With the Ice Bucket Challenge bringing so much attention to ALS, now is the perfect time for a dramatic adaptation of Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie.
Adapted from the bestselling book of the same title and produced by the Godot Theater Company of Taiwan, Morrie’s new stage adaptation twists the American writer’s memoir to incorporate numerous eastern artistic elements.
The play was widely acclaimed at its Beijing debut on Wednesday night.
Sixteen years after graduation, Mitch is left feeling frustrated with the life he has chosen to live. When he learns that his old professor Morrie is battling ALS and running out of time, Mitch reaches out to him.
For 14 weeks, the teacher and student meet every Tuesday as their rekindled relationship turns into a final “class” on how to live.
Jin Shijie, who plays Morrie, gives a thrilling performance highlights that highlights the tragedy of disease. His nimble interaction with students gives way to frightening paralysis as the disease progresses.
“I’ve seen more than 1,000 plays and seldom wept. When I saw Tuesdays with Morrie for the first time in America, I could not help crying,” said Yang Shipeng, the director. “The drama is touching without being sensational, and that’s why it can touch viewers so deeply. Even if the audience laughs early on, it ultimately sheds tears.”
“I honestly was not that moved by the book. However, the final scene on stage impressed me,” said Shi Hang, the scriptwriter. “The aging professor is like a Mephisto who teaches the opinionated youngster – his Faust – to live.”
“There is one remarkable word in the drama: death. Chinese tend to shun the topic, but it is only through facing death can we live meaningfully,” said Kevin Tsai, a Taiwanese writer and TV host on the play’s Taiwan debut.
7:30-10 pm, September 18 and 19
14 Dongzhimen Nan Dajie, Dongcheng