Wuming Theater Club’s Das Kapital
CAMIT Grant Recipient 2020
Confronting capitalism through absurdist comedy
What is money? Why do we need money, and what is it for?
Das Kapital (2010), written by Shanghai-based playwright Nick Rongjun Yu, is an absurdist comedy that asks questions about the rise of global capitalism. “In the past thirty years,” Yu writes, “China has never been able to avoid capitalism. It has long seeped into every aspect of our lives: government, economics, society, laws, beliefs, ideals. We have nowhere to run in the face of capitalism. […] This play expresses the relationship between capitalism and modern society, life and reality and deeply examines capitalism’s characteristics, nature, and essence.”
As an absurdist comedy, Das Kapital approaches serious questions about capitalism through humor, provoking laughter as well as debate and discussion about the relationship between economy, society, and culture.
MIT Wuming Theater Club adapted Das Kapital to situate it in the context of MIT and Boston (even re-situating one scene to take place at the top of the Prudential Center). Wuming Theater Club held an additional interactive performance in November 2019 to promote the show.
Performed in Chinese with English subtitles. Translation by Yangyang Guo and Katie Lu.
Das Kapital was supported by MIT Music and Theatre Arts and funded in part by the Council for the Arts at MIT and the MIT De Florez Fund for Humor.
Presented by Wuming Theater Club
January 24-26, 2020 / 7pm
MIT Building W97
345 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA
MIT Wuming Theater Club was founded by MIT students and affiliated students in fall 2014. The mission of Wuming is to promote the expression of Chinese culture and language through the art of theater.
Das Kapital was directed by Yuning Su (Emerson College) who also adapted the play to the setting of MIT.
The cast included Jun Cao, Wisteria Deng, Lucie Du, Will Du, Zixun Jia, Xinyi Li, Nick Ning, Ke Ren, Yuning Su, Ricky Wang, Yixin Wang, Xian Yang, Jennifer Yao, and Sam Yu.
Subtitle translation by Yangyang Guo and Katie Lu.
Wuming Theater Club faculty advisor: Claire Conceison.
More about the artists: MIT Wuming Theater Club Facebook page
Conceison, Claire. “Behind the Play: The World and Works of Nick Rongjun Yu.” Theatre Journal 63, no. 3 (2011): 311-21. Accessed September 16, 2020. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41307574.