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Polygence Scholar2023
Ziyi Lei's profile

Ziyi Lei

Class of 2023Shenzhen City, Guangdong



Project Portfolio

Our Voices: A Call for a Diverse Theater Industry

Started Sept. 27, 2022

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Abstract or project description

Theater has long been a media for artistic expression and storytelling. According to Aristotle, the meaning of theater is the provision of catharsis. This, combined with the fact that theater is a unique form of media that forces the audience to experience the story completely in one sitting, indicates the uniqueness of theatrical storytelling.

Unfortunately, this cathartic effect has not reached its maximum benefit. Multiple marginalized groups have been under-represented within theatrical storytelling. Moreover, theater has seen its status gradually decrease due to economic and cultural factors, including the limited financial accessibility combined with the over-generalization of the concept of diversity lowering the significance of authentic storytelling, as well as the negative comments online having the potential to discourage authentic storytelling.

This project comprises an essay and a documentary. The essay, with the evidence consisting of both first-hand interviews and the author’s personal experiences within the media industry and theater, identifies the economic and cultural problems existing in the lack of authentic diversity and popularity in theatrical storytelling, and offers targeted solutions to address respective problems. The documentary further presents the meaning and the current situations of theater to promote theatrical storytelling.