Jump to the main content block
Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
ISSN 0577-9170; DOI 10.6503/THJCS


From Che-tzu Hsi to Chuan-Pen Hsi – A New Development In Kun Theater-Performing Since 1911

Vol. 22 No. 4   12/1992


From Che-tzu Hsi to Chuan-Pen Hsi – A New Development In Kun Theater-Performing Since 1911


An-chi Wang









Key words




    Between the middle of the Ming Dynasty and that of the Ching Dynasty, it was the main current within the tradition of Chuan-chi (the Romance play) to perform only one or two acts of a play instead of the complete one. In so far as this particular literary phenomenon is concerned, Che-tzu hsi (one-act performing) has become the dominant feature in the Kun theater-performing tradition. By offering certainstandards that should be kept up, che-tzu hsi has been seen by contemporary playwrights as the very typical example of the art of Kun theter-performing.

    The present study, by contrast, will focus on a new development in Kun theater-performing since the founding of the Republic. By reviewing and examining the extant materials, it is clear that the development of Kun theater-performing since 1911 appears to have followed the “from one-act-performing to complete-performing” pattern. That is, it is through “certain acts of a play (which might be incomplete already)” to“editing certain extant though incomplete acts to make a complete play” to “revising a complete play” and, finally, to “adapting and even rewriting a ‘romance’ play”. It can be said that there arises a new form of performing Kun theater since 1911, and that contemporary playwrights possesses powers of invention through their connection with classical literary tradition.

    I hope, therefore, that this research will bring a new light on the study of Kun theater-performing.



Author: An-chi Wang
Genre: Article
Click Num: