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Cui Jian
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Mou Sen

MOU Sen (??) (Born 1963)

Mou Sen is a forerunner of China’s experimental theatre and one of the most internationally acclaimed theatre directors in China. He was admitted into Chinese Language Department, Beijing Normal University in 1980, and later spent two years directing in Tibet Theatre Company. In 1987 he returned to Beijing and set up the first independent theatre in China, Frog Experimental Theatre. In 1993, he established Xi Ju Che Jian, or Garage Theatre, to continue his theatrical experimentation in alternative underground spaces. He quit directing in 1997 due to poor box office, but returned in 2002 as a literature advisor and repertoire producer.

Mou Sen’s important theatre productions include The Other Shore, File Zero, About AIDS, and Red Herring. He advocates that theatres should be a place for the interaction of the souls, while strongly opposing the dogmatic following of Stanislavski’s drama system, which is commonplace in China’s official academies. He once said in an interview, “I use the theatre to help people learn how to handle their obstacles, trying to overcome them while knowing they will never get completely rid of them. This is the process of self-education.” His theatre work, File Zero, which toured around Europe and North America, is commonly interpreted as an implicit critique of dominant ideologies directing at the Communist government.


China's Theatre of Dissent: A Conversation with Mou Sen and Wu Wenguang (in Reports)

Denis Salter; Mou Sen; Wu Wenguang

Asian Theatre Journal, Vol. 13, No. 2. (Autumn, 1996), pp. 218-228.