NIU Piao Artistic Consultant
NIU Piao is a Chinese traditional opera researcher and educator who enjoys special government allowances from the State Council. He is a professor, senior editor and postgraduate tutor at the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts, a member of the Steering Committee on Promotion of Peking Opera, Ministry of Culture, a director of the Chinese Opera Society, a director of the China TIAN Han Research Society, and a representative inheritor of Peking Opera as a national intangible cultural heritage.
He was admitted to the Siwei Drama School to study Peking Opera performance in 1948, and transferred to the Traditional Opera Experimental School (later renamed Traditional Opera School of China, now known as the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts) in 1950. At first, he learned to play an old female role under the tutelage of SHI Qingshan and LIU Ziyuan. Later, he learned to act as a male clown role from XIAO Changhua, GAO Fuyuan, XIAO Shengxuan, WANG Ronghan, WANG Chuansong and HUA Chuanhao. He also received guidance from senior artists including WANG Yaoqing, LEI Xifu, SHEN Sanyu and QIAN Fuchuan.
He is brilliant at performing in Peking operas including Gathering of Heroes, Interrogating the Cut-off Head and Assassinating Tang Qin and Wulongyuan, Kunqu operas Drunken Minor Functionary, Burning Qin Hui and Fifteen Strings of Copper Cash, as well as Indiscreet and Admonishing Son Halfway as an old female role actor. He also studied the courses in theatre history, performance and directing under experts and scholars including ZHOU Yibai, HUANG Zhigang and LI Zigui. After graduating in 1956, he joined his alma mater’s faculty team. In 1962, he graduated from the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, Hongqi Amateur University, and studied classical literature under Prof. WU Xiaoru, laying a good theoretical foundation for his Peking Opera performances and artistic knowledge. In the 1960s, he edited more than 40 kinds of Peking Opera textbooks, including Librettos of XIAO Changhua’s Masterpieces, and rearranged several Peking operas for public performances including The Cowherd and the Weaving Maid, The Empress of China and HONG Chengchou’s Mother Cursing Him, etc.
Since the 1980s, he has been involved in the compilation and publication of XIAO Changhua and Traditional Opera, XIAO Changhua’s Art Review Anthology, Peking Opera Anthology (20 volumes), Dictionary of Peking Opera, Dictionary of Chinese Traditional Opera and Folk Arts, Encyclopedia of China: Chinese Traditional Opera, etc. He compiled the History of Chinese Peking Opera, a book in three volumes, as an editorial board member of the entire manuscript and the chief editor of Book II. The book was presented with three national grand awards. He edited more than 50 issues of the Chinese Traditional Opera Quarterly. He used to be a guest editor and reviewer of Chinese Traditional Opera Journal in Tianjin, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Anhui, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Guangxi, Shaanxi, Shandong and Qinghai. He has published more than 200 journalistic articles on Chinese traditional opera, and starred in Lianshengdian, a TV drama on Chinese traditional opera.
He has visited Germany, given lectures in Hong Kong and Taiwan, China and taught overseas students from Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Korea and Switzerland. He has given lectures on Peking Opera at central, provincial and municipal TV stations and radio stations. He used to be a jury member of the “China Theatre Plum Blossom Awards” on numerous occasions. He served as a jury member on all previous National TV Competitions for Young Peking Opera Artists and the first National TV Competition for Peking Opera Students. He also served as a jury member on the first and second National Competition for Young Peking Opera Teachers from Academies of Theatre Arts. He is a professor, senior editor and postgraduate tutor at the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts, a member of the Steering Committee on Promotion of Peking Opera, Ministry of Culture, a director of the Chinese Opera Society, and a director of the China TIAN Han Research Society. He used to be Vice President of the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts. After retirement, he remains engaged in opera research and teaching, and served as a tutor at the first to 5th postgraduate classes and genre inheritance classes for outstanding young Chinese Peking Opera artists. In 2011, he was named an inheritor of Peking Opera, a national intangible cultural heritage.
ZHOU Huabin Artistic Consultant
ZHOU Huabin is a famous theatre theorist, art theorist and second-class professor (top-level professor of liberal arts) who rose to fame in the early 1980s. His academic viewpoints proposed over the past 30 years, including “Grand Theatre Concept” and “Culture Cereal”, have made outstanding contributions to the dissemination, historical research and aesthetic research of Chinese traditional opera and drama in the new era. He is a senior professor and doctoral supervisor at the Communication University of China, and a director of the Chinese Opera Society. He used to be Vice Chairman of the Folk Artists Association of Beijing Municipal Federation of Literary and Art Circles (now a consultant), a consultant to the China Nuo Opera Research Institute, a deputy to the 11th, 12th and 13th Beijing Municipal People’s Congresses and a staff member of the Beijing Cultural and Historical Research Institute.
He is an editorial board member of the Encyclopedia of Chinese Peking Opera, the chief editor of the Great Dictionary of Kunqu Opera: Fine Arts, and the chief editor of the “Theatre and Chinese Traditional Opera” series. He has authored New Theory on the History of Chinese Theatre, Research on the History of Chinese Theatre, The Old Theatre in the Capital City, History of Ancient Nuo Opera, Research on Masks in Chinese Nuo Opera (co-author), Facial Makeups in Chinese Traditional Opera, Broadcasting · TV · Traditional Opera, Legend of the Sea, Chinese Folk Stories of the Ocean, Romance of Generals of YANG Family (annotator), Tale of Clothes Washing (annotator), Graphic Theory on the Cultural Relics of Song, Jin and Yuan Dynasty Operas (co-author), Research and Protection of Ancient Chinese Theatrical Stage (co-author), etc. He has published hundreds of papers in academic journals at home and abroad. As the chief editor, he has edited more than 300 “Chinese and Foreign Classic Drama Stories” for radio broadcast. He used to be a reviewer on CCTV “National TV Competition for Young Peking Opera Artists” and “National TV Competition for Peking Opera Fans”. He has planned and written more than 40 TV documentaries including Holy ZHONG Kui, Incarnation of Beauty: MEI Lanfang, A Towering Pine: ZHOU Xinfang, Voice of Shaanxi, and A Hundred Years of Passion for Chrysanthemum Garden, all of which have been broadcast on CCTV.
WANG Ruohao Literary Consultant
WANG Ruohao is a national first-class playwright and a Kunqu Opera art producer (playwright). He graduated from the Department of Theatrical Literature, National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in 1988, and was selected for Beijing City’s One Hundred Literary and Art Talents Project. Now he is studying for a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree at the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts. His representative works include Kunqu Opera Litu Mountain, Skilled Doctor, A Couple with Disparate Status, and Monkey Subdues the White-Bone Demon, all of which have been performed at the Northern Kunqu Opera Theatre. Among these operas, A Couple with Disparate Status won the Wenhua Award for New Production at the 7th China Art Festival in 2004, ranked top 30 at the Third National Project to the Distillation of the Stage Art in February 2005, won the 4th Beijing Literary and Artistic Award in March 2005, and won the Grand Theatre Award at the 3rd Minority Arts Festival of China in 2006. His representative Peking operas including A Moonlit Night on the Spring River, Number One Scholar ZHANG Xie, YANG Silang Visits His Mother. He compiled Hebei Bangzi Opera Breeze Pavilion (version of 2003), and cooperated with others in compiling Series of Famous Masters, Highlights and Singing Tunes: Collection of QIU School’s Singing Tune. He has written for the Encyclopedia of Yuan Songs, Encyclopedia of Chinese Peking Opera, Great Dictionary of Chinese Kunqu Opera, and Dictionary of Kunqu Opera. Now he is undertaking a research project titled “Operatic Vocal Music of Peking Opera” initiated by the Beijing Municipal Education Commission; in 2006, he was invited to be an editor of Great Dictionary of Kunqu Opera Art: Performance, a national project by the Chinese National Academy of Arts.
JIANG Siyi Playwright
JIANG Siyi is a lecturer and Head of the Teaching and Research Section at the Academy of Arts of Beijing Foreign Studies University. He holds academic degrees from the School of Journalism and Communication, Remin University of China, and the Academy of Arts of Communication University of China. He used to be a reporter at the Yangcheng Evening News Group, a reporter at the Beijing News, and a senior editor at the Shengda Literature’s website Under the Banyan Tree. He has written pieces including Premier’s Five Days and Change. As a drama and traditional opera researcher, he has published Clown Master MA Fulu, and Research on the Prstigious Fuliancheng Peking Opera Club, participated in the compilation of Pictorial Biography of Fuliancheng and On the Drama Culture of the Republic of China, and wrote lyrics for Imperial Concubine YANG, a kabuki co-produced by China and Japan.
YAN Rui Stage Director
YAN Rui is an outstanding young director and actor at the Beijing People’s Art Theatre who holds an academic degree from the Directing Department of the Central Academy of Drama. As a director, his representative works include Death of a Famous Actor and Follow Your Fate. As an actor, his representative works include Teahouse, The Player, Death of a Famous Actor and The Story of Zhengyang Gate.
LI Biao Set Designer
LI Biao is an outstanding set designer at the Beijing People’s Art Theatre. His representative works include the Beijing People’s Art Theatre’s dramas Death of a Famous Actor, Neighborhood Committee, and The Antiques, No. 1 Culture Centre of Xicheng District’s drama Master of Martial Arts, and dramas The In And the Out, Chinese New Year Eve, and Qin House.
JIANG Wei Lighting Designer
JIANG Wei is an outstanding lighting designer at the Beijing People’s Art Theatre. His representative works include the Beijing People’s Art Theatre’s dramas Thrush (lighting designer), Family Shame Made Public (lighting designer), Equus (lighting designer), and Our Poignant Tales (set designer), as well as the drama Shichaha.
LIN Yaoyao Costume Designer
LIN Yaoyao holds a bachelor’s degree in costume and fashion design from the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts, and a master’s degree in art design from Guangxi Normal University. She has been involved in the production of traditional operas including Ghost Romance and Four Dreams of Linchuan, morality playlets CAO Chong Weighs an Elephant, GAN Luo Is Appointed Prime Minister, Feeding Parents with Deer’s Milk, ZHANG Liang Picking up Shoes, Prodigal Son, Father of Railway, and Rising up upon Hearing the Crow of Roosters and Practicing with the Sword. Her dramas including Four Great Hui Opera Theatrical Troupes, Quintessence of Xicheng, The Crow, and Crazy Lies; online film The Town of the Evil; MV The Snake Spirit Dose Not Move; short documentary Father And Son.
YAN Xiaolin Costume Designer
YAN Xiaolin holds a master’s degree from the Department of Stage Art, Central Academy of Drama. Her representative works include No. 1 Culture Center of Xicheng District’s drama Master of Martial Arts, dramas Shichahai and QIN House, and films Demon Hunt, Wu Jie Xing Zhe, etc.
ZHANG Wenwen Style Designer
ZHANG Wenwen is a graduate of the Department of Stage Art, National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts. She has many years of experience in cooperating with fashion magazines and major radio programme groups. She has served as a style designer in dramas including Follow Your Fate, Da Vinci in Black Cloth, When Coffee Meets TV, Nothing More, and A Heaven-Made Match; musicals Red Lantern, President CAI Yuanpei, and CAO Xueqin.