This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts (NACTA). The 70 years of development of NACTA has also seen the modern reform and development of Chinese theater arts. The school’s history epitomizes the theater arts education of New China. General Secretary Xi Jinping fully recognized the achievements and performance of NACTA over the past 70 years in his letter of reply to the teachers and students of the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts, expressing his gratitude to see theater arts being passed down from generation to generation and sharing ardent expectations for the further inheritance and development of theater arts.
Founded by the central government of China in January 1950, the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts was the first educational institution of Chinese theater. It was originally called the Experimental School of Chinese Theatre Arts under the Bureau of Theatre Arts Improvement of the Ministry of Culture. The first president was Mr. Tian Han, who was the author of the national anthem of the People’s Republic of China and the director of the Bureau of Theatre Arts Improvement. Ever since, generations of students and teachers from NACTA have made it their duty to advance the theater arts education of the Party and people. Through arduous struggle, inheritance of the classics and inclusive innovation, they have written a glorious chapter in history and opened up an increasingly broad path of development for theater arts education. Today, NACTA has become an exemplary art school in the field of national theater arts education, with the most complete set of specialties and the best training system supported by the greatest number of high-quality teachers. It also produces the largest number of high-end professionals, which makes it the most influential school of its kind. Epitomized and represented by NACTA, ancient theater arts and theater arts education in the new era are increasingly characterized by tremendous glamour and tension.
“Passing the Cultural Torch: An Achievement Exhibition Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts and Theater Arts Education of the People’s Republic of China,” jointly held by the NMC and NACTA, is an important practice to implement the spirit contained in the reply letter of General Secretary Xi Jinping. The exhibition is divided into four sections, respectively featuring the themes of “An Honorable Mission,” “Upright and Innovative,” “Cultivation of Morality” and “Hard Work and Fruitful Achievements.” It makes every effort to showcase the collective advancement of NACTA and New China, the institution’s development with the times and its shared destiny with theater arts. The 70-year history of theater arts education in New China, epitomized by the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts, will be presented through precious historical objects, detailed graphic and text documents and vivid multimedia forms. These are all imprinted with the glorious achievements of students and teachers from NACTA over 70 years of hardship, reform and innovation.