"It's a very unique college theatre experiment," said Professor of Theatre and Dance Steve Reynolds.
Hu has directed plays throughout China, including The Glass Menagerie, Our Town, The King Stag, The Proposal, The Bear, The Dangers of Tobacco and The Blind. In the United States, she has directed two world premieres, Monkey King for the Texas Shakespeare Festival and The Land of the Dragon for the Arkansas Repertory Theatre. The Wittenberg production is Hu's first at an American university.
Wild Wind was first performed in Beijing at the National Theatre of China in 2002 and is widely known as a milestone in Chinese-spoken theatre. It varies from the traditional forms of the Kunqu or Peking Operas, which utilize highly formalized singing, dancing and movements, as well as elaborate costumes and makeup. The spoken theatre form utilized in Wild Wind is based more on Western theatre and has a much more natural and realistic style.
Wild Wind tells the story of Tian Han, considered one of the greatest Chinese artists of spoken theatre of the last 100 years.
"Han was a politics major studying in Japan [who wanted] to save China from government corruption and launch social reforms," Hu said. "He fell in love with theatre the first night he went to a play in Tokyo. The route of his life thus changed. He started one of the first theatre societies in China, set up the first privately run drama school, and established the first professional company of spoken theatre in China."
"Our representation of Tian Han's life embodies our own artistic imagination and sensitivity," Hu said. "It is a tribute to Tian Han, to Chinese-spoken theatre, and to those who believe in the power of theatre in changing our lives."
Stage manger for the production is Robert Navarre, class of 2008 from Norcross, Ga.; assistant stage manager is Anna Reilly, class of 2009 from Pittsburgh, Pa. Student actors are David Kabbes, class of 2009 from Springfield, Ohio; Allie Persinger, class of 2010 from Washington Court House, Ohio; Amber Bodi, class of 2010 from Grand Rapids, Ohio; Martha Sawicki, class of 2011 from Buffalo, N.Y.; Jordan Davis, class of 2009 from Maineville, Ohio; Blaire Butler, class of 2009 from Cincinnati, Ohio; Rayna Long, class of 2008 from Payne, Ohio; Andrew Nash, class of 2009 from University Heights, Ohio; Brien Sewell, class of 2009 from Greenville, Ohio; Parker Neff, class of 2011 from Prospect, Ky.; Chris Felts, class of 2008 from Bloomington, Ind.; Nick Vukasovich, class of 2008 from Birmingham, Mich.; Paden Frank, class of 2010 from Groveport, Ohio; Maureen Esty, class of 2011 from Brookville, Md.; Dan Zeleznik, class of 2009 from Berlin Center, Ohio; Chris Jones, class of 2010 from Middletown, Ohio; Vincent Pontius, class of 2011 from Milford Center, Ohio; Jumar Guy, class of 2011 from Fort Wayne, Ind.; Megan Flahive, class of 2011 from Indianapolis, Ind.; Jess Bailey, class of 2010 from Greenville, Ohio; and Grace Larkin, class of 2010 from Timonium, Md.
Tickets are $4 and will go on sale Monday, Feb. 11 at the service desk in the Benham-Pence Student Center. Tickets can also be reserved by calling 327-7443.
Written By: Rachel Morgan '08
Photos By: Ryan Maurer
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