Experiments on Peasants Drama
Between 1932 and 1933, some dramatists went deep into factories and plants in Shanghai. During this period, modern Chinese drama also went to the countryside. Xiong Foxi 熊佛西(1900-1965), who engaged in the theater in the early years, went to Dingxian County, Hebei Province in 1932. There he started a five-year experiment with peasants' drama.
Xiong Foxi was one of the famous drama educationists, playwrights and pioneers of the new drama movement in the early period.
At first, he made a tour of performance among the peasants. Then, he decided to help them establish their own troupes when he was sure that the peasants could identify with this new dramatic form. About one hundred peasants' drama troupes were organized within only one or two years as a result of his efforts. These troupes performed such plays as Bugle, Butcher and Transition.
The dramatic activities in the rural areas often took place in simple places such as open grounds and temples. The performance shortened the distance between the actors and the audience so that the actors could step out of the earth stage and go into the crowd of audience. At the same time, the audience could also step onto the stage as if to take part in a mass meeting.