In the way Chen Shi-Zheng imagines his theatrical adaptation of “The Orphan of Zhao,” the production will bring out all the elements of the story that have appealed to Chinese audiences through the centuries, like the timeless themes of revenge and self-sacrifice.
在陳士爭(Chen Shi-Zheng)的設想中,他對《趙氏孤兒》的戲劇改編,會展現出這個數百年來吸引著中國觀眾的所有故事元素,例如復仇和自我犧牲這樣的永恆主題。
But despite the familiarity of this 13th-century play to spectators in Mr. Chen’s homeland, they might have trouble understanding all the lines.
不過,儘管這部13世紀的戲劇作品對陳士爭老家的觀眾來說耳熟能詳,但他們可能聽不懂台詞。
The principal actors Mr. Chen has cast for this staging in China are almost all Americans, and they will speak in English. In fact, very little about the production will signal the story’s Chinese origins.
陳士爭為這部在中國上演的劇目挑選的主要演員幾乎都是美國人,而且以英文對白。實際上,這部戲沒什麼地方能顯示出這個故事的中國起源。
Subverting audience expectations is one of the goals of Mr. Chen, a veteran stage director.
顛覆觀眾的期待,是經驗豐富的戲劇導演陳士爭的目標之一。
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“I think young people will love it,” Mr. Chen, 55, said. “It’s like fresh air coming to the mind and the eye.”
「我覺得年輕人會喜歡,」55歲的陳士爭表示。「它就像新鮮空氣進入大腦,來到了眼前。」
“The classic story can be interpreted in a new way,” he added. “It can be so liberating and cool at the same time.”
「這個經典的故事能以新的方式進行解讀,」他又說。「能既有解放性,同時也很酷。」
Mr. Chen plans to start rehearsals in August in New York, where he lives, for the English-language performance of “The Orphan of Zhao,” which is scheduled to take place in October before a mostly Chinese audience at the Beijing Music Festival in China’s capital.
陳士爭現居紐約,他計劃於八月在那裡開始《趙氏孤兒》英語表演的綵排,該作品定於十月在中國首都舉辦的北京國際音樂節上演,屆時觀眾將以中國人為主。
Since his debut as a theater director in 1996, Mr. Chen has created works for prominent spaces around the world, from New York to Sydney, but a big production in China has eluded him.
自1996年作為戲劇導演出道以來,從雪梨到紐約,陳士爭為世界各地的許多重要表演空間打造過多部作品,但在中國尚無大製作上演。
His appearance at the Beijing festival will mark his return to presenting public performances in China, where he was born and where he trained in opera through his teenage years.
他在北京國際音樂節上的亮相,將是他在中國獻上公開演出的回歸之作。那是他出生,並且在少年時代接受戲曲訓練的地方。
Not since a 1996 touring production of “The Bacchae” by Euripides has Mr. Chen directed a work for the Chinese public, although he has done private stagings in China and drawn on Chinese talent for his global productions.
自1996年歐裡庇得斯的《酒神的伴侶》(The Bacchae)巡演之後,陳士爭就沒有為中國公眾導演過作品了,雖然他在中國進行過私人導演工作,並且為其全球製作招募過中國人才。
In the late 1990s, officials in Shanghai tried to hobble an epic opera production he was bringing to New York. The officials objected to aspects of the production, and for years that incident cast a shadow over his career in China.
1990年代末,上海官員曾試圖妨礙過他將一部史詩級戲曲製作帶到紐約。官員們對該製作的一些方面進行了反對,該事件導致他在中國的事業長年籠罩在陰影裡。
Over a recent dinner in New Haven, Mr. Chen and Audrey Li, his wife and business partner, talked with excitement about the chance for him to create a work for a Chinese audience again, playing the role of a cultural bridge as relations between the United States and China become more fraught over a variety of economic and security issues.
最近在紐黑文的一次晚餐上,陳士爭與妻子、商業夥伴奧黛麗·李(音)談到他再次有機會為中國觀眾打造作品時興奮不已,在中美關係圍繞著一系列經濟和安全問題,產生越來越多摩擦時,他得以扮演文化橋樑的角色。
2012年,北京,《霸王別姬》演出結束後陳士爭攜演員謝幕。這是他製作的一個堂會版本。
2012年,北京,《霸王別姬》演出結束後陳士爭攜演員謝幕。這是他製作的一個堂會版本。 Gilles Sabrie for The New York Times
“It’s about time,” Ms. Li said, putting her arm around Mr. Chen.
「是時候了,」李女士說著,一邊抱住陳士爭。
Throughout his career, Mr. Chen has mixed Western and Chinese influences in his work, with a particular emphasis on avant-garde framing, and his visions for the two productions he is taking to the Beijing festival in October are likely to challenge the Chinese audience’s ideas of how traditional stories are told on stage.
在職業生涯裡,陳士爭在他的作品中將來自西方和中國的影響融合到一起,特彆強調前衛的框架。此外,他對自己即將於十月帶到北京的兩場製作的願景,很可能會挑戰中國觀眾對傳統故事如何在舞台上得到展現的看法。
廣告
Besides the version of “The Orphan of Zhao” with mostly American actors, Mr. Chen plans to produce another classic, “Farewell My Concubine,” for the opening performance of the festival.
除了一個主要班底為美國人的《趙氏孤兒》,陳士爭還計劃製作另一部經典作品《霸王別姬》,作為音樂節的開幕演出。
The story is well known to a Chinese audience, and unlike “The Orphan of Zhao,” this production will have Chinese actors dressed in period costumes. But Mr. Chen plans to eschew the traditional staging: The production will use two large video screens with close-ups of actors’ faces as its main design element, and it will have a pit orchestra.
這個故事對中國觀眾來說毫不陌生,而且不像《趙氏孤兒》,這部戲將由中國演員身著古裝出演。但陳士爭計劃避開傳統舞台設計:該製作將使用兩個大型螢幕,演員的臉部特寫將是其主要設計元素,有管弦樂隊現場伴奏。
Mr. Chen’s career in the United States and Europe took off two decades ago as he grappled with a production that nearly failed.
20年前,隨著一個幾乎失敗的劇目被他勉力挽救,陳士爭在美國和歐洲的職業生涯開始起飛。
After his directorial debut in 1996, Mr. Chen aimed to present to the Lincoln Center Festival in New York a 20-hour production of “The Peony Pavilion,” a prominent example of the traditional form of kunqu opera. He put the production together with actors in Shanghai, but officials there objected to him exporting it. He had to reassemble it piecemeal in New York, and the resulting news coverage, and well-received production, brought Mr. Chen into the spotlight.
在1996年的導演處女作之後,陳士爭的目標是在紐約的林肯中心藝術節上演20小時的《牡丹亭》,那是傳統崑曲的一出傑齣劇目。他在上海和演員排練了劇目,但那裡的官員不允許他把作品帶出國。他不得不在紐約零碎地重新組裝一切,由此產生的新聞報導和廣受歡迎的演出使陳士爭成為人們關注的焦點。
“My work has always been controversial,” he said. “I think new interpretation is essential for classic art to find its young audience in our time.”
「我的工作一直存在爭議,」他說。「我認為經典藝術要想在我們這個時代尋找年輕觀眾,新的闡釋是至關重要的。」
Since then, Mr. Chen has gone on to produce Western opera, from “Eugene Onegin” to “Turandot,” and more than a dozen Chinese works.
從那以後,陳士爭繼續製作西方歌劇,從《尤金·奧涅金》(Eugene Onegin)到《圖蘭朵》(Turandot),以及十多部中國作品。
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He first trained in opera as a teenager in Hunan Province, where he grew up without his parents. His mother was killed by a stray bullet at a street celebration for Mao when he was 4; his father was labeled a “rightist” and sent to a re-education camp. After his formal arts education in China, he was invited to attend the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University as a graduate student, where he studied experimental theater from 1989 to 1991.
陳士爭十幾歲的時候在中國湖南省開始接受戲曲訓練,在那裡,他在無父無母的情況下長大成人。四歲那年,母親在為毛澤東舉辦的街頭慶祝活動中被流彈擊中身亡;他的父親被打為右派,送進勞改營。在中國接受正規藝術教育後,他受邀進入紐約大學帝勢藝術學院(Tisch School of the Arts at New York University)就讀研究生,於1989年至1991年在那裡學習實驗戲劇。
“He’s one of a number of artists who have tried to make Chinese theatrical traditions come alive in a very contemporary fashion,” said Nigel Redden, who was the longtime director of the Lincoln Center Festival, including during “The Peony Pavilion” controversy, and is now the director of Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, S.C. “He’s very much informed by a Western theatrical experimental tradition.”
「他是眾多試圖讓中國戲劇傳統以現代方式活躍起來的藝術家之一,」奈傑爾·雷登(Nigel Redden)說,他任林肯中心藝術節總監多年,包括《牡丹亭》引發爭議期間,現為南卡羅來納州查爾斯頓美國斯波萊托音樂節(Spoleto Festival USA)總監。「他非常了解西方戲劇實驗傳統。」
Mr. Chen said the goal of widening global appreciation for classic Chinese works had been at the forefront of his artistic thinking. “I felt part of my mission in this country was to present Chinese culture in a way that a 21st-century audience could appreciate,” he said. “Nobody reads Russian, but everybody does Chekhov.”
陳士爭說,在全球範圍內擴大對中國古典作品的欣賞,這個目標一直是他藝術思想的焦點。「我覺得我在這個國家的使命之一,就是以21世紀觀眾能夠欣賞的方式呈現中國文化,」他說。「沒人看得懂俄語,但大家都會排契訶夫。」
“I was very passionate about introducing this into a Western canon,” he said of China’s literary heritage. “It should be performed, it should be read.”
「我非常熱衷於把它引入西方正典,」他談到中國的文學遺產時說。「它應該被上演,應該被閱讀。」
While his works have been less embraced in China, he did a private production in 2012 of “Farewell My Concubine” in an upscale Beijing hotel. After the initial performance, the plan was to have the production be the centerpiece of dinner theater at the hotel, but that plan fizzled. Before that, Mr. Chen directed a Chinese version for Disney of its “High School Musical” franchise, but it failed to draw a large audience.
雖然他的作品在中國不那麼被接受,但他於2012年在北京一家高檔酒店上演了《霸王別姬》的一個堂會版本。原計劃是首演之後將成為酒店晚餐劇院的核心之作,但計劃失敗了。此前陳士爭為迪士尼執導了《歌舞青春》(High School Musical)系列的中文版,但未能吸引大量觀眾。
While working on that film, Mr. Chen met Ms. Li, who was a producer with Disney in China at the time, and the two began dating later and married in 2013. As co-founder of their company, Ovationz Production, Ms. Li talks as much about trying to get a foothold with the Chinese audience as he does, and both hope his productions in Beijing will elevate his profile.
在拍攝這部電影的同時,陳士爭遇到了奧黛麗·李,她當時是迪士尼在中國的製片人,兩人後來開始約會,並於2013年結婚。作為兩人合創的歡呼製作公司(Ovationz Production)的創始人,奧黛麗·李和他一樣熱衷於談如何在中國觀眾當中站穩腳跟,並希望他在北京的作品能夠提升他的知名度。
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“I just can’t wait to see how people receive Shi-Zheng and these productions, which are maybe a little different from what they have been seeing and hearing in China,” Ms. Li said. “I also think this is a very good window. Once we open that window, we can bring more into the big picture in China, so people know there’s Shi-Zheng, there’s us, and we can have more opportunity to present things.”
「我迫不及待地想看看人們如何看待士爭和這些作品,它們可能與他們在中國所看到和聽到的有些不同,」 奧黛麗·李說。「我也認為這是一個非常好的窗口。一旦我們打開這扇窗子,就可以把更多的東西帶入中國的整體圖景,這樣人們就可以了解士爭,了解我們,我們也可以有更多機會展示更多東西。「
“It’s quite a big step for us,” she added.
「這是我們的一大步,」她補充說。
Mr. Chen is juggling the China productions with two other large projects, a sign that he is not about to forsake his Western audience anytime soon.
目前,除了中國的劇目,陳士爭還在處理另外兩個大型項目,這表明他不會很快放棄西方觀眾。
For the 2019 opening season at The Shed, a new multimedia arts space in Manhattan, Mr. Chen is directing a piece of performance theater with a new vision of Chinese-American mythology. He is developing the project, “Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise,” with the two writers of the hit film “Kung Fu Panda.”
「小屋」(The Shed)是曼哈頓一處新的多媒體藝術空間,陳士爭正在為它2019年的開幕季執導一場戲劇表演,它將展現中美神話的一種新形式。這個項目名叫《龍躍鳳飛》(Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise),是他與熱門電影《功夫熊貓》(Kung Fu Panda)的兩位編劇一同創作的。
The story is an adventure tale of hybridity and immigration, involving a sect from China that has taken root in a near-future version of Flushing, Queens, and harbors a secret that everyone is after. Martial arts and spirituality figure in the plot, but Mr. Chen is striving to make those aspects of Chinese culture more universal in the presentation.
這是一個關於混血和移民的冒險故事,故事發生在不久的將來,涉及來自中國的一個宗派,它植根於皇后區法拉盛,並且擁有一個所有人都在追求的祕密。情節中有武術和靈性人物,但陳士爭努力令中國文化的這些方面在作品中更具普世性。
“It’s not this binary of East and West,” said Alex Poots, artistic director of The Shed. “Through migration and diasporic movement, there are pockets of identity all over the place. That’s an important aspect. It resonated with me.”
「這不是東西方的二元對立,」小屋的藝術總監阿利克斯·普茨(Alex Poots)說。「由於移民和散居遷徙,到處都有不同身份的小團體。這是這部作品的一個重要方面。它引起了我的共鳴。「
廣告
Mr. Chen is also developing a production of the epic “Ring” cycle by Richard Wagner that will be performed in Australia and will have Chinese elements. Looking at the work, Mr. Chen said he did not see a Europe-centric story, but rather a universal one.
陳士爭還在創作理查德·瓦格納「指環」史詩組劇,它將在澳洲演出,並將帶有中國元素。陳士爭說,他從這部作品中看出的不是一個以歐洲為中心的故事,而是一個普世故事。
“The Chinese philosophy may play a part in it — how you look at things — gods and demigods and hell and human behavior” he said. “There’s tangible power and invisible power, both. That’s something quite interesting.”
「中國哲學可能會是其中的一部分——你如何看待事物——神靈、半神、地獄、以及人類的行為,」他說。「二者當中都有切實的力量和無形的力量。這非常有趣。」