As a national theatre company of China, Beijing People’s Art Theatre owns its unique performing style. The theatre was established on June 12th, 1952, and the famousdramatist Cao Yu was its irst president. Ever since its establishment, the theatre has put on nearly 300 ancient and modern plays of different styles, which are from both home and abroad.
From 1950s to 1960s, the theatre was famous for putting on works by Guo Moruo, Lao She and Cao Yu. The representative productions include Tiger Tally, Cai Wenji, Wu Zetian, The Dragon Whisker’s Ditch, Ricksha Man Xiangzi, The Teahouse, Thunderstorm, The Sunrise, Peking Man, The Death of a Popular Beijing Opera Singer, Guan Hanqing and western plays like The Miser, Aesop, People with Gun, Even Wise Man Stumbles, etc. The renowned dramatist Jiao Juyin once was the chief directorof the theatre and had trained a large group of acting artists with the representative of Yu Shizhi.
Since 1980s a group of excellent artists of young generation has emerged. During this time, plays includingWang Zhaojun, Warning Signals, Xiao Jing Hutong, Weddings and Funerals, Uncle Doggie’s Nirvana, The Top Restaurant, LI Bai, Birds Men, Ga La Hutong, Beijing Masters, Antiques, Beyond Romance, Myriad Twinkling Lights, and The Orphan of the Zhao’s boomed. The theatre also introduced in western plays including Der Besuch Der Alton Dame, Amadeus, Death of a Salesman, The Gin Game, and The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial etc. Among these, many have been performed for over 100 times, and were given awards like the national “Wen Hua Award”, “Five-one Best Works Award”, as well as the “Gold Chrysanthemum Award” and “Literature and Art Works Award”given by Beijing municipal government.
Beijing People’s Art Theatre has toured all over the country in its half-century history, with its distinctive acting style rootingamong audiences. Besides, the play The Teahousehas been performed in Germany, France and Switzerland in 1980, which marked the beginning of Chinese drama going abroad. Afterwards, plays like The Teahouse, Wang Zhaojun, The Top Restaurant, The Death of a Salesman, Uncle Doggie’s Nirvana, Birds Men, Ruan Lingyu, Antiques and Wuchang· Nvdiao, I Love Peach Blossom,Coriolanus and Our Jin Ke has been performed inthe USA, the UK, Japan, Canada, Singapore, North Korea, Egypt, Russia, Belarus, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao.
The theatre company now has three theatres mainly for drama performances: the Capital Theatre, the Mini Theatre, and the Experimental Theatre. The theatre’s stage art center has a professional producing base, which could make settings, costumes and props for the theatre itself and also for other performing troupes.
The Capital Theatre
The Capital Theatre is located in the north of Wangfujing Street. It was established in 1954, and was officially taken into use as the dedicated theatre of Beijing People’s Art Theatre in 1956.The theater building covers an area of 15,000 square meters by gross space and an area of nearly 5,000 square meters by floor space, with set production, rehearsals and administrative office as a whole.
Because of its classical style, magnificent lighting and comfortable environment, the audience hall and lounge has become one of the largest and first class drama theaters. The design of the capital theatre was presided by famous architect Lin Leyi. In 1950s, the project won the China’s Excellent Architecture Creation Award, and it was codified into Britain’s World Architectural History.
The theatre owns two floors of audience seats, including 927 seats in total, each having sound attenuation process. The wall inside is made of imported strong sound-absorbing board, which can keep the real timbre of actors at most. Besides, the first-class sound amplification system ensures the best sound effects, which makes audience in any position get clear sound of both language and music from the stage.
In the theatre lobby, there are theatre bookstore, artist gallery and coffee shop, which bring the theatre cultural connotation and artistic atmosphere.
The stage is equipped with dual power supply and central air conditioning. The acting area covers an area of 517 square meters, 22 meters deep, 22 meters high. The entablature has a width of 13.5 meters, a height of 8.5 meters and the revolving stage has a diameter of 16 meters. The Orchestra pit adopts advanced spiral technology of America, which enables it to lift and drop the three platforms flexibly or expand the performance space according to different requirements.
The stage has 64 electric booms in total, all of which are powered by German motors so that they can be lifted or dropped at any speed. Also, the stage is equipped with advanced lighting system which ensures the effect of stage lighting all-around.
All equipments including lights, booms, revolving stages, orchestra pit, and house curtain are controlled by computer programming. And the color monitoring system makes it possible to watch the live show in every make-up room, lounge, lighting control room, stage supervision office, etc.
People’s Experimental Theatre
People’s Experimental Theatre is located in the third floor of the Capital Theatre, which covers an area of 400 square meters and can accommodate 200 spectators. The direction of the acting area and the amount of seats can be adjusted according to the needs of space.
People’s Experimental Theatre has advanced professional performance equipment and supporting facilities, which can fully meet the requirements of various kinds of small art performances and group activities.
On the North and South sides of the theatre exist open chambers, mainly used for all kinds of meetings and art salon activities. Its quiet and warm environment represents the humanistic spirit and the overall cultural atmosphere of the theatre.
Ju Yin Theatre
As the third theatre of Beijing People’s Art Theatre, Ju Yin Theatre is the first Chinese theatre named after a director, and it is also the first nonprofit theatre which face to ordinary people to popularize drama.
Ju Yin Theatre is located in No. 143 of Dongsi South street ,opened On December 11th, 2015, which is the 110th anniversary of Jiao Juyin’s birth. Ju Yin Theatre aims at providing a platform for amateur drama lovers and non-professional organizations to pact ice and exchange ideas. It focuses on mass culture and drama popularization. The architectural style of Ju Yin Theatre is in line with that of the Capital Theatre, having two floors with ticket Hall, professional mini-theater, multi-purpose hall and so on. It is a public welfare cultural place for drama play, theatre education, art lecture and symposium.
Perform Centre was established on August 1st, 2003. It focuses on the management and administration of the Capital Theatre, People’s Experimental Theatre and Ju Yin Theatre. It not only undertakes performances of Beijing People’s Art Theatre, but also undertakes drama performances of domestic and foreign outstanding art groups. It is responsible for the business arrangement, promotional planning, ticket marketing, membership management and theater service as well.
Perform Centre consists of five functional departments, which are Office, Business Planning Department, Ticket Center, Service Department and Equipment Department. Coordination and cooperation among various departments form a scientific and systematic marketing and service system. Its good operation principal and high level service standard win the recognition of the industry, and it has become the temple of art for audience to enjoy refined arts and a comfortable environment.
In the process of operation, Perform Centre adheres to the principal of serving for performances and for the audience. During the actual work in the operation and management of the three theaters, from performance quality to service quality, from hardware to software construction, Perfom Center applies a set of high standard managing rules to all employees, making efforts to achieve excellent business skills, meet service standards, and have good equipment. In addition, Perform Center also stresses the capacity-building and training in marketing. It established a market-oriented and competitive strategy, tries to take the lead in both the field of sales platform construction and marketing idea, and now occupies a pivotal position in drama performance market. In early 2006, Perform Centre obtained ISO 9001 quality management system certification. Perform Centre insists using the vision of development and advanced principles to guide its work, and it explores on the art practice and management, and makes great efforts for the prosperity of the the drama performance market of Beijing.
The Drama Bookshop is located in the north side of the Capital Theatre Lobby which has an elegant and comfortable environment. Audience always stay here before the play start. The bookstore mainly sells Chinese and foreign drama books and it is one of the bookstores which have the most varieties of drama books. Therefore, it attracts many professionals and amateur drama lovers to come frequently.
Drama Coffee Shop
The Drama Coffee Shop is located in the north side of the second floor of the Capital Theatre. It is simple and comfortable and owns antique beauty and elegant environment.The Capital Theater’s stairs were decorated by red carpet, so when you stand there, hold a cup of coffee, watch the smoke curl up, and savor life and the spirit of art masters, another state of mind will show up.
The Artists Gallery is located in the north side of the second floor of the Capital Theatre. Many of our old artists learn widely from others’ strong points and good at painting and calligraphy. Their unique artistic personality shown in their drama creation represents their profound cultural accomplishment. The Artists Gallery successively held many individual art exhibitions, including that of Zheng Rong, Yu Min, Niu Xingli, Lan Tianye and so on, fully loved by people.
Bejing people’s Art Theatre International Festival
“Bejing people’s Art Theatre International Festival” is the brand program managed by the Perform Centre of Bejing people’s Art Theatre since 2011. Each year, it invites both foreign and domestic theatre companies and groups to perform their classic plays, which not only offers an opportunity for Chinese theatre practitioners to learn from each other, but also shows Chinese audience excellent plays from all over the world. With 6 years’ efforts, this brand program has been highly recognized by both industry and the audiences and it has become a highlight of Chinese drama industry. The festival has already invited troupes from Russia, Israel, France, Britain, Belarus, Poland, Romania, Lithuania Serbia and so on. Therefore, the theatre has established a cooperative relationship with artists and organizations all over the world and gained recognition. The Capital Theatre has already become the first choice for many world first-class theatres as their performing place in China.