China Dream


China Dream
[Zhongguo meng, 1987]
Spoken drama (Huaju)
Penned in both English and Chinese by playwright couple Sun Huizhu (William Sun) and Fei Chunfang (Faye Fei) and performed in separate productions in Shanghai and New York, China Dream (Zhongguo meng) was a ground-breaking production when it premiered in Shanghai in 1987. Th e Chine production ran through 1989 and toured Beijing and other Chinese cities, as well as Singapore. The American version of the play was staged at the Henry Street Theatre in 1987. The play was also translated and produced in Tokyo. Its main contribution is its attempt, both in the playwrights’ vision and the approach of the three directors in Shanghai (Huang Zuolin, Hu Xuehua, Chen Tijiang), to realize Huang Zuolin’s theatrical theory of xieyi on stage. Its staging calls for a bare set and performance elements borrowed from Chinese Xiqu (sung-drama/opera). The play is intercultural in both form and content, influenced by experiences and aesthetics encountered by its authors when they moved to the USA in 1984 and 1985.
The story (told through eight temporally alinear ‘episodes’ that occur in various locations) centres on Mingming, a Chinese actress who opens a restaurant in the USA, and her American boyfriend John Hodges, a lawyer with a PhD in Chinese philosophy. The actor who plays John also plays several other male roles, including another American suitor, Mingming’s grandfather and her lost love back in China.
Conceison, Claire (1999). ‘Between Orient and Occident: The Intercultural Spoken Other in China Dream’. Theatre InSight 1:14–26.
Entell, Bettina (1994). ‘China Dream: A Chinese Spoken Drama’. Asian Theatre Journal 2:242–59.
Sun, Huizhu (1999). ‘Aesthetics of Stanislavsky, Brecht, and Mei Lanfang’. In Faye Chunfang Fei (ed./trans.), Chinese Theories of Theater and Performance from Confucius to the Present. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 170–8.
CLAIRE CONCEISON

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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