Pay tribute to the spirit of scientists with exquisite art
——”Tonight’s Stars” reproduces Guo Yonghuai and Li Pei’s family and country feelings
Guangming Daily reporter Chang He
Having seen the series of “Tonight’s Stars” by the Anhui Provincial Theater, Tang Dong wrote four words: Baopu Shouyi. This is not only the satisfaction of the role interpretation and stage presentation of the Anhui Theater, but also the appreciation of the golden partner and director Fu Yongfan’s second creation. In Tang Dong’s view, these four words are also the home of the Chinese scientist to be expressed in “Tonight Stars”. National sentiments and dedication are very compatible. “A person must have a firm life goal, and he must hold it consistently, although it is not easy.”
Drama “Tonight Stars” Stills Profile Picture
When he first received an invitation to write this play, the playwright Tang Dong “is afraid that he could not write the story of Guo Yonghuai and Li Pei.” However, after interviews and research, Tang Dong said frankly that he was moved by writing. In his opinion, “Tonight’s Stars” is the kind of work that “can write such a play is worthy of gratification”.
This evaluation was proved in the performance. At the end of 2020, the drama “Tonight’s Stars” was performed four consecutive times at the Anhui Grand Theater and the University of Science and Technology of China, with continuous applause and tears. Li Xue, a student of the University of Science and Technology of China, shed tears throughout the process. “After entering the school, I saw Guo Yonghuai’s story in the school history museum. It was very touching, but seeing the interpretation of the drama on the stage was more intuitive. Whether it is Guo Yonghuai’s spirit of serving the country with his own body It is the deep feelings of Guo Yonghuai and Li Pei, which are the best education and inspiration for our young people.”
The great feelings of the scientific couple and the spirit of scientists became the driving force behind the creation of the drama “Tonight’s Stars”. After more than two years of creation and rehearsal, “Tonight’s Stars” affectionately reproduces the ups and downs of the scientific masters for the audience, describes the glorious era of the blue road, and pays tribute to the spirit of the scientist with exquisite art.
Trustworthy: The main melody “Fly to the Ground”
Guo Yonghuai is one of the founders of the University of Science and Technology of China and the only scientist who has been posthumously awarded the “Two Bombs and One Star” merit medal as a martyr. Guo Yonghuai’s wife, Li Pei, is known as the “mother of Chinese applied linguistics” and “the most beautiful rose of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.”
“”Tonight’s Stars” is based on history and touching by emotions. It deeply digs into the spiritual logic behind the construction of China’s scientific and technological power. It is both ideological and artistic, and provides new experience for the artistic expression of the spirit of scientists in the new era.” Central Museum of Literature and History Librarian and well-known literary critic Zhong Chengxiang believes that the drama “Tonight Stars” starts from the details, interweaves the feelings of home and country with dual time and space narrative, and has originality in setting up scenes, dividing regions, and scheduling scenes. The relationship between husband and wife, father-daughter, comradeship, teacher-student relationship, and patriotism under the background of a powerful country are perfectly unified.”
According to Li Meimei, general manager of Anhui Performing Arts Group, in order to make “Tonight’s Stars” a first-class drama work in China, Anhui Provincial Theater invited a number of well-known artists to form a creative team. Screenwriter Tang Dong has won the National Outstanding Drama Script Award, the China Cao Yu Drama Script Award, the Wenhua Drama Award, and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Literature and Art Award. Director Fu Yongfan has repeatedly won the “Wenhua Director Award” and the Chinese Drama Golden Lion Award for Outstanding Director. Many stage art works of the two people have won domestic awards such as the “Five One Project” award and the “Wenhua Award” of the Central Propaganda Department, and are called “golden partners” by the industry.
In addition, the play’s music, stage costumes, and lighting design are all performed by a domestic first-class team.
Judging from the lineup, “Tonight’s Stars” can be called a blockbuster work created by the excellent domestic creative team with full cooperation and effort.
However, for the main theme of literary and artistic works, it is far from enough to have a “luxury lineup”. A first-class lineup may not necessarily be a first-class work. How to make the main melody work produce moving power and capture the audience, especially the young audience?
In the eyes of director Fu Yongfan, many young people today find it difficult for many young people to understand the sacrifice and dedication of Guo Yonghuai’s generation of scientists. “We are arranging this play in the hope that more audiences, especially young audiences, will understand the past but should never be forgotten.”
In the play, after China’s first atomic bomb exploded, Qian Xuesen came to Guo Yonghuai’s home to celebrate. The two were extremely excited but could not reveal to their family that this was their scientific research achievement. As a result, the two scientists could not help but “smirk” like children while drinking. When this scene was performed, many audience members burst into tears and laughed.
In Fu Yongfan’s view, this kind of treatment is in line with the identity and character of the two people. “The main theme is not to shout slogans. It is convincing if there are flesh and blood.” Fu Yongfan said that scientists are also human, and they cannot be allowed to do scientific research blindly on stage, let alone open their mouths. Silence is the principle, “All art works must speak human words and do human affairs in the end.”
Tang Dong said that Guo Yonghuai and Li Pei are both heroes. “Just writing about how they conducted nuclear tests and putting aside their personal daily lives is not called a play, it is called material. But if you only write about the love of your children, there is no grandeur. Narrative is not good either. Only by combining the two organically can it be in line with historical reality. The hero must stand on the ground to have the sense of reality and power. He always holds him in the air without touching the ground with his feet, and the audience will not accept it. “
“The title of the play’Tonight’s Stars’ is a very poetic and noble image and imagery.” According to the famous writer Wang Shoude, “but what the play shows is that the twinkling stars in’Tonight’ are not only Guo Yonghuai, but also his His wife Li Pei, daughter Guo Qin, fellow Qian Xuesen, and his students together formed the constellations in the night sky of that era.” He believes that the play uses a seemingly ordinary but elaborate artistic structure, namely, let The mother and daughter of Li Pei and Guo Qin connect the whole plot in a way of reviewing and telling, linking Guo Yonghuai’s main deeds, life experience, character traits, and family’s fate to form a focused, natural, smooth, well-structured and quite distinct The complete drama look.
“In the narrative time and space of the two, Li Pei recalled and narrated affectionately and painfully, personalizing and portraying Guo Yonghuai’s image, personality and even outstanding achievements.” Wang Shoude said, “The terminally ill daughter. Guo Qin’s intervention not only sets up a listener for the play, but also makes the play’s image of the protagonist Guo Yonghuai greatly increase the sense of depth and weight, and also makes the play more than just a work of praising the characters. , It has a certain edge of reflection and inspection.”
“Let the characters fly to the ground is the truth.” Tang Dong said, “Reality can move oneself. Only when you move can you move others and convince the audience, especially the young audience.”
Standable: Characters are full of flesh and blood
“The way you look is the direction of my heart.” In the play, Li Pei confessed affectionately to the stars.
After reading the script, Zhu Weiwei, an actor of the Anhui Provincial Theater, resolutely rejected other roles and played the role of the elderly Li Pei in “Tonight’s Stars”. “Li Pei is the needle that is threaded in the play, and it is also the god of the sea.” Zhu Weiwei said, Li Pei is the wife of a scientist, the mother of a terminally ill daughter, and a teacher with a strong sense of professionalism. Such a complicated role is difficult to perform. “But it is precisely in the complex roles and conflicts that the character image has been full.”
At the end of the play, Li Pei squatted on the stage, with Guo Yonghuai’s briefcase in his left hand and his daughter’s beloved accordion in his right hand. At that moment, “Li Pei” was lonely and strong, but Zhu Weiwei’s performance was calm and graceful, and the audience was full of applause and tears.
“There is a Li Pei living in my body.” Zhu Weiwei said.
“There are many beautiful, passionate and versatile women in the world, but there is only one Li Pei. Although fate gave her a cup of bitter water, she drank a sweet taste. She shed all the tears in her heart, but used Forbearance and smile care for the rose of life.” Song Baozhen, deputy director of the Drama Research Institute of the China Academy of Art said emotionally.
At the beginning of the drama, Guo Yonghuai and Li Pei had a conversation at Cornell University: Guo Yonghuai saw his hometown being bombed by Japanese planes and switched from optical studies to fluid mechanics and mathematics. Li Pei decided to transfer from economics because of language barriers and loss of anti-war items. Foreign Linguistics. This gives the character image a true foundation. As the plot unfolds, whether it is Guo Yonghuai’s science and technology service for the country or Li Pei’s selfless work, it seems smooth.
“Presentation is not the most difficult, the most difficult is how to create real flesh and blood characters on the stage.” Fu Yongfan said.
The biggest challenge in presenting an image like Guo Yonghuai is how to break out of the routines of biographies and the public’s collective recognition of the deeds of the characters, and show new ideas; secondly, the work of the protagonist himself is relatively high-tech, which is not easy to explain. Easy to be boring. Therefore, “Tonight’s Stars” expresses the truth of life situations and the characteristics of characters through details. Guo Yonghuai cherishes his daughter very much, but because he is busy with scientific research, he even ignores the growth of his daughter. On her daughter’s birthday in high school, the gifts he gave were rattles and tops, which caused her daughter to cry with disappointment. It is in such details that the characters stand up bit by bit.
“I know that Guo Yonghuai is a scientist, but after watching the whole play, it was done in one go. Every character image is very real and full of flesh and blood. Especially Guo Yonghuai, just like the teachers and elders around us.” said Wang Shuangyin, an Anhui University student. His father was also a teacher. When he saw Guo Yonghuai’s swear words to protect his students in the play, “I burst into tears because my father is such an intellectual.”
Go Far: Continuous Innovation in Art Forms
“The pen of God!”
In the heavy snowfall, Guo Yonghuai was going to the northwest base, Li Pei was going to the “May 7 Cadre School”, Guo Qin was going to the countryside to jump in the queue, and a family of three separated on the platform. The whistle sounded, and the train carrying Guo Yonghuai slowly started. Suddenly, Guo Qin played the accordion and sang Peking Opera “Red Lantern”, “My father is like a pine and cypress.” Guo Yonghuai’s student’s wife jumped up in the snow and the teacher always thought The ballet that I watch but I don’t have time to watch…
Zhang Biao, a professor at the Party School of the Anhui Provincial Party Committee, was deeply shocked by this scene. “This is a romantic expression of the scientific spirit and a poetic display of personality charm. What is the spirit of a scientist? I believe that at this moment, every audience has their own answer.”
Briefcases and roses are props throughout the play, and they also have a clear symbolic meaning. Guo Yonghuai’s briefcase was a gift that Li Pei gave him when he was in the United States. He held it in his hand every day. Before the plane crash, Guo Yonghuai grabbed the briefcase on his chest and hugged him tightly with the guards, protecting precious research materials with his life. The briefcase has also become the affectionate sustenance of Li Pei and Guo Qin when they miss Guo Yonghuai.
The rose is Li Pei’s favorite flower and a symbol of the love between Guo and Li. Guo Yonghuai’s students wanted to learn English from Li Pei, and Guo Yonghuai asked the students to hold a rose. In her later years, at the “Zhongguancun Lecture Hall” she founded, the silver-haired Li Pei took over a large bouquet of blooming roses, “After recognizing the truth of life, she still loves life”, and life blooms in that picturesque scene. Light.
“The overall style of the play is like a symphonic poem. It follows the stream of consciousness technique during the transition and transition, but has the smart characteristics of modern narrative.” Song Baozhen believes that the structural innovation of the play lies in the realization of realistic reproduction of scenes and poetic expression. Free conversion of space and polysemous images. “The director is good at winning more with less, with points leading to the surface, creating a situation and showing a meaningful space of multi-dimensional and multi-sense dramatic imagery.”
“The combination of the starry sky designed by the stage design and the large freehand brushwork of the calculation formula and the small realistic environment creates a unique era and life atmosphere for the characters.” Wang Shoude said, with the advancement of the plot and the development of the characters’ destiny, the music is based on Its appropriate expressiveness better contrasts the psychology and emotions of the characters in a specific environment, so that the meaning and content that the play needs to convey are beneficially amplified and strengthened.
“This is a classic work with a rigorous scientist spirit and romantic artistic techniques.” Zhang Biao said, “Some people always complain that the theater stage cannot keep young audiences, but they rarely think about the reasons, and even less. Creation and experimentation in art.”
There is no outdated art, only a conservative presentation. If a certain art is abandoned by the audience, the main reason may be that the creator abandoned the audience.
“Tonight’s Stars” performed two consecutive performances at the University of Science and Technology of China. The venues were full and the audience was all young students. The reporter noticed that during the entire performance, no one left the venue, and no audience did not shed tears.
At the end of the performance, when the two asteroids “Guo Yonghuaixing” and “Li Peixing” appeared on the stage canopy, we felt strongly at that moment that they did not leave, they just went to a place we had never been before. That place is in our hearts.
The spirit of the scientist has not left, and we pay tribute to it.
“Guangming Daily” (version 09 on February 4, 2021)