of Jin Daban
Jin Daban was a dancer in the olden days of Shanghai in the 1930s. She was a senior dancer who witnessed joy and sorrow in the theater for years. At the final night of her days at the theater, Jin Daban did not have any more performances, however, the young dancers who kept coming in and out of her room triggered her memories. This made her questioning her past and what she desired when she first joined the theatre as a dancer. Jin Daban had her glorious days in the theatre but years of ups and downs made her succumb into the dark side of the theatrical industry. She then accepts that she will slowly fade away as time passes.
Shi Guang Ju Zhong Ju
A science fiction play which story revolved around the use of time machine to travel to the past and stop a bank robbery. The protagonist used a time machine to travel back 20 years to stop a bank robbery. To prevent the time machine from being misused, he destroyed the time machine in 2015 as soon as it is used. However, his time travel uncovered more secret and mastermind behind the robbery than what he was prepared to handle. This comedic play sent the audiences heart thumping but also kept them entertained as well.
The Yubei Pavilion Saga
A well-crafted musical play set in the Ming dynasty which story teaches women to be brave to stand up to their rights and be independent.
The play was adapted from the 19th Century British writer Emily Jane Bronte’s novel "Wuthering Heights". It was about a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff. Wuthering Heights created a world of its own, conceived with a disregard for convention, an instinct for poetry and for the dark depths of human psychology. The action of the story was chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combined made this masterpiece of English literature an amazing play.
Tears of the Lonely Star (Gu Xing Lei)
It tells a historical story that Da Tang first princess Pingyang Gongzhu, in order to bring back peace for the whole country, chose to sacrifice herself which met the prophecy about Nuwa.
No vacant seat left in the auditorium
"Everything was so wonderful! It gave me no time to breathe. I really enjoyed myself to full," said Zakarya, an international student from Yemen. He had been here for one year learning Chinese literature. "I still cannot get the full meaning of each play. However, the drama itself can go across the borders of language." Recalling the five plays, he said the Gu Xing Lei impressed him most, because the music was attractive and it provided him the first opportunity to view the Chinese historical drama. It was also the first time he joined the CUC Night of Drama Gala. "The incomparably excellent drama left me thirsty for more. I wish more chances to engage in the Chinese cultural art."
Wang has a lot to say about the character of Jin Daban
The Night of Drama Gala served satisfaction for audience and also for the actors and actresses. Wang Shuhan, student majors in Theatre Director, acted the mirror Jin Daban in the play The Final Night of Jin Daban. "I was at the first place chosen to act the young Jin Daban, but we all found I was much more suitable for the mirror character. Then I change to polish the character of mirror Jin Daban." Her team had started to prepare for it a month ago. Much earlier, the script was written the last semester. "The most difficult things for us is that we have to do the rehearsal with all the cast members. Everyone was nervous not to make mistakes because that would cause delay for all of us. However, when it was time to perform on the stage, nothings seemed intense. All I thought was to show myself."
Around 70 students help to hold the gala successfully
The Night of Drama Gala was prepared in two months. Oriented towards the whole university, the gala provides opportunities to the students in all majors to take part in the show. There were all together 24 crews and 5 were selected on the final show. This year, the background stage used was mobile. There was no host but violin music connecting the whole 5 dramas, and this was all about the theme: Filled with Dreams. Han Zheng, one of the organizers in Faculty of Art said, "CUC our university is a place filled with dreams of all the students, and the stage is a place filled with all the imagination and thoughts, and the stage is where the Night of Drama Gala takes place, where the dream takes place."
Editor: Wang Huiyi, Arshad Bhatti