Overview of the Literature of Theatre, Film and Television Programme
The programme aims to cultivate playwrights who pursue socialist core values and fulfill patriotism and cultural confidence, as well as to build a domestically best and internationally renowned undergraduate programme in literature of theatre, film and television. It requires students to develop high moral integrity, solid academic foundation, consummate professional techniques and strong practice capabilities. Students will learn primary theories and basic techniques in script writing of theatres, xiqu, films and television, and will devleop abilities of “discovery”, aesthetics, innovation and creativity so that they will be preapred for their future careers in the related fields of playwrighting, directing and theoretical research.
The predecessor of the programme was the “writing and directing research class” set up by Shanghai Theatre Academy in 1946 and 60% of the curriculum of that class are still being used as the pillar courses of the current programme. Multiple programmes in the school, like Radio and Television Directing, Art Management, and Art Education, were founded and cultivated by our programme.
Many well-known dramatists have taught in this programme, including Xiong Foxi, Yu Shangyuan, Gu Zhongyi, Chen Duo, Chen Yun, Chen Ruheng, Chen Bohong, Zhou Duanmu and Song Zuguang. Professor Gu Zhongyis “Theory and Techniques of Playwrighting” laid the foundation of Chinese playwrighting studies. Ye Changhai’s “Research on Wang Jide’s Qu-lti” and Yu Qiuyu’s “Historical Manuscript of Chinese Theatre Studies” won the first National Theatre Theory Work Award. “Theory of Theatre Structure”, “Opera Writing”, “Playwriting of Theatre Sketches”, “Construction and Deconstruction of Theatre”, “Theory and Techniques of Playwrighting” and “An Introduction to Television Drama Writing”, complied by teachers of our programme, have become textbooks for programmes at our school and many other colleges. Among them, “Theory and Techniques of Playwrighting” won the first prize of “Excellent Shanghai College Textbook”, entering the catalogue of theoretical works in the third edition of “Encyclopaedia of China”. “An Introduction to Television Drama Writing” is listed as the “Textbook of the Ministry of Education’s 11th Five-Year Plan”. Works of our teachers have won multiple significant awards like the “Five Top Project Prize” of the Publicity Department of CPC Central Committee, “Wenhua Award”, “Cao Yu Theatre and Literature Award”, “Flying Apsaras Award”, “Golden Eagle Award”, “Qunxing Award”, “Excellent Theatre Award” of the China Campus Theatre Festival, “China Theatre and Literature Award” and “Tian Han Theatre Award”.
For a long time, the programme has cultivated a number of playwrights and key talents in theatre, film and television. Works of our alumni, such as “The Younger Generation”, “Mayor Chen Yi”, “China Dream”, “Original Sin”, “Yun Xiang”, “Dong and Li”, “Children of the Nation” and “Four Ministers of the Ming Dynasty”, have yielded a profound social influence.
Through generations of inheritance and development, the programme was listed in the fifth batch of “National Featured Programmes” by the Ministry of Education in 2009 and was also approved as a construction base of “National First-Class Bachelor’s Programmes” in 2019.
· Characteristics, Advantages and Achievements
Innovating the training mode of playwrights to improve education quality
Building on the fine traditions of playwirghts education at Shanghai Theatre Academy, the programme constructs a new teaching pattern of cultivating empathetic playwrights, encouraging students to “read books, read theatres, and read the world”, guiding them to develop concerns about contemporary men and the development of the society, and strengthening their personality and artistic ethics. Our talent training mode won the special award of “Shanghai Higher Education Teaching Achievement Award” in 2017 and the second prize of “National Higher Education Teaching Achievement Award” in 2018.
Optimizing the curriculum system and teaching methods to promote education reform
According to the developmental feature of international and domestic industry of theatre, film and television, the programme adjusts and innovates its curriculum timely to keep up with the pace of our time and social needs. We have innovated the teaching method in courses like Opera Writing and Social Investigation and Research, set up new courses like History of Film Concept, restored An Introduction to Playwrighting and established Bai, Qian, Wan Playwrighting Workshop. Among them, Opera Writing was rated as “Shanghai Quality Course”, and An Introduction to Playwrighting was selected as “Shanghai Quality Course” as well as first batch of “National First-Class Bachelor’s Courses” in 2020. Bai, Qian, Wan Playwrighting Workshop was listed as the “Comprehensive Reform Project for Shanghai Postgraduates” in 2017, the “Key Reform Project for Shanghai Undergraduates” in 2018, and the funding project for art talent cultivation of National Art Foundation in 2019. The teaching method of the workshop is also applied to multiple programmes such as the master’s programme in playwrighting jointly run by Shanghai Theatre Academy and Columbia University, which enjoys a good reputation in the field.
Constructing the system of “teaching+creating+researching” to achieve all-round education
Supported by the educational philosophy of Shanghai Theatre Academy as a “creative teaching research university”, the programme actively constructs an all-round education system of “teaching+creating+researching”, so the mutual promotion and integration of the three can become an advantageous resource for cultivating playwrights. The newly founded Playwrighting Studies was listed as the “Shanghai Peak Discipline Construction Plan”.“A Study of the Current Situation, Problems and Countermeasures of Opera Playwriting” was approved as a major art theory project of National Social Science Foundation in 2016. The compiling of “Textbook Series of Playwrighting Studies of Shanghai Theatre Academy” (10 volumes), “Long Compilation of Historical Data of Chinese Modern and Contemporary Playwrighting Studies” (3 volumes) and “Playwrighting Dictionary” have laid the foundation for discipline construction. “Playwrights Journal” (collection) entered the National Theatre Journal Association. “Masterpieces in Shanghai Campus” produced 15 scripts and 12 of them have been staged.