Fellow Hao Wu is a documentary filmmaker whose projects explore the complexities of modern China. In The Road to Fame, he tells the story of the government-funded collaboration between the Chinese Central Academy of Drama and Broadway to stage the iconic American 1980 musical as a senior showcase. The film documents the production of Fame—the first Western musical translated into Chinese and perfotrmed by Chinese actors—as a coming-of-age story for the student performers, all of whom are members of China’s Single-Child generation. The characters Wu introduces project in vivid detail the social complications of pursuing their own definitions of success under the weight of parental and cultural expectations.
Throughout December, PBS is making a shorter version of The Road to Fame available for all of its affiliate stations. Upcoming broadcasts will air on Thirteen/WNET in New York on December 17 and 18, and the film is available for free all month via streaming here Watch the film to go behind the scenes and under the lights in what The Atlantic calls “an intimate and empathetic portrait of China’s post-80s generation.”