Let’s talk about New writing

When typing Chinese characters “xin xie zuo” (new writing) in a search engine, you can immediately see lots of information about “Tian Qinxin • New Writing Project”. New Writing, a term originated in the UK in the mid-20th century, now has become a proper noun in Chinese. The project started to be carried out in March 2012 and quickly spread throughout China due to the influence and charisma of this renowned domestic director, which brings a spring of Chinese theater. At the same time, the National Theatre of Scotland, the foreign cooperator of this project, also does its publicity on the other side of the ocean, which is the first Chinese contemporary theater season that will be presented in early 2013.

只要在搜索引擎裡敲入“新寫作”(New Writing)三個字,你立刻可以看到這一系列有 關“田沁鑫•新寫作計劃”的信息。New Writing 這個起源於英國20世紀中葉的名詞,如今被冠 以了專有的中文。2012年3月開展的活動,由於 這位國內知名導演的影響力和號召力迅速傳遍 全國,這也是中國戲劇的一個春天。此次活動 的國外合作單位,蘇格蘭國立話劇院(National Theatre of Scotland)與此同時也在大洋彼岸 宣傳著這將於2013年初呈現的首個中國當代編 劇戲劇季。

New writing, different from new scripts, emphasizes playwrights’ perceptions of the contemporary world or contemporary life. In the British theater revival movement in the wake of the World War II, George Devine, as the artistic director of British Stage Company, the Royal Court Theater at that time, took Look Back in Anger that is a New Writing work of John Osborne as the opening performance of that year and came up with Royal Court’s slogan “the play wrights’ theater”, since then the term “new writing” was born in the United Kingdom. For decades, new writing theaters have become bases of grooming playwrights; and many theaters in the UK have called themselves new writing theaters so as to show their own artistic pursuit. The National Theatre of Scotland was established in 2006, many outstanding new writing plays are created there and many new writing writers have cooperated with it, including Sarah Kane who is familiar to Chinese readers; thus, it has rich experience of cooperating with local playwrights and international theatrical companies. Co-producer Weng Shihui, as one of the main persons in charge of this activity, also spares no effort to contribute to the cooperation between the National Theatre of Scotland and China on this project and ensure the smooth progress of this activity. After two rounds of training in script writing, productions of six selected playwrights will be performed in the first Chinese Contemporary Theater Season held in the UK in Òran Mór with a theme of “A Play, A Pie and A Pint”.

新寫作,不同於新劇本,它著意強調當代世界, 或者當代生活帶給劇作者們的感悟。二戰結 束後,英國劇場復興運動中,時任皇家宮廷 劇場(Royal Court Theatre)英國舞臺公司 (English Stage Company)藝術總監的喬治• 狄萬(George Devine)以約翰•奧斯本(John Osborne)的新寫作作品《回望憤怒(Look Back in Anger)》作為當年的開幕演出,並從 此樹立ROYAL COURT劇場是“劇作家的劇場” 的口號,從此“新寫作”一詞在英國誕生。幾十 年來,新寫作劇場成為培養劇作家的基地,英 國許多劇場也陸續冠以新寫作劇場的稱謂,示 明自身的藝術追求。蘇格蘭國家話劇院成立於 2006年,在這裡曾經誕生過諸多優秀的新寫作 劇本,與他們合作過的新寫作作家更是包括中 國讀者熟悉的莎拉•凱恩(Sarah Kane)。他們 有著與當地作家以及國際劇團合作的豐富經 驗,該劇院此次活動的主要負責人之一,聯合 制作人翁世卉也為此促成此次中國項目的合 作,以及保證活動的順利進行鞠躬盡力。在經 過兩輪的劇本創作培訓後,6名最終入選的編 劇的作品將在Òran Mór劇場參加“一部新戲, 一個派,一杯酒”首個在英國舉辦的“中國當代 戲劇季”演出。

As for contemporary China, a lot of foreigners get to know it from the Beijing Olympics in 2008, or from continuous influxes of Chinese overseas students around them. Chinese works can rarely been seen on screen and in books overseas, let alone seen on theater stages. Thus, this new writing activity provides Chinese playwrights with
a valuable opportunity to re-examine themselves and their own country and show their feelings with literary language by drawing inspiration from British ways of script writing. At the same time, in London, a capital of culture, Royal Court Theatre is unwilling to stay out of the limelight, so it also carries out a new writing project, in which a broader range of writers participate, including East Asia and Southeast Asia. Perhaps on Western mainstream stages, “Unheard Voices” is indeed an apt expression. Among the10 playwrights on the shortlist, Han Yike is the only one from mainland China.

對於當代中國,很多外國人的認識始於2008年 的北京奧運會,或者源於周圍不斷湧入的中國 留學生。在海外,銀幕上無聲,書本上罕見的中 國,在戲劇舞臺上更是難覓蹤跡。中國的編劇, 如何受到英國劇本創作方式的啟發,去重新審 視自己,審視自己的國家,用文學的語言去展示 出他們的感悟,這一次新寫作活動提供了不可 小覷的平臺。於此同時,身處文化之都的倫敦, 皇家宮廷劇院劇場也不甘寂寞,他們的新寫作 項目的作家範圍更廣泛一些,包括中國在內的 東亞,東南亞地區。在西方主流舞臺上,“前所 未聞的聲音(Unheard Voices)”也許確實是一個貼切的說法。在入圍的10名編劇中,有唯一 一位來自中國大陸的編劇韓宜珂。

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