WEBINAR: The Greatest Event in A Doll’s Life – Who are the “Noras” in today’s China?

In-house Webinar: Associate Professor Liyang Xia (Centre for Ibsen Studies) will have a conversation with some of the artists involved in the theatre piece The Greatest Event in a Doll’s Life and discuss topics such as the creative process, the societal impact, and the controversies of this project.

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How you may join the lecture: 

Please use the zoom link: https://uio.zoom.us/j/63524060505

You can watch the performance video of The Greatest Event in a Doll's Life here until 29 May. 


(Watch a trailer for the webinar.)

In 2019, a group of four Shanghai-based women in their late twenties and early thirties created a Chinese/English bilingual performance called The Greatest Event in a Doll’s Life. This project merges concepts from Ibsen’s A Doll’s House (1879) and Chinese literary master Hu Shi’s The Greatest Event in Life (1919), the latter being inspired by the former. The Chinese name of this production—Sheng Nü Zhi Jia (Home of “Leftover Women”)—points to the focal issue that the artists hope to address: the phenomenon of a state-sanctioned propaganda to pressure Chinese women over the age of 25 into marriage and motherhood.

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Guo Yangyang, Lelia TahaBurt, Lin Cuixi and Selena Lu, being both creators and performers of the project, tell their personal stories about their relationship to marriage, family, and womanhood through this theatre piece. Their project was the winner of Ibsen Scholarship in 2019 for having the ambition to “become a revolutionary feminist manifesto of our time”.

Image may contain: Red, Performance, Performing arts, Pink, Stage.LIN Cuixi is contemporary theatre maker, performer and a former computer programmer. With a special interest in gender narratives and human-technology relationship, she makes evocative performances through cross-disciplinary and collaborative processes. Recent works include 'The Greatest Event in a Dolls' Life', 'Annata', 'cybercafe' and ‘SOUP’ (McaM Shanghai/Wuzhen International Theatre Festival, 2018).


Image may contain: Speech.Fabrizio Massini was starting off as performer and director in Florence, Fabrizio embarked on a sinological career in 2002 with a BA in Intercultural Studies from the University of Florence. He furthered his studies at the University of London (SOAS) with an MA in Chinese Theatre and Film, and then in Beijing, with a research residency at the Central Academy of Drama. Based in China between 2009-2019, Fabrizio is active as performing arts producer, curator and dramaturg. He collaborated with several European and Chinese organizations including Beijing Fringe Festival, Wuzhen Theatre Festival, Guangzhou Dance Festival, Odin Teatret (Denmark), Fabbrica Europa (Italy). Fabrizio has been Artistic Director at Ibsen International (2016-2019) where he curated and managed the Ibsen in China program. Fabrizio also regularly works as artistic consultant; he gave guest lectures at institutions including the Danish National School of Performing Arts, National Theatre Company of China, Shanghai Theatre Academy and others.


Image may contain: Performance, Entertainment, Music artist, Microphone, Singing.Lelia TahaBurt is an Egyptian-American intercultural theatre artist based in Shanghai, China. She works as an actor, director, producer, and writer, as well as having a background in music and mathematics. Lelia’s most recent project, sheng女之家, was the first project from China to win the Ibsen Awards Scholarship, and was premiered in December 2019 at the Ming Contemporary Art Museum. She is also a founding member of 盘上海 PAN Shanghai, an intercultural arts incubation group dedicated to promoting collaborations and new works in Shanghai and beyond. From 2015-17, Lelia was the founding artistic director of One World Theatre in Shanghai, a group dedicated to presenting fresh and seldom heard voices from around the world to the Shanghai community. She produced and curated 11 different performances of new and modern scripts during this time. She has also worked in theatres large and small in both China and Washington, DC, from Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company to the Beijing National Theatre. Lelia graduated from the Shanghai Theatre Academy and Dartmouth College. 


Image may contain: White, Black, Photograph, Black-and-white, Monochrome.Selena Lü is Theatre director and deviser, co-founder of _ao_ao_ing ensemble. Trained with psychological imaginations and a disciple of Carl Jung, Selena weaves together verbatim materials and literary sources to construct metaphorical narratives that empower and transcend everyday experience. She works with pedestrians a lot, aspiring to spread theatre-making process as a means for self-discovery, community building, social documentation and all possibilities of real-time changes. 

Independent projects including: “Period Pain Monologues” (solo and forum theatre, 2015, Helsinki, Beijing); “The Way to Walden” (documentary theatre with students exiled from a bankrupt art college, 2015-18, Beijing); “Quiet” (documentary theatre with significant others of MH370, 2016, Beijing); “No Time Gu” (Chinese New Writing, 17, London); “You are my water.” (Live art, 2018, Shanghai, Wuzhen); Ensemble projects including: “Tourists Like Us” (Audio Tour series, 2018-, Shanghai, Hangzhou), “Annata: Not A Real Drag Show” (2019, shanghai).


Image may contain: Black, White, Black-and-white, Darkness, Photograph.Yangyang GUO was born in Beijing and grew up in the US. After graduating from Duke University, she worked in investment banking at Morgan Stanley in NYC but left the finance world to pursue her passion for the performing arts. She has performed in theatres across New York, Beijing, and Shanghai, and is committed to telling stories from unique perspectives and under-represented voices.

Read an interview with the artists on The Theatre Times.

Watch a trailer for the performance at Vimeo.

There will be time for question and answer for the webinar audience.​


Welcome to the webinar!

Tags: Ibsen, Ibsen studies, Kina, Kinastudier, Teaterforestillinger, Teatervitenskap, Teater, Teaterhistorie
Published May 22, 2020 9:55 AM - Last modified May 28, 2020 7:37 AM