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Manifesto of the New Wave Theatre


Wang Chong


We—my friends and I—have stayed up all night. Sitting in the mist of Beijing, we listen to the sound of waves lapping against the battered bank and tilting the apologists' little boat. I feel the brackish seawater rushing toward me, so close that I can touch it. I want to get rid of my cheap clothes, spring into the waves, and rebuild the world in the sea. 


Carried by the flowing waves, I rebuild our new theatre on the water. Our theatre, standing on the tip of the tide, lunges at the old theatre. Clear seawater washes away the dust and dirt of the old theatre, taking away its faintly red carcass and leaving behind fish and beautiful shells. The water plunges into forged palaces and lavish cemeteries, sweeping away the memorial tablets made of plastic and newspaper. As sea level rises, cities and villages are flooded. Rotten scriptures and dogma fall apart in the sea and turn into a repast for fish. The once grand ferry is now but wreckage with nothing in it: no spyglass, let alone a beating heart.


We have no time to bid goodbye to the old world. Riding wind and waves, we set out to look for unexplored waters and carve our names in every ray of fresh sunshine. Our plays are staged in the sun and waves, disappearing as they are enacted and preparing for the next wave. We sometimes float downstream and sometimes sail upstream, always marching toward the future.


We—my friends and I—have stayed up all night, because the clarion is sounded.


People either stay where they are, or, sail with us. 

Printed in 2012

English version translated by Yizhou Huang


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