Challenges and Opportunities: Musicals in China in the Era of Covid-19 Pandemic

Conference: The Asian Conference on Cultural Studies (ACCS2022)
Title: Challenges and Opportunities: Musicals in China in the Era of Covid-19 Pandemic
Stream: Cultural Studies
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Zhitong Chen, Sichuan University, China


The emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic undoubtedly affected every single aspect of human life, resulting in devastating socio-economic challenges across the world. After the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, China’s performing arts market has shrunk as a whole, the performance market has repeatedly stopped, and the musical industry in China has been in trouble. This paper, however, discusses not only the challenges but also the opportunities of musicals in China in the era of the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic provides opportunities for the development of Chinese musicals. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the lion’s share of China’s musicals market is dominated by imported Western musicals such as The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, Cat, and Mozart L’Opéra Rock. During the normalization stage of prevention and control of the pandemic, there has been a window of opportunity for Chinese original musicals and Chinese adapted musicals with the rapid recovery of the domestic performance market and the lack of competitive foreign musicals. The strong momentum of producing popular Chinese original musicals like The Orphan of Zhao and Chinese adapted musicals like Apollonia has brought great confidence to the musical industry in China. Through historical research, data analysis, and interviews, this paper will comb the history of musicals in China, analyze the resilience of Chinese musicals during the pandemic, and provide possible solutions for Chinese musicals’ further development.

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