Young Theatre Artist's Competition

The Young Theatre Artist’s Competition is a major component of the Wuzhen Festival. Eighteen creative groups will be chosen to come to Wuzhen to perform a newly created work on a topic designated by the Festival. The jury will consist of luminaries and masters of the art. On the final day of the Festival, the jury members will choose a Best Play, which comes with a cash prize and give a Special Prize for the Most Outstanding Artist, which comes with a cash prize.

The purpose of the competition is part of the vision of the Festival Director: to establish a platform for the development of original theatre works by promising young artists. This platform is for passionate and potential young playwrights and performers to present themselves, learn from world theatre masters, and broaden their horizons.

This year, the Young Theatre Artist’s Competition of the Wuzhen Theatre Festival is regretfully only open to Chinese applicants aged 35 and under or presenting their first theatrical work. In future years it is hoped the competition will be open to young theatre artists from all over the world.

With a friendly greeting, Wuzhen welcomes passionate young theatre artists and theatre enthusiasts from Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The Young Theatre Artist’s Competition is a most striking “engine” of the annual Wuzhen Festival. Many people take part in this activity to discuss love and life, various facets of their creativity, and their unique perspectives. The Young Theatre Artist’s Competition also gives a panel of helpful jurors a chance to share their knowledge of the theatrical arts. Audiences have come to wait expectantly for the solutions to some of the playful puzzles we propose for the participating artists. As a platform for learning, practicing, interacting and showing, this gathering flourishes, getting better every year. Being heroic does not necessarily mean being victorious, and what we really pursue is creativity and excellence, rather than coveting or claiming a prize. In fact, becoming acquainted itself is a kind of fate. The path to the art of theatre is long, and along the way we should explore the dramatic sphere in high spirits. I wish you all sweet dreams in this water town—and may this Competition be a wonderful success!”

Tian Qinxin,

Artistic Consultant of Wuzhen Theatre Festival

Introduction of the Young Theatre Artist’s Competition 2016


Director/Playwright: Sun Zhenwei

Performers:  Xiao Xiao, Xu Shang

Music: Ma Shihua

Lighting Design: Fu Huabin

Costume/Makeup: Ouyang Dan

The “past future” tense is the verb tense used in English to express the idea that in the past you thought something would happen in the future. It does not matter if you are correct or not. People would naturally talk about their plans for the future and the great expectations they used to have. However, there are many who haven’t realized their ambitions, but instead passed away with regret and remorse. All successful stories are similar to each otheras in: one needs to work hard to be successful. Every failure looks different. However, can we convince ourselves to believe in the transmigration of souls, or reincarnation, whereby a human soul can inhabit another person, and carry on its unfinished ambitions? Both characters in this play have been developed based on the life experience of the performers themselves. They almost portray themselves in the play. One is a young girl whose character is the old female “type” role in Beijing Opera, and the other is a soprano who plays the lead in musicals. Gazing at each other from parallel spaces, the two actresses improvise to summon stage memories and open up a new vista.


Director/Playwright: Lin Dawei

Performers: Meng Jiawei, Yang Kaini, Ming Yineng

Costume/Props: Liu Siyan

Gazing shows the attitudes of three post-1995 teenagers towards their perceptions and feelings about life, as well as the desires and fears in which their true egos are eventually found, and how they re-decide to return to their original life paths.

The world does not have a beautiful and boundlessly fantastic future—it has only us, and our souls, our “bottom lines and choices. Therefore, gazing into the future is indeed looking into oneself. But it is very difficult for us to know ourselves. We need to peel away some layers, to have a dialogue with ourselves. We need to see all kinds of fears played out in our desires, and let all kinds of desires emerge from our fears.

In this spirit, we have created Gazing, hoping to bring caring to those who are still trying to find themselves.


Director: Ding Yiteng

Dramaturg: Liu Miyang

Performers: Ding Yiteng, Guan Xiaotian, Zhang Xu, Hu Jiaqin, Li Bingxi

Set Design: Tong Sijun

Lighting Design: Wei Jia

Costume Design: Zhang Ruimeng

Makeup: Zhu Xin

Stage Manager: Li Meng

Video/Media Director: Wu Andi

Tou O’s father farmed her out to the extremely harsh conditions of Shan Yang County. She keeps hoping to reunite with her father, but she has waited too long.

One day, Tou O is unjustly accused of a murder, and her father turns out to be the judge presiding over her case. Tou O desperately wants her father to recognize her and save her life. But her father unexpectedly refuses to admit their relationship, and sentences Tou O to death.

Tou O delivers three curses to move heaven and earth before her execution:




These curses disturb a god in heaven, and he comes down to offer a compromise, hoping Tou O can withdraw her curses. Then, what choice is Tou O going to make?


Director: Hsu Yu-Cyuan

Performers: Pan Yu-Ting, Chen Yu-Chen, Chang Chien-Yu, Lin Yu-I

Stage Manager: Lin Yu-I

Music: Yen Hsing-Yang

Costume Design: Xu Ying-Xiang

Poster Design: Chung I-Fang

What forces you to leave your family of origin? Some of us can’t avoid leaving, or avoid the bad feelings of those who stay behind. Still, there's something that will never be broken, even when you choose to leave the bond of family.

It seems as if when we were growing up, we possessed more wisdom. But at the same time, the wiser we got, the less courage we could hold on to. We thought we'd become more and more sophisticated, but in fact we'd been crushed and burned, till now there’s nothing there but the surface, like a ghost, like a dead end.


Director : Zhao Xiaoxi

Playwright: He Lewei

Performers:  Gao Yinan, Wang Sanyang

Assistant Director/Producer: Guo Zheng

Through the constantly changing identities of a man and woman, and ridiculous dialogue, all the goals of these two people lead to fateful, fruitless outcomes. In the second half of the play, an even more absurd explanation is given for the true background of these two.  A traveling case carries their future. A drop of blood is testimony to their shared past. But a meteor changes everything. The open ending, however, overturns all assumptions about the setting and what is recalled. Everything is real or unreal; any interpretation might be right or wrong.

This play is structured in three acts that seem to transcend normal time and space. The acts are called, “The Past of the Past,” “The Later of the Later,” and “The Beginning of the Beginning.” The time sequences and spatial order in the play are abstract and fragmented. One can think they are logical, both chronologically and spatially, or arbitrary—whichever way the audience sees them. But none of these affects the theme presented.


Director/Playwright: Yan Ruowen

Performers: Yuchi Shaonan, Wen Bo

Producer: Yang Zhou

Visual Design: Shao Xiwen

Lighting Design: He Yilin

A man meets a camel. A spring is hidden in a desert. The man and the camel trek in the desert. Where is their destination? Unconfirmed.

The man is mysterious, but the camel will accept anything as long as its well paid. This pair of new traveling partners begins their journey with different purposes.

An accident is incubating in a storm. Hope mixes with memory; desire collides with despair. When the man and the camel eventually reach the top of a sand dune and exhaustedly look far into the distance, they will be astonished by the view ahead.

On an ordinary path, one pursues what he wants. But when you suddenly look back, what can you see? This is a story about persistence and forgetting. Who exactly is the camel? Lets hit the road. There will be an answer!


Producer/Director: Li Jianlei

Playwright: Lin Yan

Performers: Sun Miao, Yang Jiarui, Jin Zhihao

This is a story about a traditional funeral ceremony that takes place in the countryside. In many remote southern villages, there is still an old rule that it has to be a man who presides over a funeral ceremony, or plays a major role in it. The Pingshang Village in the story is one of them. The people there believe that only men can accomplish the mission of carrying on the family line. Therefore, when a funeral is held for a deceased elder, the grandson must hold the xueingzi, which symbolizes the succession of the family line in the village. However, the Zhao Family has to break this rule because they have no grandson. Their granddaughter performs this role instead. This exception greatly affects the Zhao Family, and the mixed emotions between father and daughter make the gap between them gradually bigger. Each of them has a different idea about the heir. Eventually, the daughter falls into despair and the father becomes callous, even insane. Everything implies the beginning of a tragedy.


Director: Gao Hongchao

Playwright: Li Ming, Li Jing

Stage Design: Gao Hongchao

Performers: Li Gen, Sun Yiran, Zheng Hongchen, Hong Liang

Composer: Hong Liang

This is a common family story. If this hadn’t happened, everything would have been fine.

A man leads his lifeless, trivial and busy life, he is raped by some hooligans, he struggles with humiliation He chooses not to be silent but to report it to the police and seek help from the Mens Federation. But discrimination and pressure from the public have made him desperate. Whats even more terrible is the woman’s disdainful attitude, like a sharp knife piercing his last dignity and hope.

A narrow traveling case is his inescapable fate. Avoidance isnt painless, but confrontation is always painful.


Director : Tian Tian

Playwright: Liu Zhenxiang

Stage Design: Zou Jingshu

Performers: Tian Tian, Liu Haoqun, Zhang Tianzhi , Yang Peng , Zhou Chuhao

The night is pitch dark. A star is twinkling. An endgame.

The king (“marshal” in Chinese) chess piece in the barracks is contemplating whether to fight or to sue for peace when he hears cries from the border between two opposing powers. In this round, the flashing maleficence is like a sharp sword hanging overhead. When it falls determines life or death.

There is bound to be victory and defeat in a battle. The hesitating king (marshal) receives different opinions from his military officers. He wants to ask for peace to avoid losing more lives but it doesnt go well. All kinds of mistakes are made and lead to a dangerous situation. The officers realize that the only way is to fight for victory. The fierce battle and the death of brothers also cause an outburst of emotions.

When it comes to the end of resources, a mere pawn becomes the last hope of victory. The formerly paltry chess piece will now determine the outcome of the whole battle. How should he undertake this unexpected, heavy responsibility? Let us follow Checkmate to play a chess game of death or life. But which chess piece will you be?


Director : Hu Haiying

Playwright: Zhang Xi

Performers: Jin Shangboze, Ha Junzhe, Fu Bojie, Liu Yutong

Makeup: Wang Lili

Costume Design: Wang Xiaoli

Sound Design: Guo Feng

Props: Shi Xiao

Stage Manager: Shen Yue

Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu: these two theatre masters, from the West and the East, are not related, but they both passed away in 1616. Another literary giant, Cervantes, who wrote Don Quixote, died that same year. What a coincidence! The two masters were both born for making dreams. About life and death, Shakespeare believes, "To be or not to be; that is the question”; Tang Xianzu believes, "The living can die, the dead can live." Cervantes’ thought is: "Theatre can both save and kill people"! They all share the qualities of virtue and morality and, to a certain extent, their values.

A "meteor" from the Renaissance Division of the Bureau of Time Travel carries them to 1596.

Can the traveling case that contains the complete works of Shakespeare be opened?

Where did the inspiration for that drop of blood" from The Merchant of Venice come from?

This is going to be a gathering of greats.


Director: Soinam dekyi

Playwright: Feng Junjiao

Performers: Soinam dekyi, Feng Junjiao

Stage Manager: Gao Sitong

This story takes place at a sacred lake on a plateau, at an altitude of 4800 meters. Karma brings Buddhist relics for her mother, bowing down throughout her whole pilgrimage. Her mother had married a man who later left the family and became a living Buddha. She had spent nearly half her life walking around the sacred lake, trying to forget him, but she had failed. When she sees the Buddhist relics, she again believes the prophecy she begged from a guru: that the living Buddha will reincarnate and come home in 49 days. Because of this, she puts all her hope in her daughter, Karma. Karma has a baby who is the reincarnation of the galsang “happiness” flower, but the baby dies young. So at last, Karma and her mother both want to go on a pilgrimage. Her mother decides to go to the sacred lake to see the reincarnation of the living Buddha. Karma says she will come out from under the shadow of her baby, and decides to become a Buddhist. Which one of them will give up? They dont understand each other until they depart. They set out on their pilgrimage to the sacred Lake Lhamolhatso, with the Buddhist relics and their luggage. When they arrive, the surface of the lake is still frozen. What will they see?


Directors : Xun Yuying

Playwright: Tian Hongyi

Performers: Wang Zixuan, Yuan Tianzheng

Poster Design: Xun Yuying

Set in a nondescript factory, the play tells the story of a young woman who, realizing the ugly and oppressive nature of the place where she works and lives, attempts to escape from the dehumanizing system, but eventually (and almost inevitably) fails. Much like an ingeniously designed machine, the Factory (or Company) is so vast and deceitful that even the glimmering hope and the moment of epiphany the young woman was given were nothing but a deadly web of illusion, drawing their prey step by step to her own demise. And it’s not death that awaits her, but the very things she dreads and has been fighting against—to become yet another replaceable, reusable, and rubber-like part of the ever-expanding machine.


Director: Xu Jing

Playwright: Hsieh Yin-An

Performers: Chang LaiHsieh Yin-An

Lighting Design/Stage Manager: Wu Hsiao-Hsuan

Composer: Chang Lai

Stage Design: Li Ge

Producer: Peng Jing

Poster Design: Lo Tsun

Decades ago.

In a city, there was a pair of brothers who had been separated from each other for many years.

One was a teacher who lost his ambition; the other was an irresponsible international volunteer.

One night, they met, debated, and argued.

Could they say a harmonious goodbye before dawn?


Directors/Playwrights: Li Yunhong, Zhang Zhuonan

Performers: Wu Ling, Wang Lin, Tao Youliang, Li Yunhong

He finally becomes an arhat, or “enlightened one,” after going through all the hardships on the one hundred thousand mile journey west, for Buddhist scriptures. But what he really wants cannot be replaced by his current status as an arhat. Returning to heaven is still his ultimate goal, no matter how difficult it may be. Searching for it all over the world, he looks east, into the distance, to find what he needs in a most unsettling place. But it turns out there is no place for him there. In fact, ironically, the former heavenly royal guard there is now just like a dog.

Struggling with his dilemma leads to a flashback of old times with his master and brothers. From struggling to self-revelation, there proves to be no other choice.

Master, brothers, heaven, Buddhism… Where is his destination?


Director: Yu Hongwei

Playwright: Chen Yichuan

Performers: Song Pengyue, Liu Chuang, Yuan Jiahuan

Stage Manager: Ling Zijian

Near the capital city of the Shang Dynasty, Zhaoge, two men, named Can Jun (“Can”) and Cang Hu (“Cang”) guard a small town. When the army of the state of Zhou approaches, they worry what will happen to them. The character named Can responds by hoping divination will tell his future, while Cang reacts by planning to embrace the state of Zhou. However, when King Zhou of the Shang Dynasty sacrifices himself on the Altar of the Deer, what they end up with is not intimations of their destinies, but simply a centurion who has surrendered. Civilization is what we always look for but fail to find. The characters of Can Jun and Cang Hu, stemming from the ancient theatrical form called Canjun, are like every ordinary person who will eventually be humiliated and buried under the wheel of history. We live in the moment while expecting the future. Will the future be good? Nobody knows. Yet, in order to live on, we must have hope, even if there is only a glimmer of it. As today is much closer to tomorrow than yesterday, we keep hoping, and keep this play as a record.


Director: Lee Cheng-Jui

Performers: Lin Ying-Tung, Lee Tsung-Kang

Lighting Design: Liu Miao-Yu

Stage Design: Chen Ming-Chia

There is a legend about a traveler with a traveling case. He seeks out children who will be unfortunate in the future, and lets them see their future while they are still fortunate, at a cost of one drop of blood. Once the children have seen their unfortunate future, they can decide whether to stay in this world or to be taken out of it by the traveler. However, in an orphanage, where there is a girl expecting an approaching meteor, the traveler comes to take a drop of her blood, which becomes a big red balloon that carries them up into the sky. And as they are flying higher and higher, the girl sees the happiness of her marriage to a soldier, the anxiety of wartime, the gossip in family life, and the death of her mentally handicapped boy in chaos. What should she do? Stay, or leave.


Director: Tang Mingbo

Playwrights: Wang Qiang, Zhu Zhiqiao

Performers: Feng Yang, Dou Yueshan

Have you ever "peeped" at others or been exposed to prying eyes yourself? This play tells the story of a priest seeking mental treatment from a psychological counselor, or in other words, a psychological counselor confessing to a priest. In their interaction, mental treatment and reverse mental treatment, repentance and reverse repentance, peeping and reverse peeping occur, reflecting the absolute loneliness that dwells deep in people's souls.


Director: Liu Chang

Performers: Wang Lei, Wang Ju, Tan Hongxin, Leng Xinqing

Jing Ke, Xu Fu and Meng Jiangnv come to the Naihe Bridge. Before beginning their samsara—their karmic cycles—and before wiping clean their memories, they talk about their lives for the last time. By chance, the three of them find that they each have a very close connection to the Emperor, Qin Shihuang. Jing Ke shows them a drop of blood on his face—the only blood the tyrant shed when Jing Ke assassinated him. But Meng Jiangnv talks about a totally different Qin Shihuang. In Meng Jiangnv's memory, with her, this tyrant was quite romantic and considerate. Qin took care of her after the death of her husband. And in Xu Fu's eyes, Qin was a person who was very afraid of death. He asked Xu Fu to find him an elixir of immortality. Xu Fu actually did find the elixir, but Xu died in a shipwreck on his way back, holding the box containing the elixir as he died. Sharing their own stories, they find that, although they all knew him so well, they all knew a different Emperor. This emperor was like a ghost wandering through everyone's stories and turning them completely upside down.