How to Read Chinese Drama: A Guided Anthology (How to Read Chinese Literature) (Paperback)
This book is a comprehensive and inviting introduction to the literary forms and cultural significance of Chinese drama as both text and performance. Each chapter offers an accessible overview and critical analysis of one or more plays--canonical as well as less frequently studied works--and their historical contexts. How to Read Chinese Drama highlights how each play sheds light on key aspects of the dramatic tradition, including genre conventions, staging practices, musical performance, audience participation, and political resonances, emphasizing interconnections among chapters. It brings together leading scholars spanning anthropology, art history, ethnomusicology, history, literature, and theater studies. How to Read Chinese Drama is straightforward, clear, and concise, written for undergraduate students and their instructors as well as a wider audience interested in world theater. For students of Chinese literature and language, the book provides questions to explore when reading, watching, and listening to plays, and it features bilingual excerpts. For teachers, an analytical table of contents, a theater-specific chronology of events, and lists of visual resources and translations provide pedagogical resources for exploring Chinese theater within broader cultural and comparative contexts. For theater practitioners, the volume offers deeply researched readings of important plays together with background on historical performance conventions, audience responses, and select modern adaptations.
Patricia Sieber is associate professor of Chinese at Ohio State University. She is the author of Theaters of Desire: Authors, Readers, and the Reproduction of Early Chinese Song-Drama, 1300-2000 (2003). Regina S. Llamas is associate professor in the humanities at IE University, Spain. She is the translator of Top Graduate Zhang Xie: The Earliest Extant Chinese Southern Play (Columbia, 2021).