The Face of Chiang Kai-shek: A Stage Play from China
Whether or not to accept a dinner invitation is at the center of the argument between three National Central University professors in the play The Face of Chiang Kai-shek, which will be performed in Chinese. It is set in 1943 Chongqing, China's wartime capital during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). But this is no ordinary invitation—the three have been asked to a Lunar New Year's Eve dinner thrown by Chiang Kai-shek, the generalissimo of the Kuomintang-led Republic of China and president of National Central University.
The invitation is a moral quandary for the intellectuals, a test of their attitude when confronted with power. This concept forms the central theme of the play, which features a plot based on one of many anecdotes about the leader's tenure as university president that still circulate on the campus of Nanjing University (formerly National Central University) today.