Play Date

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The Bus Stop

Play reading Circle - Crane Creations Theatre Company


The Bus Stop, an absurdist play written by Chinese novelist, playwright, critic, painter, photographer, film director, and translator Gao Xingjian, who received a Nobel Prize for literature in 2000. His work has been compared to Waiting for Godot, Chekhov, and Brecht. The play opens on “a bus stop in the suburb of a city.” The bus-stop is symbolic of a crossroads, or a fork in the road on the journey of life, or a way station in the lives of the characters.” The play has been banned in China due to political reasons.


Gao’s influences include classical Chinese opera, folk culture, and 20th century European drama such as Antonin Artaud, and he said in 1987 that as a writer he could be placed at the meeting point between Western and Eastern cultures. He is a very private person, however, and later claimed, “No matter whether it is in politics or literature, I do not believe in or belong to any party or school, and this includes nationalism and patriotism.” His prose works tend to be less celebrated in China but are highly regarded elsewhere in Europe and the West, with Soul Mountain singled out in the Nobel Prize announcement.


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