About Theatre Above
Theatre Above is a new 699-theatre facility in the heart of Shanghai, designed by the celebrated theatre artist Stan Lai and dedicated to the advancement of theatre art in the Chinese speaking world.
Located on the 5th floor of Metro City, a shopping mall in the heart of Shanghai's Xujiahui business district, Theatre Above presents a new concept by integrating the finest theatre within a modern hub of shopping and dining.
The fruit of six years of planning and construction, Theatre Above will serve as a home base for the works of Mr. Lai's Performance Workshop theatre group, the works of PW's sister group Magnificent Culture, and a showcase for the best local as well as international theatre. It offers the people of Shanghai a refined and intimate theatre-going experience, and conveys a new attitude about how theatre can be integrated into life.
Theatre for Everyone
Till this day, a large number of theatres in China are built to look like a palace or shrine, which is what theatres were conceived to be in 19th century Europe. Theatre Above adopted a new concept in its construction and put the theatre inside a shopping mall where art and life are juxtaposed. In the Song Dynasty, which dates back to more than a thousand years ago, performance venues were widely seen throughout the country, making theatre a popular art form. In Elizabethan England, a cluster of theatres were built across the River Thames from the city of London – The Rose, The Globe Theatre, and The Swan were among the most renowned theatres in England. Theatre became a favorite entertainment for all classes and the popularity of the art also contributed to the birth of the Shakespearean classics. The artistic quality of Theatre Above, joined by the liveliness of Metro City, will help theatre become an increasingly important part of people’s everyday life.
Theatre Above covers an area of approximately 2,530 square meters and contains a theatre and a rehearsal hall. The theatre can seat 699 audience. The rehearsal hall has an area of 130 square meters; it will serve as a rehearsal space and an incubator for theatre art.
A Theatre Dedicated to Stan Lai’s Canon of work
2015 marks the 30th anniversary of Stan Lai’s Performance Workshop. One of the most celebrated theatre companies of the past three decades, Performance Workshop has never had its own venue, instead placing its iconic performances in the grand halls of Taiwan, China, Asia, and the world. Theatre Above is a dream is at last come true, with Stan Lai as its artistic director, and Nai-chu Ding leading the production and management team. It is a venue that can finally realize the dream of producing the large canon of Stan Lai's works in a rotating repertory. Universally acknowledged as one of this era's greatest playwright/directors, Mr. Lai has created many of the most iconic works in the modern Chinese theatre. Yet less than half of his total works of over 30 original plays have been revived over the years. Theatre Above brings the possibility of showcasing the many jewels in Mr. Lai's canon. It also brings the opportunity for Mr. Lai to create new works with his company, to be premiered at Theatre Above. The theatre will also be active in bringing in the finest work of other artists, Chinese and international. It is an exciting time indeed for theatre in Shanghai.
A Memory between You and Theatre Above
During the past 30 years, Performance Workshop has obtained and accumulated valuable professional experience in production, management, and technical elements. Starting from day one, professionalism has been a vital part of Theatre Above. Our goal is to break free the current constraints of theatre management in China and we endeavor to provide a welcoming and convenient working environment to artists and technicians. We are also devoted to creating a relaxing and pleasant theater-going experience for every audience member. It is our hope that every visitor will enjoy their time at Theatre Above.