Thursday, March 1, 2012

AFHers get WILD at A.R.T.

The AFH/ American Repertory Theater (A .R.T.) partnership continues! After the success of last year’s Porgy & Bess experience, AFH teens were invited to see the world premier of Wild Swans, a stage adaptation of Jung Chang’s best-selling memoir Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China.  The book, which chronicles the lives of the author, her mother, and her grandmother, portrays the struggles of three generations under Mao Zedong’s Communist regime; one that persecuted all artistic and creative expression. How amazing it is that now, one woman’s familial story can be shared not only on the page, but on the stage!

It was truly an exciting night out in Harvard Square as AFH teens and mentors were were totally engaged by the emotional story that unfolded  on stage.  Our teen-artists were enamored with the multi-media design throughout the production: real dirt was poured on the stage for actors to rake, and a wall was transformed from a prop to a surface on which a video could be projected in the final act.  Adding to the excitement was the fact that famed Harry Potter actress Katie Leung, played the young protagonist, Er-Hong.

Aside from the set design and the all-star cast, AFHers were impressed by the personal danger that Jung Chang and her family risked by engaging in creative expression.  Brendan Shea, A.R.T. Outreach and Education Associate, explained to us before the show that Chang’s controversial book has been banned in China. However, art prevails: despite the ban, Wild Swans has been smuggled into the country, and Chang’s words are being read by the curious throughout the nation.

For more info on Wild Swans, click here!

And stay tuned for more AFH outings this spring!

No comments: