LIFE / CULTURE
Original Chinese play 'Teacher Guimei' of first all-free girls' high school shown in Beijing
Published: Aug 09, 2022 03:58 PM
Zhang Guimei in the stage play Photo: Courtesy of Wen Xin

Zhang Guimei in the stage play Photo: Courtesy of Wen Xin


Original Chinese stage play Teacher Guimei, which tells the story of Zhang Guimei, principal of China's first all-free high school for female students from poor families, kicks off on Tuesday at Beijing's Poly Theater.

This is the second time that the play was performed in Beijing following its debut in March. The rerun is aimed to give more lovers of stage theaters the opportunity to learn about the 64-year-old Zhang's touching story.

Zhang's story has attracted attention of people from all walks of life in recent years. She has dedicated her life to improving girls' education in a remote, mountainous region in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, where she started the country's first free high school for female students.

Despite its disadvantageous location and poor resources, Zhang's school ranked top on the rate of graduates entering universities in Lijiang of Yunnan Province. Since 2008, nearly 2,000 girls from Zhang's school have entered universities and changed their lives through education.

The start-up fund for the school was raised by Zhang, who took to the streets to ask for donations. The school's financial situation was stabilized when her aspirations were covered by a reporter in 2007 and donations flooded in from across the nation.

Zhang was recognized as one of the "top 10 people who have moved China in 2020." She was also a recipient of China's July 1 Medal.

The stage play was created by the provincial theater of Yunnan and debuted in Kunming, the provincial capital in June 2021.

When the play was shown to Beijing audiences in March, it gained applause and compliments for its vivid details and the brilliant performances of the cast.