Inspired by the trilogy of the martial arts film Once upon a Time in China the ISTA Middle School Festival explores the rise, fall and renaissance of one of Asia’s iconic cities. How does time create a culture? How can the story of a city be told through theatre? What are the defining moments that have helped to shape the Shanghai you will come to know? These are all questions that 120 participating students from Russia, Belgium, Thailand, Hong Kong and Shanghai will explore through Physical Theatre, Drama and Music. This 3 day festival also boasts strong community support from our host country. The Xujing Propaganda Office and a team of local artists will be providing workshops and interviews to help stimulate the creative minds of all involved.
The festival will start with an excursion to the Zhujiajiao water town with the aim of providing students with a vista of the people, places and perspectives that have contributed to the dynamic and dramatic history of Shanghai. The following days will then bring students into various ensemble classes which will explore movement and voice, poetry and expression, music and martial arts. The students have 3 days to explore and devise their own work, working towards the end goal of a public performance.
This is the first ISTA Festival to be hosted at WISS and it has attracted students from Alexander Pushkin School - Russia, Bangkok Patana School - Thailand, French International School - Hong Kong, International School of Brussels – Belgium. Shanghai American School – Pudong, China, Shanghai American School - Puxi, China, Victoria Shanghai Academy - Hong Kong, and The Western International School of Shanghai, China.
Founded in 1978, The International Schools Theatre Association, ISTA is a UK charity committed to bringing together young people, artists and teachers from different countries to experience, create and learn about theatre (www.ista.co.uk). Today, they have over 200 member schools around the globe and host over 50 festivals annually. Their practitioners are experts in their field and share the same passion and dedication for collaboration, creation and education.
Of the 200 member schools, WISS is proud to be chosen as home to ISTA's first permanent Performing Arts Academy, which runs two courses per year. (www.ista.co.uk/academyshanghai). An IB World School from Early Years to Graduation, WISS is dedicating to helping students follow their passion, and to excel in every area.
One festival - 120 students – 8 international practitioners – 3 days of intensive workshops – One performance Please join us: Sunday 8th February, 4pm - Orsini Theatre, WISS (no tickets necessary) Shanghai is a city of history and myth, of splendor and high-finance. A centre of trade and industry, Shanghai has the most diverse architecture in China and influences from dozens of cultures. As you explore theatre in this legendary city, as you meet
the people who call Shanghai home, ask yourself how the rituals of performance have added to the heady mix of life and the passions of past millennia. As storytellers, theatre professionals tell us the story of Shanghai, and it is a tale told from the many perspectives of the millions who live and work and play and perform - side by side by side.
Tom Kline, Director of WISS