Wuzhen Theatre Festival

Artist: Chen Xianghong, Lai Shengchuan, Huang Lei, Meng Jinghui
Location: Tongxiang City, China

Year: 2015

Wuzhen town is located in the north of Zhejiang province in China and is a typical water town of southeast China which is about 1.5 hours drive from Shanghai. The town has 1300 years of history, as the national scenic spot, many tourists visit Wuzhen Dong Zha (东栅) scenic spot (the east part of this town)every year. In 2013, after reconstructing several old buildings into small-scale theaters, and finishing the new Wuzhen Grand Theatre, the west part of the town named Xi Zha(西栅) was ready to open. On May 9, 2013, a ten-day event named Wuzhen Theatre Festival was held.

As an annual theatre event, Wuzhen Theatre Festival is presented by a local company named Culture Wuzhen Co., Ltd. and founded by Chen Xianghong, Stan Lai, Huang Lei and Meng Jinghui. The last 3 founders are, respectively, a famous actor, play writer and drama director in China and some of them are teachers at the BFA (Beijing Film Academy) or have their own Theatre Workshop. It consists of various inter-related parts: the Specially Invited Plays, the Young Theatre Artist’s Competition, the Outdoor Carnival, the Wuzhen Dialogues, and the Master Classes. After the First Wuzhen Theatre Festival opened in May, 2013 with the theme “Reflection”, the 2nd and 3rd Wuzhen Theatre Festival were held with the theme “Metamorphoses,” and “Transmittal,” in the autumn of 2014 and 2015.


During the festival, the entire town of Wuzhen was transformed into a stage, and theatre lovers all over the world were invited to enjoy and participate in this tantalizing feast of the theatrical arts. In 2014, the 2nd Wuzhen Theatre Festival (30, Oct to 9, Nov) was held with 17 Specially Invited Plays, 108 special guests, 24,419 spectators, over 300 works and 1,000 artists, 500 old town carnival performances, attracting nearly 130,000 tourists.

The Young Theatre Artist's Competition has been one of the highlights of the Festival, and fulfills one of the Festival goals which is to promote creativity and the making of new theatre works for young artists. During the 2nd Wuzhen Theatre Festival a total of 107 groups applied for the competition, with the Jury selecting 12 to compete. Following two rounds of public performance, generated 1 “Wuzhen Award for Best Play" and 1 "Most Outstanding Artist" award.

It is Wuzhen Theatre Festival that makes Wuzhen town special and active more than other traditional water towns. A performer said:” It is my first time to see such a big environment theatre. Every corner in this town is the performance space. It makes me shocked. “

A director of festival outdoor carnival said: “The art is the soul of Wuzhen town, and the festival makes Wuzhen".

All copyright belongs to Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University.

Progress Agency