About Us

Staging China - 舞台中国

Staging China, an international practice-led research network with its hub in Leeds is a development from the project Performing China on the Global Stage. It brings together academics, research students and theatre practitioners to reinvigorate Chinese theatre as a practice-led/cross-disciplinary subject. It aims to influence academic institutions and individual researchers; and to impact on performing industries and the general public. The project will:

  • Explore how contemporary and historic China is constructed and projected through intra/inter/trans-cultural stage productions and what is happening when China is ‘performed’;
  • Examine and analyse theatre productions in the Chinese language, in minority languages, plus non-Chinese productions about China in and outside of the Chinese-speaking regions;
  • Develop Chinese theatre as an inter-disciplinary subject of Sinology, Cultural and Performance Studies, and therefore enhance the international status of Sinological research and attract more young people to the subject;
  • Offer consultancy and help establish collaboration between researchers and practitioners, and between theatre companies in and outside China.
  • Disseminate individuals’ research amongst researchers, institutions, and theatre professionals to promote further collaborative work, and amongst the general public to enhance international awareness of Chinese civilization.

Why do we need this project?

Since China’s open door policy began, the Chinese economy, politics and society have fascinated outside researchers. Yet Chinese theatre as a discipline is perceived as daunting in its complexities of Western-inspired spoken and indigenous song-dance forms, the latter including over 300 indigenous codified operas. The tightly-knit theatrical world is very hard for outsiders to enter. Chinese scholars and practitioners find it difficult to collaborate with international colleagues. There is a lack of electronic resources, for instance, recorded performances, bilingual English and Chinese annotations of recordings, contextual information about Chinese theatre and critical analysis. This project seeks to address these problems and remedy these deficits.

Contact Us

General Project Enquiries

Li, Ruru

Email: r.li@leeds.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 113 343 3469

School of Modern Languages and Cultures
University of Leeds


Susan Daniels

Email: s.m.daniels@leeds.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 113 343 8720
Fax: +44 (0) 113 343 8711

School of Performance and Cultural Industries
University of Leeds



The activities are funded through the normal actions of academic and professional participants in their own organisations. Members have been successful in competitions for specific funds. In addition, there has been generous support in cash and kind in the USA, Canada, China, and UK from local governments and community.

Competitive Awards

Other Support

For the tour of the Cao Yu centenary exhibition, film screening and lectures 2011-13

For the activities in Edinburgh 2012

  • Confucius Institute for Scotland, UK

For the tour by stage@leedstouring of The Sun is Not for Us, China 2012