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Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
ISSN 0577-9170; DOI 10.6503/THJCS


The Four Modes of Stage-Performing of the Szuchuanean Wang-Kuei Drama and Their Influences

Vol. 22 No. 2   6/1992    


The Four Modes of Stage-Performing of the Szuchuanean Wang-Kuei Drama and Their Influences 


Wang An Chi 









Key words



    Up to now, there have been four different modes of subsystems of stage-performing concerning the Szuchuanean Wang-kuei Drama: 1) the popular 

Hung-juan Pei of the Ching dynasty; 2) The four-acts version (Biding Farewell 誓別, Divorce Statement 聽休, In Court 碟告, and Love-testing 情探) adapted by Chao Hsi of the late Ching dynasty; 3) Fen-Hsiang Chi (The story of Burning Cedar-Wood 焚香記), rearranged and revised by Chou Mu-lien in 1955; 4) the revised version of Fen-Hsiang Chi (the Story of Burning Cedar-Wood) by Hsi Ming-Chen and Li Ming-chang in 1959. 

    The performing style of Huang-juan Pei, when combined with the Mu-lien (搬目連) drama in its performance, tends to be intense and somewhat violent—in this way, the thematic development or the ethical implication of Hung-juan Pei runs parallel with that of Pan Mu-Lien. From an aesthetic point of view, Chao Hsi’s version of Love-Testing attains a remarkable achievement not only because of its expressive quality but also through its superb portrayal of the characters. Chou Mu-lien’s rearrangement combines the act of God-Fighting with that of Love-Testing, and hence successfully portrays the heroine’s tenacious quest for true love. In Hsi and Li’s revised version of Fen-Hsiang Chi, Wang Kuei’s death is seen from a sychological 

aspect, and its success is partly due to a skilful handling of a “role-replacement” technique. 

    The purpose of the present study is to explore in great detail the process that these four modes of stage-performing are formed and revised, and to investigate the possible influences of the Szuchuanean Wang-kuei drama on the other types of drama in respect of the same subject matter. 



Author: Wang An Chi
Genre: Article
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