Director: Ren Ming
Playwright: He Jiping
Institution: The Central Academy of Drama, China
Venue: Experimental Theatre, the Central Academy of Drama
Time: 19:15-22:15, May 18, 2008
Event: ATEC 3rd International Forum
I've been wishing to direct a production about Qing concubine palace for long time. I still remember that when I was at school I read a book named "Qing Gong Wai Shi" (Legend of the Qing Palace), written by Yang Chunbing, it made a deep impression on me. In the 1990s, I saw a play based on the novel, which was written by Ms. He Jiping in Hong Kong, I enjoyed it very much.
It's a pleasure for me, upon invitation, to work with the Class 2004, Directing Department Central Academy of Drama to produce this play. After considering a number of scrips and investigating the students' conditions, we chose to direct a production of Qing Concubine Palace. The vitality and talent of the students affected me in the process of rehearsal, their creativity was much admired. I am confident that they will have a very good performance in this play and reach the training goal through the rehearsal. I would express my gratitude of being invited by the Directing Department to work with students to accomplish the production together. It is a great honour to be trusted and we hope you all will enjoy the play. In addition, I would like to sincerely thank my colleague, Wang Peng, who helped me completing the work.
At the end of the 19th Century, Princess De Ling of the Qing Dynasty, who was born and educated in the west, came back to China with her father and lived in the Forbidden City. Faced with the malicious Empress Dowager Ci Xi, the desperate Emperor Guang Xu, a whole palace of infighting concubines, and the corrupted imperial officials, De Ling. with her youth, vitality, and her sense of western Enlightenment, came into direct conflict with the old and banal traditions in the late imperial palace.
De Ling and Ci Xi, two women with totally opposite personalities and mindsets, met at such a historical time. Although they often came to conflict, they nonetheless cared about each other, which led to this happy yet sad story.