Asian Theatre Journal, vol. 23, no. 2 (2006)

ATJ 23.2 image

Editor’s Note, iii


Primary Colors: A Play by Mishima Yukio
Introduction and translation by Christopher L. Pearce, 223

Primary Colors (Sangenshoku) is a 1955 play by Mishima Yukio that brings up issues of homosexuality and bisexuality. Its positive treatment of homosexual themes contrasts with the darkness of Forbidden Colors, the author’s novel of the same period. While the play has received only a few professional productions, its poetry and theme help us understand Mishima’s developing aesthetic.

Christopher Pearce is a JET Programme participant currently working as a Coordinator for International Relations for the government of Hyogo prefecture in Japan. He holds a bachelor’s degree in the Japanese language from Portland State University. This translation is printed with the generous permission of the Estate of Mishima Yukio.


Adaptation and Staging of Greek Tragedy in Hebei Bangzi
Min Tian, 248

This article is a critical study of the adaptation and staging of Greek tragedy in hebei bangzi (Hebei clapper opera). It examines the rationale for these adaptations and contrasts their dramaturgy, staging, and performance with the premises of Greek theatre. The author argues that because of the inherent differences in dramaturgy, staging, and performance between hebei bangzi and Greek tragedy, these adaptations, conceived as a “fusion” of these two theatrical traditions, are, in fact, a displacement of Greek tragedies from their theatrical and artistic contexts and an appropriation of them as raw materials to meet the dramatic, scenic, and performance prerequisites of hebei bangzi. The significance of these adaptations is twofold: first, as they use a complete and authentic form of Chinese xiqu and the stories from Greek tragedy, they are effective in facilitating the understanding of Chinese xiqu in the West; second, they provide yet another approach to performing Greek tragedy and help materialize our modernist imagination of its performance style.

Min Tian earned his PhD in theatre history both from the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing (1990) and from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2000). He has taught at the Central Academy of Drama as lecturer and associate professor and has published articles and reviews in Asian Theatre Journal, Comparative Drama, New Theatre Quarterly, and Theatre Journal. He now works at the University of Iowa.

From Zheng Qiang to Jian Shuiying: The Feminization of a Revolutionary Hero in Maoist Theatre’s Song of the Dragon River
Rosemary Roberts, 265

Since the 1980s, analysis of the representation of women in Maoist theatre has argued that the heroines of the Cultural Revolution “model works” (yangbanxi) were “genderless revolutionaries” “erased” of anything feminine. This article challenges such a view through a case study of Song of the Dragon River in which the male hero of the 1964 spoken drama version was changed to a female in the 1972 yangbanxi adaptation. Evidence is presented that the characterization of the heroine in the latter work conforms closely not only with traditional beliefs in innate female characteristics but also with current Chinese beliefs in the characteristics of successful women in leadership.

Rosemary Roberts is a lecturer in Chinese at the University of Queensland, Australia. She completed postgraduate studies at Beijing University in the early 1980s and has a PhD in Chinese literature from the Australian National University. She has published numerous articles and translations in the field of Chinese literature and culture and is currently writing a book on gender in Maoist theatre of the Cultural Revolution.

Karagöz Co-Opted: Turkish Shadow Theatre of the Early Republic (1923–1945)
Serdar Öztürk, 292

Balinese Legong: Revival or Decline?
Stephen Davies, 314


The Impact of Shinpa on Early Chinese Huaju
Siyuan Liu, 342

Performance of Identity: The Pelegongan Andir of Tista, Bali
Maria Talamantes, 356

In Contact with the Dead: Nora Rong Khru Chao Ban Ritual of Thailand
Parichat Jungwiwattanaporn, 374


The New Sakata Tōjūrō’s Grand Kabuki Show and the Rebirth of Kamigata (Kansai) Kabuki
Laurence Kominz, 396


A Gathering of Gamelans and A (Balinese) Tempest, presented by ShadowLight Productions, Cowell Theatre, San Francisco
reviewed by Henry Spiller, 401

Miyagi Satoshi (director), Medea, adapted from Euripides, Ku Na’uka, Biwako Hall, Shiga, Japan
reviewed by Nobuko Anan, 407


Qian Ma, Women in Traditional Chinese Theater: The Heroine’s Play
reviewed by Megan Evans, 412

Nandi Bhatia, Acts of Authority/Acts of Resistance: Theatre and Politics in Colonial and Postcolonial India
reviewed by Kathy Foley, 415

Kazuo Ohno and Yoshito Ohno, Kazuo Ohno’s World: From Without and Within
reviewed by Patricia Gallagher, 417

Yoshiko Fukushima, Manga Discourse in Japanese Theater: The Location of Noda Hideki’s Yume no Yuminsha
reviewed by Kevin Wetmore, 419

Eileen Blumenthal, Puppetry: A World History
reviewed by Kathy Foley, 421