Letter to the Yenan Peking Opera Theater After Seeing “Driven to Join the Liang Mountain Rebels”

Proletarians of all countries, unite!
There is one goal, the conquest of power!

LETTER TO THE YENAN PEKING OPERA THEATER AFTER SEEING „DRIVEN TO JOIN THE LIANG MOUNTAIN REBELS“

Chairman Mao Tse-tung
09.01.1944

Reproduced by
The Red Flag

LETTER TO THE YENAN PEKING OPERA THEATER AFTER SEEING „DRIVEN TO JOIN THE LIANG MOUNTAIN REBELS“

The Peking opera „Driven to Join the Liang Mountain Rebels“ is an episode from „Water Margin“, the 14th-century classical novel. It tells how Lin Chung, spurred on by the strength shown by the people, resolved to join their rebellion against the reactionary rulers.

Having seen your performance, I wish to express my thanks to you for the excellent work you have done. Please convey my thanks to the comrades of the cast! History is made by the people, yet the old opera (and all the old literature and art, which are divorced from the people) presents the people as though they were dirt, and the stage is dominated by lords, and ladies and their pampered sons and daughters. Now you have reversed this reversal of history and restored historical truth, and thus a new life is opening up for the old opera. That is why this merits congratulations. The initiative you have taken marks an epoch-making beginning in the revolutionization of the old opera. I am very happy at the thought of this. I hope you will write more plays and give more performances, and so help make this practice a common one which will prevail throughout the country.