A play by Cao Yu with English Subtitles
The Storm: Festival is an adapted version of Thunderstorm, a play by Cao Yu, which was originally published in 1934. The subject matter of Thunderstorm is the disastrous effects of rigid traditionalism and hypocrisy on Zhou family. The plot of Thunderstorm centers on the Zhou family's psychological and physical destruction as a result of incest and oppression, caused by its morally depraved and corrupt patriarch, Zhou Puyuan, a wealthy businessman.
The story focuses on a span of 24 hours, strives to present an image that in the context of the era in which the social value system is undergoing a transformation, the suffering experienced by people of different classes and different ideals. The original version of the play cuts through multiple perspectives. It portrays the suppressive relationship between the wealthy merchant and lower-class civilians. The Zhou family represents extreme capitalism, in contrast with the newly born communism among common people.
However, this aspect of the original play is reduced in this version for a purpose. "Festival" is the past and the future. It is one of the few warm and soft memories in the past, and it is also the expectation and hope of the future. In the days of suffering and work, everyone is thinking, as long as the "festival" is coming at last, everything will be fine again. In this story, we give the power to each character, and each of them will imagine an illusion of a "festival" to resist the pain, torture and absurdity of reality. They believe that after all these hard times, they will finally reach the other side of happiness. However, in The Storm: Festival, when fate entangles with the past, the reality, and the future, the festival did not arrive.
The Storm: Festival is performed on stage prior to the traditional Chinese New Year. We welcome everyone to come to the theatre to celebrate with us. It's a time when people lay their burden and stress from the last year, embrace a new possibility in the upcoming new year. During this special time of the year, this production will highlight the humanity and the struggling in the Zhou family, rather than the crisis outside their mansion. Zhou Puyuan is the dignified father in the family, who values the virtue of his family member more than anything else. The peaceful order in his family is the bases of his pride. But everyone else, including his young wife Fanyi, his two sons Ping and Chong, feel imprisoned in his ideal household.
About Queens Yu Chinese Modern and Contemporary Theatre Society:
Yu Theatre Society was founded under the support of Dan School of Drama and Music in October 2018. It serves to bring professional Chinese theatre and spread Chinese culture to the Kingston community, moreover, to eastern Canada. It also aims to provide a platform for theatrical production, getting people with varies background to involve in theatre. In March 2019, the popular play, Rhinoceros in Love by Yimei Liao, had become the very first Chinese theatre production at Queens University.
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