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Play sparks debate on education

By GUI QIAN | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-12 06:42

The play Principle by the theater group The Nine is adapted from the original Cantonese play of the same name by the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre. [Photo provided to China Daily]

In the play Principle by The Nine, a high school grapples with a clash between strict new rules and traditional values.

How can we educate someone to become a true individual? This is the ultimate question posed by the play Principle, which depicts a battle of principles among its characters.

The story is set in a high school named Aequitas Academy where the new principal, Yang Zhi, arrives with the mission of improving the school's academic performance. She introduces a series of new rules, particularly insisting that students wear sports uniforms when playing on the playground.

This decision stirs discontent among both teachers and students. Vice Principal Chen Xian, supported by the head of the teaching department, Cai Lin, steps forward in opposition to preserve the school's longstanding traditions. The outspoken student council president, Fu Mingzhen, and the thoughtful school newspaper editor, Liang Jiawen, also get involved. However, the new principal remains unwavering and strictly adheres to her principles. As a storm brews on campus, it leaves teachers and students in a dilemma.

This play is the first adapted work by the theater group The Nine, renowned for its popularity among Chinese young people. They have transformed the original Cantonese play — penned by Ivan Kwok, a playwright from the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre — into a Mandarin version, relocating the story from a Hong Kong school to one on the Chinese mainland. Premiering in Beijing on May 10, the play will tour over eight cities across the country.

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