The Bus Stop is a Chinese absurdist play written in 1981 by Gao Xingjian. Though originally completed in 1981, a second draft wasn't completed until 1982, and the play was not performed on stage until 1983. The play premiered at the Beijing People's Art Theatre and was directed by Lin Zhaohua, the Deputy Director of the People's Art Theatre. Though appreciated by many audiences, the original run was shut down by the Anti-Spiritual Pollution Campaign after only 13 performances. Now banned from performance in mainland China, The Bus Stop remains an influential text in Chinese absurdist drama.
The play opens on \"a bus stop in the suburb of a city.\" The only set pieces are a bus-stop sign in the middle of the stage and two rows of iron railings shaped like a cross. \"The shape is symbolic of a crossroads, or a fork in the road on the journey of life, or a way station in the lives of the characters.\"
The first character to enter is the Silent Man, followed soon after by the Old Man. The Old Man inquires about when the bus headed to the city will arrive, reveals to audience that it's Sunday afternoon, and briefly discusses the concepts rush hour and buying cigarettes. The Girl and the Hothead enter next, and the Hothead sits on the railing despite the Old Man's protests. When Glasses, the Mother, and the Carpenter enter, the Old Man does his best to keep everyone in an orderly line. A bus approaches the station, but drives by without stopping. While the Old Man, the Mother, the Hothead, and Glasses argue about the queue, another bus zooms by without stopping. This unstoppable bus prompts the Hothead to begin fighting with Glasses. The Silent Man and the Carpenter separate the two, and everyone at the station falls back in line.
The Director Ma remembers that his son is getting married back in the country, and asks the Carpenter whether or not he could produce some fine furniture for his son. After the Hothead suggests that he and Glasses walk to the city, Glasses decides to flip a coin to decide whether they walk or stay, but the Girl stops him before he can look because she's scared of her own fate. Upon the arrival of another bus, the group decides to block the bus's path by standing in the road. The bus does not so much as slow down, however, and the civilians flee back to the bus stop. The Director Ma threatens to leave once more, but stays. At this point, Glasses' watch lets us know that ten whole years have passed. Each character worries about what they've missed in the last ten years. The Girl and the Mother describe dreams that they've had and embrace due to their own dissatisfactions with life.
Before each production of Bus Stop, Lu Xun's play, The Passerby, was performed. The run of Bus Stop was originally advertised at 17 performances, and even before the opening night of the play, every performance was sold out. The run of the show did not last 17 shows, however. While it's popular opinion that Chinese officials shut down the run after 10-13 performances (it's also unclear whether Bus Stop ran 10 or 13 performances), it's also possible that the run was cut short so that the actors could perform Warning Signal in Dongbei. A reprisal of Bus Stop was then scheduled for a month later, but canceled due to controversy and a lack of support from the government.
In June 2021, the Crane Creations Theatre Company led a Play Date of The Bus Stop. The Play Date is a play reading event held monthly to spread awareness of playwrights and playwrighting from around the world. A group of professional theatre artists discussed about the theme, style, form, and world issues related to The Bus Stop.
In the notes at the end of the play by Gao, Gao suggests that the play \"aims to combine dramatic action and inaction.\" Another theory indicates that The Bus Stop may be Gao Xingjian's interpretation of Lu Xun's The Passerby. Gao goes on to state that the music and sound effects are just as important as the dialogue, however he doesn't mention anything about set, costumes, or props. In thus neglecting these aspects, Bus Stop focuses on the live body of each actor. Without any spectacle to distract, the audience is given no choice but to focus on the actions and bodies of the characters.
Another aspect of Gao's writing is \"multivocality,\" or polyphonic dialogue. In Gao's notes, Gao explains that there are occasionally many characters speaking at once. He instructs the actors to speak at varying volumes and pitches. The main idea should be the loudest, but it's truly at the director's discretion. An example lies towards the end of the play, when there are essentially seven performers speaking at once.
Bus Stop furthermore addressed the issue of backdoorism. In China at the time, many wealthy folks could bribe to government for this and that, and occasionally would give the government money for unknowingly nothing in return. When the Director Ma talks about giving cigarettes to the bus company, he is essentially a victim of this abusive backdoorism system. Gao's critique of the issue is just another problem that the Chinese government had with the play.
I now live in Lisbon and agree with the comments about frequency of buses means that changing to another bus is relatively seamless. Some buses here also have two readers for the electronic cards and a divider at the entrance to encourage two people to board at once. The driver can also give change! Every bus stop here has a shelter whereas many (most) in DC do not.
(A) Mechanical rooms, boiler rooms, supply storage rooms, employee lounges or locker rooms, janitorial closets, entrances, and corridors are not areas containing a primary function. Restrooms are not areas containing a primary function unless the provision of restrooms is a primary purpose of the area, e.g., in highway rest stops.
(2) Assembly areas that are required to horizontally disperse wheelchair spaces and companion seats by section 188.8.131.52 of the 2010 Standards and have seating encircling, in whole or in part, a field of play or performance area shall disperse wheelchair spaces and companion seats around that field of play or performance area;
(2) In assembly areas that are required to horizontally disperse wheelchair spaces and companion seats by section 184.108.40.206 of the 2010 Standards and that have seating encircling, in whole or in part, a field of play or performance, wheelchair spaces and companion seats are dispersed around that field of play or performance area;
ASTM F 1292-99 and ASTM F 1292-04 establish a uniform means to measure and compare characteristics of surfacing materials to determine whether materials provide a safe surface under and around playground equipment. These standards are referenced in the play areas requirements of this document when an accessible surface is required inside a play area use zone where a fall attenuating surface is also required. The standards cover the minimum impact attenuation requirements, when tested in accordance with Test Method F 355, for surface systems to be used under and around any piece of playground equipment from which a person may fall.
ASTM F 1487-01 establishes a nationally recognized safety standard for public playground equipment to address injuries identified by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. It defines the use zone, which is the ground area beneath and immediately adjacent to a play structure or play equipment designed for unrestricted circulation around the equipment and on whose surface it is predicted that a user would land when falling from or exiting a play structure or equipment. The play areas requirements in this document reference the ASTM F 1487 standard when defining accessible routes that overlap use zones requiring fall attenuating surfaces. If the use zone of a playground is not entirely surfaced with an accessible material, at least one accessible route within the use zone must be provided from the perimeter to all accessible play structures or components within the playground.
ASTM F 1951-99 establishes a uniform means to measure the characteristics of surface systems in order to provide performance specifications to select materials for use as an accessible surface under and around playground equipment. Surface materials that comply with this standard and are located in the use zone must also comply with ASTM F 1292. The test methods in this standard address access for children and adults who may traverse the surfacing to aid children who are playing. When a surface is tested it must have an average work per foot value for straight propulsion and for turning less than the average work per foot values for straight propulsion and for turning, respectively, on a hard, smooth surface with a grade of 7% (1:14).
Assembly Area. A building or facility, or portion thereof, used for the purpose of entertainment, educational or civic gatherings, or similar purposes. For the purposes of these requirements, assembly areas include, but are not limited to, classrooms, lecture halls, courtrooms, public meeting rooms, public hearing rooms, legislative chambers, motion picture houses, auditoria, theaters, playhouses, dinner theaters, concert halls, centers for the performing arts, amphitheaters, arenas, stadiums, grandstands, or convention centers.
Elevated Play Component. A play component that is approached above or below grade and that is part of a composite play structure consisting of two or more play components attached or functionally linked to create an integrated unit providing more than one play activity.
Play Component. An element intended to generate specific opportunities for play, socialization, or learning. Play components are manufactured or natural; and are stand-alone or part of a composite play structure.
Soft Contained Play Structure. A play structure made up of one or more play components where the user enters a fully enclosed play environment that utilizes pliable materia