Reviving “Sunrise”: A Celebration of Playwright Cao Yu’s Legacy at GDAC
A Contemporary Take on a Classic
Recently, the Guangzhou Drama Art Center (GDAC), a beacon of culture in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, proudly premiered the iconic play “Sunrise” by esteemed playwright Cao Yu. This production, which runs until October 1, marks a significant event in the theater circles as it forms part of the third Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Cultural and Art Festival and the Guangzhou Art Season 2023. It also commemorates the 10th anniversary of GDAC’s annual classic drama series, a tribute to the timeless art of theater.
Fresh Faces, Timeless Tale
The play’s cast, a vibrant ensemble of 16 actors with an average age of 29, is a testament to GDAC’s commitment to fostering the future of theater. Each actor, under the able guidance of director Li Bonan, was selected for their unique ability to breathe life into the complex characters of “Sunrise”.
Meet the Characters
The play introduces a pantheon of characters, each with their unique complexities and contradictions that reflect different aspects of society. Among them, Yu Xiaotang portrays Chen Bailu, a character that embodies a myriad of contradictions. Meanwhile, GDAC newcomer Yang Zihao takes on the role of Fang Dasheng, the lone sober character amidst a sea of chaos. Sun Guorui plays the tragic banker Pan Yueting, while Sun Bo embodies Li Shiqing, a modern-day corporate slave. Wang Fang brings to life the character of Wang Fusheng, a complex being with an opportunistic side, and Zhang Haotian plays Hu Si, lauded as the “most beautiful man in the world.”
Unraveling the Characters
Each actor shared their unique approach to their roles, their understanding of the characters, and the challenges they faced in bringing these characters to life. Their commitment to their craft and their desire to do justice to the timeless characters of “Sunrise” was evident in their words. They expressed gratitude for the opportunity to work on such a significant play and shared their hope that their performances would resonate with audiences, igniting a renewed interest in classic works.
A Tribute to Cao Yu’s Legacy
“Sunrise” stands as a testament to Cao Yu’s mastery over the art of drama. His ability to weave complex narratives and create characters that transcend time and space has made his works a staple in the world of theater. This production of “Sunrise” at GDAC not only pays homage to Cao Yu’s legacy but also highlights the timeless relevance of his works. It serves as a reminder that classic works of art continue to hold a mirror to society, reflecting its virtues, vices, and everything in between.
GDAC’s Commitment to Theater
GDAC’s General Manager, Zhong Qin, emphasized the importance of nurturing young talent in theater. He noted that the production of classic works like “Sunrise” provides an invaluable training ground for young actors. It allows them to hone their skills, understand the nuances of their craft, and develop a deep appreciation for theater. With this initiative, GDAC hopes to ensure the future of theater remains bright, dynamic, and impactful.
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