When the world’s newest Disneyland opens in Shanghai, China, on June 16, it will be faculty member Weiko Lin’s words that help kick off the celebration.
Lin, assistant professor of film, worked with the directors and talent to write the opening monologue for the event, a concert and visual extravaganza that will officially open the first Disney resort in mainland China.
“It’s been an honor to contribute a small part as a writer to this monumental celebration, working with the incredible talent, director, and producers at Disney,” Lin said. “It is one of the best creative and cultural experiences.”
Lin, who was born in Taiwan and speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, said he couldn’t give away any details about the monologue but said he set out to bring together aspects of Chinese and Western culture in order to “foster the friendship between Disney and China.”
“As someone who is biculturally American and Chinese, it was wonderful to be part of a show that resonates internationally with both Chinese and Western audiences,” Lin said.
The show will feature Disney music, special effects, and fireworks, and will star numerous Chinese celebrities and cultural VIPs, including pianist Lang Lang, who will perform an arrangement of Frozen’s “Let It Go,” and TV and film star Sun Li, according to a report on Broadwayworld.com. Composer and conductor Tan Dun, known for scoring Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Hero, will lead the Shanghai Symphony in a new song for the occasion, according to the website.
Lin, a writer and producer who does a lot of theater in LA and was head writer for the 2014 Huading Global Film Awards in Hollywood, said he was contacted by Disney to write the monologue.
The ceremony will be broadcast on Thursday, June 16, 8:00–8:30 pm, on Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Disney XD, as well as each channel’s app. It will be shown again on Friday, June 17, 10:00–10:30 pm, on Freeform. The telecast will be narrated by Sofia Carson, star of Disney Channel’s Descendants and Adventures in Babysitting.