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By Cao, Yu
Edited by Niu, Chunmei
Director: Han, Aitong
Produced by the Vancouver Mandarin Drama Society
The spoken drama, Thunderstorm, is the first theatrical work created by the renowned Chinese playwright Cao, Yu. It is both his breakthrough and representative work, completed in 1933 and published in July 1934 in Literary Quarterly.
Set in the early 1920s, during the transitional period in China from feudalism to rapidly developing capitalism, Thunderstorm portrays the tragedy of a bourgeoisie family steeped in feudal traditions. The capitalist, Zhou Puyuan, who has received a Western education, considers himself civilized. However, in his youth, he seduced a maid named Lu Shiping, resulting in the birth of two sons. Later, in order to marry a wealthy lady from a comparable social background, he expels Lu Shiping and their three-day-old second son from his household, keeping only their elder son, Zhou Ping.
Thirty years later, Zhou Puyuan moves his family to the north. His second wife, Zhou Fanyi, oppressed by him, develops a complex relationship with her stepson, Zhou Ping, while the latter falls in love with the family's maid, Sifeng. Fanyi's son, Zhou Chong, also admires Sifeng. When Lu Shiping arrives from another city, she discovers that her husband, Lu Gui, has arranged for their daughter to work as a maid in Zhou Puyuan's residence, repeating the tragic events of her own past. On a stormy night, as thunder and rain clash, all the secrets are gradually unveiled. Sifeng and Zhou Chong die from an electric shock, while Zhou Ping takes his own life with a gun…