National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts

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The National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts was established on January 28, 1950 in Beijing. Formerly called the Experimental School of Chinese Theater Arts, the college was first headed by Tian Han, a famous drama activist and playwright who also wrote the lyrics to the Chinese national anthem. The school originally only taught Peking Opera music and performance. In 1954, it merged with the Northeastern School of Chinese Theater Arts and was renamed as the National School of Chinese Theater Arts. The new headmaster added local opera courses, extending students' study to seven years. In 1962, however, those courses were dropped. Four years later, the school's educational system became dysfunctional. Normal academic activities were not resumed until December, 1977. The school was given its current name in 1978, and has since been teaching Peking Opera and traditional opera music, directing, writing and stage design.