The Sun is Not for Us was a brand new devising play based on female characters from Cao Yu’s four plays: Thunderstorm, Sunrise, Family and The Savage land.
It was first performed in 2011 as part of a set of events to celebrate the centenary of the canonical Chinese playwright Cao Yu (1910-1996). The production was directed by professional director and honorary research fellow in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, University of Leeds, Dr David Jiang. The students undertook the project as a co-curricular activity, and it was their first encounter with Chinese drama and culture.
The positive response to the 2011 production led to a new cast in 2012 for another devised work. Although the title and the director remained the same, the content of the production was very different from the 2011 performance. The 2012 production was performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and then toured China, visiting Shanghai, Qianjiang (Cao Yu’s hometown) and Chengdu.
In China the performance was first presented at the Shanghai International Contemporary Theatre Festival. It sold tickets publically. This was followed by performances in Cao Yu’s hometown Qianjiang at the Jianghan Art Vocational School and in Chengdu at Sichuan Normal University College of Arts and Science. In Qianjiang and in Chengdu, performances were for the students and tutors (public audiences were invited to the theatre). Seminars and workshops were held with local students.