Taiwan play gives mainlanders taste of KMT soldiers' lives after 1949

08:11, February 08, 2010      

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Through a play, audience on the Chinese mainland are getting a taste of the lives of Kuomintang (KMT) veteran soldiers after they fled to Taiwan in 1949.

"The Village," directed by famed playwright and theater director Stan Lai, finished its performance tour on the mainland Sunday night, with Beijing being its last leg.

The play tells the story of three veteran soldiers' families in a village of Taiwan's Chiayi County - how the first generation moved into the village and later generations moved out to pursue new lives.

The village, together with more than 700 others, are called "Juancun" in general, literally meaning "servicemen's residential compound."

Originally built as temporary shelters, "Juancun" later became permanent settlements as hopes of returning to the mainland faded away. They were home to various dialects and cuisines as the residents came from different parts of the mainland.

The topic of "Juancun" has drawn much interest lately from people both on the mainland and Taiwan as the villages are gradually disappearing nowadays because many descendants are no longer willing to stay.

It also hits the nerves of people in Taiwan who have lived in the villages and those on the mainland whose relatives were among the villagers.

An audience named Yi Yuan said in Beijing the stories presented her an image of "Juancun" that was more real and specific than what she could have imagined.

The play was first staged in Taiwan in late 2008. Several of the actors and actresses were themselves from "Juancun."

Source: Xinhua
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