Fringe Club Play-Reading Group in Association with The English-Speaking Union (ESU) Hong Kong.
Date: 16th April 2019 (Tuesday)
Venue: “Colette’s” 2/F, The HK Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong
The Play this time : A reading of the 2017 play Snow In Midsummer’ by American dramatist Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, based on the classic Chinese drama The Injustice to Dou E that Moved Heaven and Earth by Guan Hanqing
Facilitator : The right honourable Julian Quail (Mike Ingham is away in the U.S. for a conference)
**Certificates will be awarded for Continuous Professional Development credit
As she is about to be executed for a murder she didn't commit, young widow Dou Yi vows that, if she is innocent, snow will fall in midsummer and a catastrophic drought will strike. Three years later, a businesswoman visits the parched, locust-plagued town to take over an ailing factory. When her young daughter is tormented by an angry ghost, the new factory owner must expose the injustices that occurred. This new dramatic work is a contemporary re-imagining by acclaimed playwright Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig of one of the most famous of classical Yuan Dynasty dramas. Ya-Chu Cowhig’s critically acclaimed script breathes new life into this ancient story, haunted by centuries of retelling. In the play text introduction critic Jo Palazuelos-Krukowski writes: “In Guan Hanqing’s classic drama and its contemporary adaptation we are faced with a blight-causing spirit who defies easy categorisation. Is she a threat to cosmological balance, or a force for its restoration? Without the social and physical shackles she wore in the living world, the female ghost finds she is freer to define herself in death than ever she was in life. It is in the supernatural circumstances of Hungry Ghost Festival month that the adaptation is set when, it is believed in much of East and S.E. Asia, the dead leave the realms of hell and return to the world of the living. One of the superstitions of Hungry Ghost Festival is to avoid shining a light into dark corners, lest the living see something they don’t want to see. In Guan Hanqing’s Injustice to Dou E that Moved Heaven and Earth and Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s contemporary adaptation the ghost sheds light on the darkness in our world and forces us to face ourselves.”
Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig is an internationally produced playwright of mixed ethnicity born and brought up in the United States whose work has been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford, the National Theatre of Great Britain, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Manhattan Theater Club, the Goodman Theatre, Chicago, and Trafalgar Studios 2 in London. She is also an Associate Professor of Drama (with a play-writing emphasis) at University of Santa Barbara, California. The world premiere of Snow in Midsummer on 23 February 2017 at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon, launched the RSC's Chinese Translations Project, a cultural exchange bringing Chinese classics to a contemporary Western audience.
Below is a YouTube excerpt/trailer from the Oregon Festival production
All are welcome.
**The English-Speaking Union (ESU) Hong Kong is a registered charity under Section 88 of the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Ordinance (charity reference 91/6295) .