Young Minli lives with her parents near Fruitless Mountain, surviving on the meager fare they can produce. Inspired by the rich tales her father tells (and by magical goldfish), Minli determines she will find the Old Man of the Moon who, it is said, knows the secret of good fortune. On her quest she encounters royalty, dragons, and several more stories, from which she learns what true good fortune really is. Based on the 2010 Newbery Honors book, this “fantasy crossed with Chinese folklore” production is a beautifully-told Wizard of Oz riff with a huge heart. Best for ages 5+.
月夜仙踪 ---Jeannine Coulombe 执导的舞台剧 故事取材于Grace Lin的小说 灵感来源于中国民间传说和舞台剧。这部舞台剧讲述的是一位叫做敏力的小女孩，想要通过寻找月下老人来试图改变自己命运的故事。在寻找的旅途中，与一条龙的结识让她认识到了家庭的重要性。全剧英语演出，适合5岁以及5岁以上观众。 购票和更多的信息请访问：www.synchrotheatre.com, firstname.lastname@example.org 或致电：404.484.8636
Contact email@example.com to learn how to bring your book club or other group to see the show!
Please note: the recent sale of 14th Street Playhouse to SCAD will not affect your experience of this production. The dates have shifted by a week, but we will still be at the same venue for the rest of the season! Thank you to our patrons for their concern and inquiries. We are grateful for the extraordinary support of the Woodruff Arts Center through the transition and look forward to working with SCAD for the remainder of our 2013-14 season.
This is an ensemble show, where our actors play multiple characters. This dynamic ensemble includes:
Yen Nguyen - Minli
Matthew Myers - Ba, Old Man of the Moon, various
Reay Kaplan - Ma, Jade Dragon, various
Jelani Jones - Dragon, various
Vince Canlas - Magistrate Tiger, various
Sam Traquina - Various
Christina Jundt - Various
Justin Anderson - Director
Sandra Hughes - Choreographer | Assistant Richelle Sado
Mike Hickey - Set, Mask, Props & Puppet Design
Jonida Beqo - Costume Design
Kevin Frazier - Lights & Sound Design
Erica Mandato - Stage Manager | Xander Sok - Assistant Stage Manager & Tristan Ludden - Crew
Kathy Janich - Dramaturge
Jeanette Matte - Production Manager | Bryan Cort - Technical Director
Synchronicity Theatre's home this season is SCADShow (formerly 14th Street Playhouse)
173 14th Street NE | Atlanta, GA | 30309 | At the corner of 14th and Juniper
Where to Park:
Parking is available immediately adjacent to 14th Street Playhouse in the Lanier Parking deck on Juniper. The parking deck is attended until 45 minutes after the end of the show, so if you go out for a bite afterward, please be sure to take your parking ticket! You will need it to re-enter the parking deck after hours.
Additional parking is available across 14th St. at Colony Square.
Going carless? Good for you! SCADShow is accessible by MARTA train, just 4 blocks away at the Arts Center Station on the Red/Gold lines.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Jeannine Coulombe had its world premiere at Stages Theatre Company in suburban Minneapolis (Minn.) in April 2012. It’s based on the 2010 Newbery Honors book by Grace Lin.
Dramaturgical Research for Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Courtesy of Kathy Janich, Dramaturge
SECTION 1: CHINESE FOLKLORE
Supremacy of wisdom over physical strength (The Romance of the Three Kingdoms) — A historical novel written by Luo Guanzhong in the 14th century, set amid the turbulent years near the end of the Han Dynasty and the Three Kingdoms era of Chinese history.
The story (part historical, part legend, and part myth) romanticizes and dramatizes the lives of feudal lords and their retainers, who tried to replace the dwindling Han Dynasty or restore it. The novel follows hundreds of characters, but the focus is mainly on the three power blocs that emerged from the remnants of the Han Dynasty. The novel gives readers a sense of how the Chinese view their history through a cyclical lens. The famous opening lines of the novel summarize this view: “It is a general truism of this world that anything long divided will surely unite, and anything long united will surely divide.”
Cleverness and resourcefulness (Wu Song Kills a Tiger) — On his way home, Wu Song passed by Jingyang Ridge and killed the fierce tiger there with his bare hands. Thus he became famous and was offered the post of a chief constable in Yanggu Prefecture. By chance, he met his elder brother Wu Dalang, nicknamed the 'Three-inch Nail' for his short stature.
Sources: wikipedia, Opera Boston,http://story-wu-song.blogspot.com
Chinese folklore includes songs, poetry, dances, puppetry and tales. It often tells stories of human nature, historical or legendary events, love and the supernatural, or stories explaining natural phenomena and distinctive landmarks.
The main influences on Chinese folk tales have been Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. Some folktales may have arrived from India or West Asia along with Buddhism; others have no known Western counterparts, but are widespread throughout East Asia. Chinese folktales include a vast variety of forms such as myths, legends, fables, etc.
Taoism: A philosophical and religious tradition that emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao, which means "way," "path" or "principle."
Confucianism: An ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. Its core is humanism. It focuses on the practical, especially the importance of the family, and not a belief in gods or the afterlife.
Buddhism: A religion that holds to tenets of "samsara" (the repetitive cycle of birth and death) and karma (good, useful deeds vs. bad, useless deeds). Buddhists pursue wisdom, ethical conduct and concentration.
Modern iterations of traditional Chinese stories can be found internationally as well as in native Chinese literature. Laurence Yep's The Magic Paintbrush, Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior and Walt Disney Pictures' Mulan all borrow from Chinese folklore traditions.
The Magic Paintbrush (2003): Steve can hardly believe it. With his new paintbrush, whatever he paints becomes real. Now he, Grandfather, and Uncle Fong can wish for anything they want. Uncle Fong uses the paintbrush to return to China, to the village of his childhood, and Grandfather wants to visit the Lady on the Moon. Steve wonders if the paintbrush can bring his parents back. But they all soon realize the paintbrush might have its own agenda.
The Woman Warrior (1975): A Chinese American woman tells of the Chinese myths, family stories and events of her California childhood that have shaped her identity.
REVIEW: The Woman Warrior is a pungent, bitter, but beautifully written memoir of growing up Chinese American in Stockton, California. Maxine Hong Kingston distills the dire lessons of her mother's mesmerizing "talk-story" tales of a China where girls are worthless, tradition is exalted and only a strong, wily woman can scratch her way upward. The author's America is a landscape of confounding white "ghosts"--the policeman ghost, the social worker ghost--with equally rigid, but very different rules. Like the woman warrior of the title, Kingston carries the crimes against her family carved into her back by her parents in testimony to and defiance of the pain.
Mulan (1998): This retelling of the old Chinese folktale is about the story of a young Chinese maiden who learns that her weakened and lame father is to be called up into the army in order to fight the invading Huns. Knowing that he would never survive the rigors of war in his state, she decides to disguise herself and join in his place. Unknown to her, her ancestors are aware of this and to prevent it, they order a tiny disgraced dragon, Mushu, to join her in order to force her to abandon her plan. He agrees, but when he meets Mulan, he learns that she cannot be dissuaded and so decides to help her in the perilous times ahead.
Sources: Amazon, Internet Movie Database and wikepedia
“I never thought I’d find a friend like you.” - DRAGON
Chinese dragons are legendary creates in Chinese mythology and folklore. In Chinese art, they are typically portrayed as long, scaled, serpentine creatures with four legs. Chinese dragons traditionally symbolize potent powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, hurricane and floods. The dragon is also a symbol of power, strength and good luck for people who are worthy of it. The Emperor of China usually used the dragon as a symbol of his imperial power and strength.
In Chinese daily language, outstanding people are compared to a dragon; incapable people are compared with disesteemed creatures, such as a worm. A number of Chinese proverbs and idioms feature references to a dragon, for example: "Hoping one's son will become a dragon" (become a dragon).
The dragon is known by many names in Chinese mythology: Lung Meng, Long Wang, Na-achia and NAGA. The dragon is a symbol of strength, goodness, and the spirit of change. Dragons changed quite a bit in Chinese mythology through the centuries.
At first, all were helpful and beloved water gods. In later centuries, there were two kinds of dragons, the old friendly dragons and a new breed of terrifying winged serpents of the mountains. The negative view of dragons, it is said by scholars, followed the influence of BUDDHISM, in which they were identified with harmful powers and spirits.
In ancient Chinese myth dating to the prehistoric period, dragons were presented as serpents with a horse’s head, two horns and a pearl in the center of the forehead. The earliest dragons had no wings but could fly by magic. They brought rain to the crops, blew their misty breath across the marshes, lived at the bottoms of large lakes and seas, and kept the rivers flowing to the villages and cities.
The gods and IMMORTALS rode on dragons’ backs across the seas from the sacred islands where they lived or flew on their backs to visit the HEAVENS. The legendary EMPERORS were said to travel in fancy CHARIOTS pulled by dragons. The mythical emperor YU, founder of the XIA DYNASTY, was supposed to have been born as a winged dragon. Emperors after him claimed to be descendants of the dragon.
It was a high honor for a person to be given an honorary dragon name. The dragon is associated with the east, the direction of sunrise and, in general, positive actions. Some ancient Chinese held dragon processions or festivals, welcoming the dragons and their life-giving rains back each spring. People also painted dragons with four claws on the doors of temples and on the walls surrounding villages and towns to invite the rains and to keep these places safe from harm. Another belief seen in some early myths was the dragon’s power to change its size and shape — it could be as tiny as a silkworm or as huge as the entire sky. It could also become invisible whenever it chose, a handy quality in war. According to folk belief, once a year, the dragons flew to the heavens to make their annual reports.
Fish are an important motif in Chinese mythology. The word for "fish," yu is a homophone for "abundance" and "affluence.” The Chinese dragon is the head of the fish clan. The carp, a golden fish, is highly revered for its strength & perseverance in swimming upstream. The Chinese pinyin character for "fish" is the same as the one for "wealth" or "abundance." Gold carp were the most prized, and silver carp were the cheapest.
Sources: Dramaturg Chad Henry; wikipedia
This symbol (pictured) means abundance of gold, making the goldfish a popular symbol in the Chinese culture. One of the most popular New Year's images is a child holding a large goldfish and a lotus flower, which brings both wealth and harmony. A goldfish embroidered on a bag or shirt is a sure-fire way to bring the energy of abundance into your life.
A token of wealth and abundance in Chinese myth and lore, as well as a symbol for harmony, reproduction, and marital happiness. The ancient Chinese carved stone, wood, and PEACH pits in the shape of a fish to use as CHARMS of good fortune. Temple courtyards often contained pools or ponds filled with carp or goldfish to signify abundance and harmony. The carp was considered a symbol of perseverance and skill in the martial arts.
SECTION 2: CHINESE PUPPETRY
More than 2000 years ago, a favorite concubine of Wu Emperor of the Han Dynasty died of illness; the emperor missed her so much that he lost his desire to reign. One day, a minister happened to see children playing with dolls where the shadows on the floor were vivid. Inspired by this scene, the smart minister hit upon an idea. He made a cotton puppet of the concubine and painted it. As night fell, he invited the emperor to watch a rear-illuminated puppet show behind a curtain. The emperor was delighted and took to it from then on. This story recorded in the official history book is believed to be the origin of shadow puppetry.
SECTION 3 : CHINESE KITES
Kites were invented in China, where ideal materials were readily available:
silk fabric for sail material; fine, high-tensile-strength silk for flying line; and resilient bamboo for a strong, lightweight framework. The earliest kites flew in the fifth century B.C.
Paper kites were being flown by AD 549. They were being used for measuring distances, testing the wind, lifting men, and signaling and communication for military operations.
The designs on most Chinese kites have a symbolic meaning from Chinese folklore or history. Tortoises, cranes and peaches signify long life, bats are a sign of good luck, butterflies and flowers represent harmony, and a dragon design represents power and prosperity.
There's an old saying in China: "Those who fly a kite can have a long life."