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LRCCS Tuesday Lecture Series | ‘Spoken Drama (Huaju) with a Strong Chinese Flavor:’ The Resurrection and Demise of Popular Spoken Drama (Tongsu Huaju) in Shanghai in the 1950s and Early 1960s

Siyuan Liu, Associate Professor of Theatre, University of British Columbia
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
11:30 AM-12:30 PM
Room 110 Weiser Hall Map
Please note the new time and location for our 2017-18 lecture series.

Contrary to popular belief, China’s first, hybrid form of spoken drama wenmingxi (civilized drama) did not vanish after its brief glory in Shanghai in the 1910s; it lingered on as part of the popular entertainment in the following decades, including a brief revival in 1957. Known as tongsu huaju (popular spoken drama) by then, it attracted the attention of modern theatre huaju (spoken drama) experts who praised its dramaturgy and performance as much closer to indigenous Chinese theatre than huaju, thus triggering a debate over its efficacy and limitations in the nationalization of Western-oriented spoken theatre. Using contemporary sources, Professor Liu examines the brief rise and fall of tongsu huaju in Shanghai in the late 1950s and early 1960s with focus on its performance, the debate over its utility, the policies that ultimately led to its demise, and the implications of the tongsu huaju phenomenon on the periodization of modern Asian theatre.

Siyuan Liu is an Associate Professor of Theatre at the University of British Columbia. He is a former President of the Association for Asian Performance and editor of Asian Theatre Journal. His published books include Routledge Handbook of Asian Theatre (2016), Performing Hybridity in Colonial-Modern China (Palgrave Macmillan 2013), Modern Asian Theatre and Performance 1900-2000 (co-author, Methuen 2014), and The Methuen Drama Anthology of Modern Asian Plays (co-editor, 2014). He has also published over two dozen articles and book chapters on Chinese theatre in the modern era.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Asia, Chinese Studies
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, International Institute, Asian Languages and Cultures