Play Tests China’s Sexual Limits

In the New York Times, Didi Kirsten Tatlow reports on a new play in Beijing that is pushing the boundaries of sexual expression:

Inspired by Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues,” with an English title that makes reference to the feminist classic “Our Bodies, Ourselves” — its Chinese title translates as “The Way of the Vagina” — the taboo-busting “Our Vaginas, Ourselves” was first staged in January at an L.G.B.T. center in Beijing before an audience of 50, said its producer, Ji Hang.

[…] It has been a hit. Since January, the amateur actresses and playwrights have performed it about 10 times in Beijing, Tianjin and Xiamen, to enthusiastic audiences numbering up to 150, who squeeze into small venues, sharing chairs and fanning themselves, as on a recent evening in the MOMA arts district of Beijing.

But their performances have been limited in scale. The play has only been staged in unofficial venues because it was unlikely to get the necessary script approval from the authorities to show in official theaters, said Ms. Ji, the producer.

“We really want to enter the mainstream theater scene, but it’s impossible because the scripts would have to be censored,” she said. The subject matter is far too edgy to pass, she said. [Source]

The Vagina Monologues was performed in Beijing and Shanghai in 2009.


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