The Beijing People's Art Theatre
The Beijing People's Art Theatre, China's premier professional theater company, has in the past 50 years codified modern Chinese theater, presenting to date more than 12,500 performances of 250 productions. The company was founded in 1952, soon after the establishment of the People's Republic of China, when the North China People's Art Theatre and the drama troupe of the Central Academy of Drama merged. The company was modeled after the Moscow People's Art Theatre, with master playwright Cao Yu serving as its founding president, and Jiao Juyin its first general director. During the company's first decade, audiences were introduced to epoch-making works by Lao She (Teahouse, Rickshaw Boy) and Cao Yu (Sunrise, Thunderstorm) in a distinctive theatrical style dubbed by critics “poetic realism", combining principles and ideas from traditional Chinese opera with elements borrowed from Bertolt Brecht and Konstantin Stanislavski (founder of the Moscow People's Art Theatre). After the Cultural Revolution, which had disrupted the careers of many theater professionals, the company thrived anew, extending its repertoire into freshly translated works and new works by young Chinese dramatists.