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Historicity and Contemporaneity: Adaptations of Yuan Plays in the 1990s

Wenwei Du
Asian Theatre Journal
Vol. 18, No. 2 (Autumn, 2001), pp. 222-237
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1124153
Page Count: 18
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Historicity and Contemporaneity: Adaptations of Yuan Plays in the 1990s
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Abstract

Unlike revivals of classical drama in previous decades, post-1990 adaptations of Yuan-dynasty plays in China have taken new directions. Wenwei Du examines these new phenomena in three types of adaptations. His article discusses various new versions of such Yuan masterpieces as The Chalk Circle, The Orphan of Zhao, The Lute, and The Western Wing. What links all these recent revivals is the relation between historicity and contemporaneity. Playwrights, directors, artists, and critics are all concerned with the problem of how contemporary adaptations can remain faithful to the original while making ancient themes relevant to present-day society. Wenwei Du is associate professor of Asian Studies and Chinese at Vassar College. He has published book chapters and journal articles on Chinese drama, film, and performing arts. Professor Du is currently working on a book-length study of traditional theatre in contemporary China and translating a collection of Chinese xiaopin comic skits.

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