NCPA Drama Crossroads revives classic film

NCPA April/16/2021
NCPA drama Crossroads is coming on for a second season from April 30th to May 7th. The drama Crossroads is adapted from a film of the same title starring ZHAO Dan and BAI Yang, written and directed by SHEN Xiling, and premiered in 1937. This time, the original cast, who are from the NCPA Drama Ensemble, will spare no effort to perform the drama by presenting a dialogue between two different generations of young people in the unique stage scenery.


1937 saw the premiere of Crossroads, a film starring ZHAO Dan and BAI Yang and written and directed by SHEN Xiling. As a classic in the Chinese film history, Crossroads, a distinctive civil comedy, describes the hesitation that the young people of that time had in making a choice at the crossroads. More than 80 years have passed, but it remains deeply inspiring to the contemporary young people wandering at the crossroad of life.


In October 2020, NCPA presented this classic on the drama stage and premiered it successfully. The drama Crossroads continues to have the characters with totally different personalities in the film and their respective destinies in the same social environment. Also, by reshaping classic character images and lengthening narration with a dialogue between history and reality, the drama highlights transhistorical and eternal life propositions including “what is a valuable life” and “what kind of mission should young people undertake”. Looking back at the young people including SHEN Xiling and ZHAO Dan, who gathered together to shoot the film in their time, they also parted with one another at the crossroad of life after the release of the film. Some of them made brilliant achievements in filmdom while some embarked on a respectable and lamentable revolutionary road. A story about off-screen filmmakers is added to the drama, in which the plot of the film is retained.


In order to present the “crossroads” in and outside the drama, the artists will give a performance against the background of multimedia in the drama Crossroads. Some film scenes will be juxtaposed with live images and the stage performance to enable the performers to “jump in and out” under the effect of defamiliarization. In terms of stage setting, the cable car, which has historical features and regional characteristics, is used as the major element in the drama, and its changes bring out different spaces including the street and pigeonhole.

The drama Crossroads is a follow-up to NCPA productions A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Birds and Look West to Chang’an, produced for the NCPA Drama Ensemble so that they can perform it at the Multi-functional Theatre. In the upcoming second round of performance, the former performers, including DONG Wenliang, XU Zixuan, LI Xichang, FENG Yang, YU Mengchao, LIU Beibei and WANG Wenjie, will reunite on the stage to salute and interpret the “classic” from the contemporary youth’s standpoint.
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NCPA Drama Crossroads

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