American theater director Joseph Graves has been bringing western musicals and theater plays to China since 2002.
Cinderella in Shanghai
In 2014, he directed the Chinese version of the smash-hit Broadway show Avenue Q, which played in theaters across 30 different cities in China.
This year, Graves and his crew of performers at Seven Ages productions are presenting a classic story – Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella – to audiences in Chinese.
Theater-goers in Shanghai will first see it in May, before it tours the country in Shenzhen and Beijing.
It’s a fascinating story that resonates across cultures and across languages, Graves says.
There’s growing appreciation for western musicals in China and the majority of the audiences are in their 20s or 30s, much younger than those in the West.
Graves talks to Inkstone about the challenges of localizing Broadway shows in China and bridging two very different theater cultures.