The Peony Pavilion director Chen Shi-Zheng isn't the only one facing censorship at the hands of the Chinese authorities. Zhang Yuan, a Chinese film director, was recently barred by Beijing officials from traveling to the Spoleto "Festival of the Two Worlds" in Milan, Italy, where his play East Palace, West Palace was being performed, according to Associated Press. The drama, about homosexual life in Beijing, is banned in China. Yuan is no stranger to such treatment. In 1997, he missed the Cannes Film Festival premiere of his film version of East Palace because government officials forbade him to travel. This time around, however, a happy ending prevailed; Zhang was allowed to leave and view the Italian production.
Recently, Shanghai officials prevented a production of the Chinese opera The Peony Pavilion from traveling to New York, where is was to anchor the Lincoln Center Festival 98. The production was subsequently canceled.
-- By Robert Simonson