Dissertation
Dissertation > Art > Dramatic Art > Theory of dramatic art > History of Dramatic Art

The Modern Drama heritage and pioneering

Author TianGenSheng
Tutor ZhaoShanLin
School East China Normal University
Course Ancient Chinese Literature
Keywords Modern Drama Topical drama Historic Plays Drama Improvement Stage practice Romance Drama Theater performances Bourgeois-democratic revolution Value criteria Artist
CLC J809.2
Type PhD thesis
Year 2003
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The present research topic, from the broad perspective of inheritance and exploration, explores the cultural change of contemporary plays continuously and consistently, furthermore, intends to demonstrate such aspects of contemporary plays as their background, updating features, theoretical ideas, creative rules and stage performance. As a result, it realistically sets a standard of contemporary plays in the development of the Chinese contemporary plays.The dissertation covers three aspects (i.e. "performance and style", "playwriting and creation" and "theories and ideas") and nine parts as follows:Introduction: The producing and features of contemporary plays. In close relation to the politics, economy and region in which contemporary plays were produced, the dissertation reveals their various features and contribution in the wide background of the contemporary Chinese culture.Chapter I: The contemporary reform of stage performance style and appraising ideas. During the dynasties of Daoguang, Xianfeng, Tongzhi and Guangxu, people were gradually discontented with the plays of Luantan of which characters were mostly female and acts were about families and the elegantly- tuned Zhezi of Kun plays, both of which were produced in the dynasties of Qianlong and Jiaqing. However, the Pihuang plays, which were characterized by old male characters, historical plays and roaring Huang tune, came into being and had grew perfect ever since. The main stream turned to the vigorous, updating performance style and appraising ideas.Chapter II: Extension and transformation: Beijing opera and Shanghai opera. Beijing opera had deeply changed in its management and artistic style after it was introduced in Shanghai. By the end of the 19th century, southern Beijing opera had originated from the confusion of Beijing opera, Anhui opera and Bangzi play. In the early 20th century, the people in the circle of Beijing opera in Shanghai began to consciously build and consummate their own artistic style, meanwhile, they pointed out the improvement of Beijing opera by participating in bourgeoisie democratic revolution. Consequently, southern Beijing opera in Shanghai grew up quickly and contested with original Beijing opera, thus, developed into its own unique artistic style.Chapter III: The innovation of traditional plays. This chapter intends to discuss the tradition inheriting of contemporary plays and their innovation in view of the origin of Beijing opera’s acts. The innovation is characterized not only by their developing historical subjects and the actor-oriented playwriting system but also by some mature scripts handled by distinguished actors.Chapter IV: The fashion of new historical plays by actors. This chapter deals with the following points: the origin of the historical plays by actors and their subjects’ trends; people’s value judgment and actors’ historical playwriting; people’s aesthetic value and actors’ historical playwriting; the extreme growing of stylizing in actors’ historical playwriting.Chapter V: The prosperity of contemporary plays reflecting current affairs. AfterOpium War, China was in chaos, at the same time, Chinese intellectuals took the responsibility of saving nation. Therefore, the plays reflecting current affairs showed up after more than one hundred years’ disappearance. In the beginning, such plays seldom reflected "external crisis" while most "domestic crisis" and the feudal moralist and value judgment, which contrasted sharply to the late plays concerning "external crisis". On the other hand, the early plays were limited to such subjects as legend while the late included legend, fashion Beijing opera, civilized opera, etc.Chapter VI: Contemporary plays in the eyes of play theorists. At the turn of reform and cultural communication between China and western countries, contemporary play theorists, on the basis of tradition, expound "play", "tragedy", "artistic conception", "history parallelism" etc. from a new point of view.Chapter VII: Moralization, saving the nation from extinc

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