Stories Play

Stories play is a kind of styling artistic form that reflects the scene frame and the posture of character, by virtue of hand rather than the foot. There are stories play on platform (binding performers on a family table or a small specially-made platform) and stories plan on suspended platform (the performer is bound on or sits on a specially made iron or wooden frame to perform in a suspended way), and most of performers are children.

The stories of Xiaonan District and Xiaochang County mainly include Peach Garden Oath, Monkey Subdus the White-Bone Demon, Classical Beauty Scattering Flowers and Goddess Chang'e Flying to the Moon. Only one plot in the story is selected to reflect its scenes and character’s posture by dressing up. The performers can’t move their feet, but can change their hand movement from time to time. After dressing up, they will be carried by two or four people to perform.

The stories play on platform of Yingcheng, originating from Qing Dynasty and prevailing in the period of the Republic of China, is a large-scale literary and artistic activity enjoyed by the masses of the Yangtze River Port. It starts every year on the Lantern Festival and continues until the farming season, during which there will be generally 6 stories plays, sometimes there will be up to 8 plays or at least 4 plays. The platform used for stories play is made of timber, with a height of one meter, width of two meters and length of three meters, shaped like a sleeping cabinet. It is surrounded by iron rings, two wooden bars across the ring, which shall be carried by 48 people for moving. One story is played on the platform, which is usually the traditional theatrical pieces, such as Madam White Snake, Lui Tung-Ban's Three Tricks on White Peony, Taming of the Princess and Picking up A Jade Bracelet, etc. The characters in the play are dressed by children under the age of 10, and the costumes and props are specially made. 

After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the stories play on platform has developed from “ancient characters and things” to the modeling of workers, peasants and soldiers in content, and from the ancient costume drama to modern drama. With the progress of transportation means, carrying by people is replaced by automobile platform in recent years. In addition to the Spring Festival, the stories play on platform is also performed in some large-scale literary and art group and literary parades. The stories play of Jing Shen Temple is novel, magnificent and famous far and wide.