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Press Release
“Drama Hub” Turns into “Red and Black Opera Boxes”
Source:【Xinmin Evening News】 2017/9/12

Changjiang Theater has transformed from a time-honored Chinese drama hub into changeable opera boxes, which will be open to the public as soon as December this year. According to Xia Tian, head of the theater, it consists of two small theaters, the “Red Box” theater will be used for performance of mini traditional dramas, while the “Black Box” theater will build a platform for experimental drama works with its flexible stage patterns.

The “Red Box” to carry forward tradition

Located at No. 21 Huanghe Road, the theater was founded in 1923 (former Carlton Theatre), with good reputations of the Chinese Drama Hub and the Highlight of the Oriental Paris. After going through many changes, the reconstruction project for the theater was launched at the end of 2016, and now it is being installed with stage equipment. Xia Tian says that, the to-be-unveiled theater will have functions of opera display, new theatre exploration and opera promotion, aiming at the market of “Mini Drama”, and “Shanghai holds the festival for small-theater operas every year, on one hand, mini drama is suitable for young opera talents for experiments due to its relatively low production cost; on the other hand, the theater can fill the gap of exclusive small-theater operas in Shanghai”.

The two boxes in the theater are built according to new position. Without changing its facades, the 3,055-square-meter theater is split into two small theaters, the “Red Box” and the “Black Box”.

The “Red Box” is designed mainly for traditional drama works. The interior decoration mainly adopts “Chinese style” with mass-tone of Chinese red, the walls are decorated with red cloth strips heightening the atmosphere of tradition and warmness. At that time, the theater will be equipped with square tables and wooden chairs, making audiences feeling ancient customs. She adds, “The theater will provide tea, dessert and other services without disrupting the performance.”

The “Black Box” blazes the trail with its changeable stage.

Being separated only by a wall, the “Black Box” is a changeable magic box, smaller than the “Red Box”, which can provide a “Hotbed” for mini pioneer drama works due to its flexible stages.

As the first experimental opera theater with specialization and multi-function in Shanghai, through elevator and adjustment including 11 elevator stages, 14 acoustic projection screens and side curtains, the “Black Box” has formed 6 fundamental stage patterns, such as single-sided pattern, double-sided pattern, centralized pattern, outstretched pattern, hall pattern and multi-function hall pattern. For example, Xia says, “In addition to the traditional picture-frame or T-shaped stage, the theater also has developed into patterns including encirclement, nine-rectangle-grid, and even special-shaped stage.” As the “Black Box” has introduced the acoustical holography system, audiences can enjoy the best acoustic effect from different locations. Therefore, Changjiang Theatre will be the first professional opera theater to usher in the acoustical holography in the whole city.