Contemporary Legend Theatre>About>History


In 1986 a group of Peking opera players, aware of the decline of traditional Chinese opera, considered how to integrate this traditional performance form with modern theatre. Thanks to the efforts of Wu Hsing-kuo and other equally enthusiastic young performers, Contemporary Legend Theatre (CLT) was founded.

CLT has since created a new intercultural aesthetic, and is renowned for transforming Jinju (Chinese opera) through the adaption of world classics. CLT has performed at famous venues and festivals in 50+ cities across 20 countries. Works include: “Kingdom of Desire” (Royal National Theatre, London; Festival d'Avignon); “King Lear” (Lincoln Center Festival, New York; Edinburgh International Festival); and “Waiting for Godot” (Le Théâtre du Soleil, Paris; National Theater of Korea). 

A pioneer in intercultural, cross-disciplinary performances, CLT works to pass down heritage as well as to educate and innovate, serving the art of Xiqu (traditional plays) and supporting the growth of young actors.


Wu Hsing-kuo established Hsing Legend Youth Theatre in 2016, under the umbrella of CLT, to provide intensive training and showcase opportunities for young talent in Taiwan.

‘Hsing’ is taken from founder Wu Hsing-kuo's middle name, which in its original form signifies two people raising a ‘ding’ (a cooking cauldron with legs) with four hands, and performing a ritual with songs and dances. The hands represent the four main roles of Peking opera, as well as peers who share the same passion for keeping traditions alive.

Hsing Legend Youth Theatre has performed in the Legend Opera, at the Legend Youth Xiqu Festival, during Taiwan Traditional Theatre Center’s opening season, and at the National Center for Traditional Arts. It holds regular workshops and showcases at the Fanqiao Theater and at schools and colleges, and its members participate in CLT's annual major productions, such as “Midsummer Night's Dream” (2016), “Faust” (2017), “108 Heroes -Tales from Water Margin II” (2018).