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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


Portland, OR (October 31, 2003)–Reed College will host three performers from the famed Beijing Opera on Wednesday, November 12, at 7 p.m. in the Vollum lecture hall. The theatre workshop will include a lecture on "Beijing Opera: Tradition, Techniques and Characters," as well as a performance featuring the "Monkey King," one of China’s most beloved rascals.

Sponsored by the Northwest China Council, the Reed College Chinese department, the Portland Chinese Times, and the Portland Classical Chinese Garden, the workshop is $10 in advance, $12 the day of the event, and $5 for non-Reed students. For reservations, please call the China Council at 503/973-5451. The event is free to Reed students, faculty, and staff with ID. For more information visit the Reed events website or call the Reed events line at 503/777-7755.

"Monkey King" will be portrayed by Ghaffar Pourazar, who immigrated to China in 1996 at the age of 32 to train with the National Academy for Traditional Chinese Opera. An Iranian born Englishman, Pourazar is the first Westerner to become a Master of Chinese Traditional Drama with the Beijing opera. He is committed to maintaining the authenticity of the art form in China, while making it more accessible for Western audiences. In 1997, he directed the National Opera Troupe of China in a Beijing Opera–style rendition of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Other cast members include Master Zhang Shaohua, portraying "Turtle" and "Green Dragon." The Master, who performed for President Nixon and Chairman Mao, specializes in the "Warrior Clown" character—the most physically demanding character in Beijing Opera. He is presently a teacher at the National Academy for Chinese Traditional Opera. Morimura Chie, a graduate of the Tokyo Drama School who then trained at the National Academy for Chinese Traditional Opera, will portray "Heavenly Maiden" and "Female Warrior."

The Northwest China Council is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing public awareness of culture and contemporary affairs in greater China.

Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, is an undergraduate institution of the liberal arts and sciences, dedicated to sustaining the highest intellectual standards in the country. With an enrollment of about 1,360 students, Reed ranks third in the undergraduate origins of Ph.D.s in the United States and second in the number of Rhodes scholars from a liberal arts college (31 since 1915).

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