9th Wuzhen Theatre Festival kicks off in China's Zhejiang
By Wang Siwen

Wuzhen, in the northern suburbs of China's Zhejiang Province, is an ancient water town with well-preserved 16th-century buildings and stone bridges, a perfect setting for drama, literature and art. The town is now hosting the ninth Wuzhen Theatre Festival.

Featuring 63 performances of 22 plays in the town, the 10-day Wuzhen Theatre Festival runs from November 25 to December 5.

The festival consists of theatrical performances, a theater market, outdoor carnivals and a competition for emerging theater artists. It provides a platform for promising actors to be "seen," and has helped fresh blood enter the Chinese theater industry. 

Huang Lei, the co-founder and producing director of the Wuzhen Theatre Festival, said: "We have received 541 plays; 18 plays have been chosen. Right now, 18 teams have safely arrived here. Starting tomorrow, they will start their performances, which people are mostly looking forward to."

This year's theme is "丰," meaning "abundance." Organizers say they chose this word because despite the challenging times that people are living in, there's still abundance of creativity and warmth in their hearts.

Stan Lai, the co-founder and festival director of the Wuzhen Theatre Festival, said a lot of effort has been made to make this year's events happen. Lai said: "It's been difficult, really difficult, to make this festival happen. But we need to continue doing this, even if just a few people show up. We hope to give people a warm feeling at this special time of year."

The festival also features various street performances, offering an immersive experience for the visitors, to find the hidden gems in the town.

Founded in 2013, the Wuzhen Theatre Festival has given the water town a new boost and made it a popular place among tourists. Organizers say more people should get to see and enjoy this beautiful and historic city – the show must go on.

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