To spread traditional Chinese culture and promote creativity in both the students and faculty of the Open University of China (OUC), the OUC carried out a thematic reading activity in cooperation with the Beijing People’s Art Theatre on 27 May.

The event, titled “Lectures by Famous Teachers from 100 Universities,” was held on the OUC’s Weigongcun Campus during OUC Reading Month.

Gu Wei, a famous director and actor from the Beijing People’s Art Theatre, provided the students with an original and fascinating lecture on aesthetic education. As the director of Thunderstorm, a classic play, as well as the actor who plays Zhou Puyuan, the head of the family, Gu explained his original motives behind recreating the play. He also shared ideas on the development of the masterpiece, expressing his deep passion for playwriting. He then led the students on a journey through the process of playwriting, breaking down the objectives and concepts related to artistic creation and the interpretation of the classic play as a literary work.

Since its premiere in 1954, Thunderstorm has been performed some 600 times. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest plays in the history of Chinese theatre, and a yardstick of creativity and artistic expression in the industry. Gu said Thunderstorm is a masterpiece developed by artists across the generations, and a form of cultural transmission that transcends the instructions found in textbooks. He said the play has been taught over the generations by way of example.

Gu represents artists from an older generation, who have dedicated themselves to artistic transmission, the preservation of classics, a sense of social responsibility and a people-oriented culture. During the lecture, a positive atmosphere was created through frequent interactions between the lecturer and students. Gu encouraged the OUC students to maintain a down-to-earth attitude, be open to independent learning, and concentrate on developing their skills to give back to the community and country. The students were so inspired they were reluctant to leave even after the lecture finished. Lingering in the venue, they expressed hope that similar events on aesthetic education would be held in future.


By Yang Ying, OUC