Staging China: New Theatres in the Twenty-First Century – Edited by: Li Ruru
Book: Staging China: New Theatres in the Twenty-First Century
Edited by: Li Ruru
Published by: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016
“Staging China: New Theatres in the Twenty-First Century” focuses on Chinese drama in the twenty-first century. Modern drama in this book refers to ‘Huaju’ or spoken drama in Chinese, which emerged in the 20th century. ‘Huaju’s’ emphasis on ‘spoken’ distinguishes it from the traditional Chinese song-dance theatre ‘xiqu’. The researchers attempt to investigate the outcomes of transformation of historical and cultural practices of Greater China into stage images, focusing on performances rather than on text. This research employs the lens of theatre to probe people’s response to social, political, economic and cultural challenges in the global context. The book postulates the argument that ‘stage work, as a mode of cultural action, provides a vital arena for practitioners to interact with audiences, the market, the government, and cultural establishments’. The researchers in the book employ a critical examination of key theatrical productions focusing on the ‘process’ to scrutinise functioning of theatrical creation within the economic, political and cultural nexus.
“When being challenged, theatre practitioners respond; their responses deliver vitality and diversity on the stage. We should also note that as early as in the 1980s, colleagues in Taiwan realised during their experimental “Little Theatre Movement” that the term huaju or spoken drama no longer described their theatrical form, and they thus created a new term; wutaiju or stage play. However, this term begun to wane since the millennium because more and more performances in Taiwan take place in non-conventional theatrical venues. The concepts of space, venue, and audience have thus been challenged again: consequently the nature of the theatre has evolved ” (Page 3)Staging China - New Theatres in the Twenty-First Century