Asian Theatre Journal, vol. 28, no. 2 (2011)

Kabuki watercolor drawing by A.C. Scott (Courtesy of Martha Johnson)

Kabuki watercolor drawing by A. C. Scott (Courtesy of Martha Johnson)

From the Editor, v

Addendum to Modern Chinese Drama in English: A Selective Bibliography

Siyuan Liu and Kevin J. Wetmore Jr., 279

SYMPOSIUM:
FOUNDERS OF THE FIELD

(First Generation Asian Theatre Scholars in the United States)
edited by Siyuan Liu and David Jortner

The Association for Asian Performance: A Brief History
James R. Brandon, 281
This short narrative of the life of the Association for Asian Performance (AAP) is both a personal statement and an institutional history. It is not a description of personal careers, of books written, of plays directed. It is personal in the sense that I call on people’s memories, including my own, to tell a story spanning forty-six years. Memory can deceive. To some extent, I am describing the elephant based on partial accounts of ears, legs, trunk, and tusks, and I may have made mistakes. Still, without memory we are not human. The narrative is also an institutional account, a story of a changing institution based in part on information published in news bulletins and newsletters (see Published Works Cited). Many thanks to AAP members who shared their reminiscences. And my sincere apologies to the many wonderful AAP members and officers whose names do not, for reasons of space, appear below.

James R. Brandon is an emeritus professor of Asian theater at the University of Hawai’i, and a guest professor at Harvard University, NYU, and Justus Leibig Universitat. He is the author or editor of twenty books concerning Asian theater, most recently Kabuki’s Forgotten War: 1931–1945 (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2009). He is the founding editor of Asian Theatre Journal. His honors include the Order of the Rising Sun of the Japanese government, the Uchimura Prize of UNESCO, and the John D. Rockefeller 3rd Prize.

Founders of the Field: Japan Introduction
David Jortner, 309
Any foray into the historiography of Japanese theatre written by Western theatre historians confronts the political and social interactions of both Japan and the United States, specifically the ending of the sakoku period in Japan and the Occupation and Cold War positioning of Japan after the Pacific War. This introduction will give the reader a basic overview of some of the major thematic concerns involved in the writing of Asian theatre history, as well as historicize the Occupation and Cold War eras in which many of the first generation Asian theatre scholars were writing and teaching in the American academy.

David Jortner is an assistant professor at Baylor University. He is coeditor of Modern Japanese Theatre and Performance (with Keiko McDonald and Kevin Wetmore, Rowman and Littlefield, 2007) and has essays in Inexorable Modernity: Japan’s Grappling with Modernity in the Arts (Hiroshi Nara, ed., Lexington Books, 2007) and Revenge Drama in European Renaissance and Japanese Theatre (Kevin Wetmore Jr., ed., Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).

Faubion Bowers

Samuel L. Leiter, 314
Faubion Bowers was one of the first individuals to write extensively on the theatres of Asia. He developed a special expertise in Japanese theatre and was instrumental in the history of kabuki during the American Occupation and its introduction to American audiences.

Samuel L. Leiter is distinguished professor emeritus at Brooklyn College, CUNY, and the Graduate Center, CUNY. He has written or edited twenty-five books and is a former editor of Asian Theatre Journal (1992–2004). In 2009 he became the first theatre scholar to receive an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Emeritus Fellowship, which is supporting his research for a book on the history of kabuki after the Occupation from 1952 to 1965.

John D. Mitchell
Samuel L. Leiter, 322
John Mitchell of the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Theatre Arts used his position in New York to draw awareness to theatres of style including jingju, Sanskrit drama, and kabuki. He invited masters of Asian traditional theatre to work with American artists, hoping to inculcate full appreciation of the power of stylized approaches to performance.

Samuel L. Leiter is distinguished professor emeritus at Brooklyn College, CUNY, and the Graduate Center, CUNY. He has written or edited twenty-five books and is a former editor of Asian Theatre Journal (1992–2004). In 2009 he became the first theatre scholar to receive an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Emeritus Fellowship, which is supporting his research for a book on the history of kabuki after the Occupation from 1952 to 1965.

Earle S. Ernst
James R. Brandon, 332
Earle Ernst was assigned oversight of censoring Japanese plays at the time of the American Occupation, which allowed him to learn about and come to appreciate kabuki. As a result of his experiences he directed kabuki at the University of Hawai‘i and became the founding director of the university’s Asian Theatre Program.

James R. Brandon is an emeritus professor of Asian theater at the University of Hawai‘i, and a guest professor at Harvard University, NYU, and Justus Leibig Universität. He is the author or editor of twenty books concerning Asian theater, most recently Kabuki’s Forgotten War: 1931–1945 (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2009). He is the founding editor of Asian Theatre Journal. His honors include the Order of the Rising Sun of the Japanese government, the Uchimura Prize of UNESCO, and the John D. Rockefeller 3rd Prize.

James R. Brandon
David Jortner and Kathy Foley, 341
James R. Brandon has been a force in the development of Asian theatre studies since the 1960s with work on Southeast Asian, pan-Asian, and especially Japanese forms. His directing and teaching at the University of Hawai‘i has helped build a program where performance of Asian genres and scholarship intertwine.

David Jortner is an assistant professor at Baylor University. He is coeditor of Modern Japanese Theatre and Performance (with Keiko McDonald and Kevin Wetmore, Rowman and Littlefield, 2007) and has essays in Inexorable Modernity: Japan’s Grappling with Modernity in the Arts (Hiroshi Nara, ed., Lexington Books, 2007) and Revenge Drama in European Renaissance and Japanese Theatre (Kevin Wetmore Jr., ed., Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).
Kathy Foley is a professor of theatre arts at the University of California–Santa Cruz and editor of Asian Theatre Journal.

Samuel L. Leiter

David Jortner, 356
Samuel L. Leiter is an important scholar whose work in American and European theatre is well known and whose teaching and research in Japanese theatre, especially kabuki, has been a very important contribution to the field. His work spans theatre history, translation of plays and historical and critical material, and important work as an editor of volumes on Japanese and Asian theatre. His teaching at Brooklyn College–CUNY has initiated students who have gone on to become scholars of Japanese theatre.

David Jortner is an assistant professor at Baylor University. He is coeditor of Modern Japanese Theatre and Performance (with Keiko McDonald and Kevin Wetmore, Rowman and Littlefield, 2007) and has essays in Inexorable Modernity: Japan’s Grappling with Modernity in the Arts (Hiroshi Nara, ed., Lexington Books, 2007) and Revenge Drama in European Renaissance and Japanese Theatre (Kevin Wetmore Jr., ed., Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).

Andrew T. Tsubaki
John D. Swain, 368
Andrew Tsubaki’s touring productions using nō and kyōgen techniques, his lectures, and his teaching at the University of Kansas and beyond were important avenues for alerting American scholars and students to traditional Japanese theatre forms.

John D. Swain is an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre at California State University–Northridge. His research is on theatre in contemporary Japan, concentrating on theatre by marginalized groups in Japan. He is working on a study of post–World War II Okinawan theatre within the pressures of American and Japanese cultural and political hegemony. His publications include “Female Bodies Translated across the Strait of Korea: Corporeal Transformation in Chong Wishin’s Plays,” Japanese Language and Literature 43, no. 2 (2009).

Leonard Cabell Pronko

Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei, 375
Leonard Pronko has been a force in intercultural theatre since the 1960s through writing, directing, and lecturing. His work at Pomona College with a focus on Japanese kabuki and kabuki techniques in Western performances has impacted students, scholars, and audiences in important ways.

Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei is a professor of theatre at UCLA and a research fellow in interweaving performance cultures at the Free University, Berlin. She is the author of Unspeakable Acts: The Avant-Garde Theatre of Terayama Shūji and Postwar Japan, coauthor of Theatre Histories: An Introduction, associate editor of Asian Theatre Journal, and editor of the Association for Asian Performance Newsletter. Her fifteen original plays include Medea: A Noh Cycle Based on the Greek Myth, the kabuki-flamenco fusion Blood Wine/Blood Wedding, the kabuki-style Fireplay: The Legend of Prometheus, and, with director Zvika Serper, the Israeli-Japanese fusion The Dybbuk: Between Two Worlds. She attended Pomona College (BA) and the University of California, Santa Barbara (MA, PhD).

Donald Keene

Kevin J. Wetmore Jr., 392
Donald Keene of Columbia University is an important translator of Japanese plays and culture whose work in literature has been important to the establishment of Japanese theatre studies in the US academy.

Kevin J. Wetmore Jr. (PhD, University of Pittsburgh) is an associate professor of theatre at Loyola Marymount University. He is the editor of Revenge Drama in European Renaissance and Japanese Theatre (Palgrave, 2008), the coeditor of Modern Japanese Theatre and Performance (Lexington, 2006), and the author of other books and many articles on Asian, African, and cross-cultural theatre.

J. Thomas Rimer
Kevin J. Wetmore Jr., 400
J. Thomas Rimer is a prolific scholar of modern Japanese theatre and culture. His teaching, writing, and translations for performance have made Japanese modern drama accessible to American students and theatregoers.

Kevin J. Wetmore Jr. (PhD, University of Pittsburgh) is an associate professor of theatre at Loyola Marymount University. He is the editor of Revenge Drama in European Renaissance and Japanese Theatre (Palgrave, 2008), the coeditor of Modern Japanese Theatre and Performance (Lexington, 2006), and the author of other books and many articles on Asian, African, and cross-cultural theatre.

Founders of the Field: China Introduction
Siyuan Liu, 409
From the 1930s to the 1980s political circumstances in China limited American access to information about Chinese theatre. In this era Englishman A. C. Scott and Australian Colin Mackerras became major scholars documenting changes taking place and theatre practice they saw, creating a foundation for current scholarship on Chinese performance.

Siyuan Liu is an assistant professor of theatre at the University of British Columbia. He has published research articles on twentieth-century Chinese and Japanese theatre in Theatre Journal, TDR, Asian Theatre Journal, and Text and Presentation.

A. C. Scott
Siyuan Liu, 414
A. C. Scott was a pioneer in researching the theatre of both China and Japan and was the founder of the Asian Theatre Program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he directed performances that drew on taijiquan training.

Siyuan Liu is an assistant professor of theatre at the University of British Columbia. He has published research articles on twentieth-century Chinese and Japanese theatre in Theatre Journal, TDR, Asian Theatre Journal, and Text and Presentation.

Colin Patrick Mackerras
Siyuan Liu, 426
Colin Mackerras built a foundation for later scholarship through his careful documentation of Chinese performance from a social and political perspective. His research illuminates the history of jingju, the theatre of the PRC, and the performance of minorities in China and beyond.

Siyuan Liu is an assistant professor of theatre at the University of British Columbia. He has published research articles on twentieth-century Chinese and Japanese theatre in Theatre Journal, TDR, Asian Theatre Journal, and Text and Presentation.

Founders of the Field: South and Southeast Asia Introduction
Kathy Foley, 437
From the 1930s to the 1980s political circumstances in China limited American access to information about Chinese theatre. In this era Englishman A. C. Scott and Australian Colin Mackerras became major scholars documenting changes taking place and theatre practice they saw, creating a foundation for current scholarship on Chinese performance.

Siyuan Liu is an assistant professor of theatre at the University of British Columbia. He has published research articles on twentieth-century Chinese and Japanese theatre in Theatre Journal, TDR, Asian Theatre Journal, and Text and Presentation.

Melvyn Helstien
Kathy Foley, 443
Melvyn Helstien, a professor of theatre at UCLA, undertook extensive research in South and Southeast Asian puppet genres in the 1960s and through his teaching and exhibition work had impact on developing the study of Asian puppet forms in the United States.

Kathy Foley is a professor of theatre arts at the University of California–Santa Cruz and editor of Asian Theatre Journal.

John Emigh
Kathy Foley, 451
John Emigh has been an important force in the study of Balinese theatre for the last forty years. Through performance of fusion theatre and teaching at Brown University he has helped promote research on and use of masks and has helped develop performance studies as an academic field.

Kathy Foley is a professor of theatre arts at the University of California–Santa Cruz and editor of Asian Theatre Journal.

Roger Long
Kathy Foley, 463
Roger Long, through research, teaching at the University of Hawai‘i, and performance, promoted understanding of Southeast Asian theatre, especially the wayang kulit purwa shadow theatre of Central Java.

Kathy Foley is a professor of theatre arts at the University of California–Santa Cruz and editor of Asian Theatre Journal.

Fredrik deBoer
Kathy Foley, 475
Fredrik de Boer was a professor of Theatre at Wesleyan University who was a central figure in research on Balinese dance drama and shadow puppetry (wayang parwa). His teaching and articles shed new light on Southeast Asian theatre in its historical specificity and changing cultural framework.

Kathy Foley is a professor of theatre arts at the University of California–Santa Cruz and editor of Asian Theatre Journal.

ARTICLES

“Modern Theatre for the Twenty-first Century”? Shanghai Conservatory of Music’s Staging of The White Goddess (2009)
Ashley Thorpe, 483
In 2009, the Shanghai Conservatory of Music (SMC), the Oriental Digital Media Arts Research and Development Centre (based at the SMC), Shanghai Technological Engineering University, and members of the Shanghai Jingju Company united to create a new performance of the jingju (Beijing opera) classic The White Snake (Baishezhuan). Billed as “Multimedia Beijing Opera Music Theatre” and ostensibly staged as a Western symphony rather than as a jingju, the performance offered an apparently innovative take on the possibilities for contemporary traditional Chinese performance by synthesising a range of musical and theatrical forms with multimedia stage technology. This article analyzes the impact of these innovations, not only theatrically, but also through an examination of the challenges the production offers to established Western theories of postdramatic and multimedia theatre.

Ashley Thorpe is a lecturer in theatre in the Department of Film, Theatre, and Television at the University of Reading, United Kingdom. His book The Role of the Chou (“Clown”) in Traditional Chinese Drama was published by Edwin Mellen Press in 2007, and his recent articles on aspects of Chinese performance have appeared in Theatre Research International, Studies in Theatre and Performance, and Contemporary Theatre Review. He is currently researching the performance of Chinese drama in the United Kingdom across the twentieth century.

The Ati-Atihan Festival: Dancing with the Santo Niño at the “Filipino Mardi Gras”
William Peterson, 505
In a country famous for its many festivals, the Ati-Atihan Festival on the island of Panay near the geographic center of the Philippines stands out not only for its devotion to the Santo Niño, or Holy Child, but because of its claim of being the country’s oldest festival. Believed to date from 1212, this festival grafts the veneration of the Santo Niño onto a kind of thanksgiving commemorating the “voluntary” gift of land from the indigenous population to their “brothers” from present-day Borneo. This article traces the “Mardi-Gras-ization” of the festival through an examination of its more extravagant, public, and theatrical elements, while considering what this weeklong event means for its tens of thousands of active participants.

William Peterson is a senior lecturer at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of Theatre and the Politics of Culture in Contemporary Singapore (Wesleyan University Press, 2001) and has published widely on community-based theatre, dance and performance, politics, and religion in Singapore, the Philippines, and Aotearoa/New Zealand. He extends special thanks to the University of the Philippines (Diliman) for their support with this research.

“Flower” as Performing Body in Theatre
Yuka Amano, 529
The medieval Japanese artist Zeami’s metaphor of the flower (hana) is extremely ambiguous. By linking Zeami’s terminology with theoretical approaches to the body, this article understands the flower as the flexible and mutable body of performance itself. Using Zeami’s play Tadanori as the primary text, the article examines the way in which the flexible employment of the body in is closely connected with traditional Japanese aesthetics. Furthermore, the article argues that physical as well as psychological cross-bordering in performance allows the audience’s emotional involvement in the dramatic space while actualizing their latent desires and dreams on stage, an aesthetic moment perceived by the audience as flower.

Yuka Amano is a PhD student in the Department of Comparative Literature at Pennsylvania State University. She is currently working on her dissertation on nineteenth-century Japanese and German literature from the perspective of reading experience and communal identity. Her research interest includes folklore, drama, and storytelling.

Remapping the Korean Theatre Tradition: A Case Study of Gwolhui, a Theatre of the Confucian Students in the Chosun Dynasty
Jungman Park, 549
Traditional theatre scholarship maintains that Chosun-era Korean theatrical forms are rooted deep in the collectivity of the minjung—the economically, socially, and politically deprived—and are essentially minjung theatricalities. While the forms performed and viewed by commoners, such as talchum (mask dance), pansori (epic song performance), geurimja-geuk (shadow drama), and inhyeong-geuk (puppet show), are well researched, theatres of the privileged class or yangban have been obscured and consequently ignored by Korean theatre scholars. Gwolhui (moot royal court play), performed by the Confucian students of the Sungkyunkwan, the national university of the Chosun dynasty, offers evidence of a theatre of the privileged class. Gwolhui shares characteristics found in minjung theatre—collective participation, episodic structure, and bottom-up satire of the society. It is the yangban counterpart to the minjung theatrical forms and, therefore, should be considered part of the Korean theatre tradition.

Jungman Park is a postdoctoral researcher in the Humanities Research Institute at Sungkyunkwan University. His research interests are theatre history (both Western and Korean), modern British and American drama, and the African American woman playwright Zora Neale Hurston. His publications have appeared in various scholarly journals such as the Journal of Modern British and American Drama, Hanguk Yeongeukhak (Korean Theatre Studies), the Journal of American Studies, and Shakespeare Reviews.

PERFORMANCE REVIEWS

Charudattam (Kathakali Julius Caesar). Adapted and composed by Sadanam Harikumaran, Sadanam Kathakali Academy
reviewed by Graeme Vanderstoel, 569

My Daughter’s Wedding. Directed by David Jiang
reviewed by Iris Hsin-chun Tuan, 573

Waiting for God’s Words. Written and directed by Dinsman
reviewed by Zainal abd Latiff, 577

BOOK REVIEWS

Min Tian, ed., China’s Greatest Operatic Male Actor of Female
Roles: Documenting the Life and Art of Mei Lanfang, 1894–1961,

reviewed by Megan Evans, 585

Lata Singh, ed., Theatre in Colonial India: Play-House of Power
reviewed by Arnab Banerji, 588

Nandi Bhatia, ed., Modern Indian Theatre: A Reader
reviewed by Neilesh Bose, 592

Bishnupriya Dutt and Urimala Sarkar Munsi, Engendering
Performance: Indian Women Performers in Search of an Identity

reviewed by Kathy Foley, 595

Douglas M. Knight Jr., Balasaraswati: Her Art and Life
reviewed by Kathy Foley, 598

Stanca Scholz-Cionca and Christopher Balme, eds., Nō Theatre Transversal
reviewed by Samuel L. Leiter, 602

Suk-Young Kim, Illusive Utopia: Theater, Film, and Everyday Performance in North Korea
reviewed by Perry Miller, 605

FILM REVIEW

Marty Gross Films, Dōjōji—A Lovers’ Duet; The Sentimental Plasterer; Nezumi, the Japanese Robin Hood
reviewed by Samuel L. Leiter, 610

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