Reflections of Chinese Theatre in Thornton Wilder’s Play

Ya LIU, Min YANG

Abstract


In Thornton Wilder’s stage techniques, his freehand of time and space on the stage greatly stimulates audience’s imagination. The bareness stage; the use of pantomime or sign language; the vast expanse of life and the innovative use of the Stage Manager emancipate the restrictions of the traditional western box set, breaking down the so-called “fourth wall” between the audience and the actors. It seems difficult to judge exactly whether Chinese theatre affecting Wilder or not, but they are indeed close relative. But it is also arbitrary if takes the Chinese theatre as the main source of influence. In fact, the interplay of these diverse aesthetic modes in Wilder’s drama not only helps to create the dramatist’s unique “world theatre” idiom but also gives his plays a broader, more balanced appeal.


Keywords


Thornton Wilder; Chinese theatre; Reflection

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References


Brown, J. M. (1963). Dramatis personae (p.60). New York: Viking.

Chen, J. (1951). The Chinese theatre (p.46). New York: Roy.

Gao, Q. H. (1996). China stage (p.46). Hangzhou, China: Zhejiang People’s Publishing House.

Harrison, G. A. (1983). The enthusiast: A life of Thornton Wilder (p.177). New Haven, Conn., and New York: Ticknor and Fields.

Tang, X. B. (1999). The selection strategy of Western drama on Chinese traditional opera in the 20th century. Theatre Arts, (4), 27- 31.

Wilder, T. (2007). Collected plays & writings on theater. New York: Literary Classics of the United States.

Zhou, B. (2012). Elements of Beijing opera in Thornton Wilder’s our town (p.18). Centre China Normal University.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/9020

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