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CREATING ACROSS CULTURES

writing their own Hong Kong stories in their own language. The Leftist riots of 1967, for example, were featured in Raymond To’s legendary play I Have a Date With Spring (1992), in which a famed singer returns to a nightclub for one final performance during the very night of the riots. The play, which had audiences in tears with laughter and nostalgia, brought the general public into the theater, which had been largely the space of students, academics and expatriates. The first generation of Hong Kong playwrights also included Ko Ting Lung (who became the artistic director of the Chung Ying Theatre Company), Paul Poon (who initiated the city’s excellent Playwright Scheme in 2006) and Anthony Chan (Metamorphosis Under the Stars, 1986), a prolific playwright and longtime Head of Directing and Playwriting at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. What really distinguishes Hong Kong theater today, in addition to its state-of-the-art production techniques, is its use of Cantonese. This is the spoken language of Guangdong Province, where most Hong Kong people originated, and a major spoken language of overseas Chinese around the world. Cantonese and Mandarin are as different as English and French. Speakers of one cannot understand the other without extensive exposure or study. In order for the scripts of Cao Yu to be performed in Cantonese they needed to be completely rewritten to accommodate the Cantonese sentence structure and southern usage. This has resulted in a “Cantonese

Raymond To’s 1992 play I Have a Date with Spring, which takes place during the riots of 1967, is a classic in the history of Hong Kong theater.

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Creating Across Cultures - Candace Chong  

These articles first appeared in the 2017 publication "Creating Across Cultures: Women in the Arts from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan",...

Creating Across Cultures - Candace Chong  

These articles first appeared in the 2017 publication "Creating Across Cultures: Women in the Arts from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan",...

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