“Snail, snail, its antennas come out of its shell before its head....”
“A little kid sits on the threshold crying for a wife...."
Familiar old Beijing nursery rhymes allowed those present, old and young alike, to experience the magical world of “Lord Rabbit” (as a representative local folk toy, “Lord Rabbit” has almost become a symbol of old Beijing culture).
On June 2, the realistic children’s play “Beijing Nursery Rhymes” raised the curtain especially for Kaiwen Academy (KWA) students at the Beijing Nationality Cultural Palace Theater. More than 200 families watched this original play that Beijing Children’s Art Theatre Co. Ltd. has produced.
Liu Hafu (sounds like “Harvard”), the young protagonist of the play, is one of the “kids of other families” (alluding to an interesting phenomenon that people tend to believe kids of other families are always better than their own). While his excellence makes him the envy of everyone else, Liu Hafu has prematurely had to bear the yoke of strict demands from his parents. The grandmother in the play, suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, can only remember the old Beijing nursery rhymes that she has heard as a child.
During the crucial period when Liu Hafu is preparing for the International Astronomy Olympiad (IAO), the sudden arrival of his grandmother and his underachieving cousin Liu Daqian interrupts his original quiet life. Only concerned about his study, Liu Hafu cannot understand his grandmother’s “bizarre” nursery rhymes. However, when he inadvertently steps into the world of “Lord Rabbit”, he experiences unprecedented freedom, purity, happiness, and warmth, and he begins to yearn for the simple but real life that his cousin is living. Right before his grandmother loses her memory, Liu Hafu creates a colorful dream for her through his own efforts. In the dream, there are both pure, beautiful nursery rhymes and a brilliant, boundless starry sky of the future.
Old Beijing nursery rhymes caught the KWA children’s fancy and evoked the parents’ memories about their own childhood. KWA organized this “Watch Plays on Children’s Day” activity to promote parent-child communication and allow students to experience old Beijing’s traditional culture.
The play, simple and honest in content, was thought provoking. Nowadays, our children have acquired a lot of scientific and cultural knowledge, but they are also facing the same dilemma as the young straight-A student in the play. Every day, they rush to their destinations like mad, only to miss the beautiful scenery on the way. We hope to develop our students’ ability to empathize through this entertaining and playful form of drama, so that the students can see love, understand love, learn how to love, and understand the meaning of empathy.