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6

Journal of Theater Studies


2010 7 117-148

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On Writer and Playwright Yang Kuis Theories and


Stagings of the Theatre
Kun-liang CHIU
Professor, Department of Theatre Arts, Taipei National University of the Arts

In the past two decades, research on Taiwans New Drama (xinju) history during
the Japanese Occupation period has gained prominence. The works of Taiwanese writer
Yang Kui are a special focus, though he is not the only writer in Taiwanese theater.
Besides a writers talent, other requirements for writers involvement in theatre include
a favorable political, social economic and cultural environment, with a combination of
various theatrical elements. However, from the Japanese Occupation era to the postwar
period, Taiwan society not only lacked these conditions, but also failed to nourish
theater intellectuals such as directors and actors. Theater troupes neither held frequent
performances nor created and performed freely.
Most of Yang Kuis theatre work was performed street theater style. Both
Japanese and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) governments oppressed such
theatre, or used it as mere political propaganda. Therefore Yang Kuis drama could
hardly reflect the real inner problems of the masses, and had little chance to be staged.
So far most discourse on Yang Kui concentrates on his theater works themes
and symbolic meanings. Nevertheless, how he formed his concept of the theatre, how
the dynamics of his theatre were created, how his context was played out in all kinds
of unfavorable dramatic environmentsall go unnoticed or just taken for granted.
Therefore, this paper aims to unravel the social phenomena and issues related to Yang
Kuis theatre, researching the development of Taiwanese theater during the Japanese
Occupation period and the relation between literature and script writing, as well as
performances from Yang Kuis works.
Keywords: Yang KuiRoar ChinaStreet TheaterTsukiji Shogekijo (Tsukiji Little
Theatre)The Brocade Flowers

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