On 24 January Keystone’s Education Salon welcomed prominent guest director Meng Jinghui to engage in riveting dialogue about his work and thoughts on Western theatre and contemporary Chinese theatre. In the Performing Arts Center, Meng spoke on stage with G12 student host Helen Huang and Director of Marketing and Communications at Keystone, Sabrina Liu.
The beginning of the dialogue opened with a video montage of Meng Jinghui’s work. Jinghui shed light on his numerous theatrical productions by providing interesting post production details of his work. Student host Helen Huang asked serious questions to the director, such as “While interpreting great works of literature, how do you incorporate these pieces for the stage?” and “As a director, what stylistic elements do you decide to keep and what can be interpreted in your own way?” Sabrina Liu, also fascinated by the charismatic director, probed for even more details by asking philosophical thought provoking questions regarding his career and theatre education in China.
When asked his opinion on the development of Chinese theatre for the world stage, Jinghui simply replied, “In my opinion, if Chinese modern plays can be part of the tide of the development of world plays, it will be good enough. If Chinese art wants to connect with the world, we must have confidence in Chinese aesthetics, not only Chinese elements. I hope that in 20 years, the artists of younger generation will create something different. It will not only belong to China, but also for the world. We could communicate on the world platform. I’m looking forward to that moment, your moment.”
The young audience, eager to learn more from the director, engaged in further dialogue with him after the event. The conversation with Jinghui captivated and inspired everyone in the Performing Arts Center, making the director feel more at home on the stage. “I love theatre, it fills every sense of being and is the driving force in my life. Whenever I create a new work, I strive to not merely present a new play for audiences but also hope that I can make my own small contribution to the history of theatre.”
Meng Jinghui was born in 1964 and graduated from the Central Academy of Drama to become one of the country’s leading directors and one of the most influential figures on the Asian theatrical art scene. He is currently the director of the National Theatre Company of China. Meng Jinghui has continued to push boundaries on the stage by bringing together classical Western theatre and the traditions of Chinese opera. As one of the most influential and prolific directors in Asia, Meng Jinghui’s works have been enthusiastically received by audiences around the world. Keystone’s Education Salons provide a space to engage with the best minds in education, literature and the arts to share their views on traditional and modern aspects of education. Discussions between our prominent guests and the community spark creative and lively conversation around each topic. Keystone uses these salons to highlight contemporary themes in education and other disciplines, and as opportunities to discuss, rethink, and revise current practices within the field of education.