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RESEARCH

Contents of the 1st issue of Theater Arts in 2014

Index

Theatrical Theory and Criticism

Look at Comedy Spirit from Comedy Thinking and Form (by Zhao Yaomin)

Abstract: Comedy spirit is people's comedy thinking about existence and is the consciousness reflected in the comedy form that he/she has created or accepted. Only by exploring from both subject and object perspectives can the comedy spirit can be recognized to a relatively concrete extent. The seven characteristics of comedy thinking incorporate the most important contents of comedy spirit: suspect and critic spirit, carnival spirit and earthly spirit; these three forms, i.e. sunshine comedy, moonshine comedy and black comedy, reflect the difference, evolution and circulation of comedy spirit.

Keyword: comedy spirit, comedy thinking, comedy form

Subjectivity of Female Characters in "Thunderstorm" in the Context of Dramatic Action Element Model (by Gong Baorong)

Abstract: As a famous play of Cao Yu, there are an immense number of commentaries about "Thunderstorm" and countless articles of analysis about the female characters in it, however, studies using the action element model of the theatrical semiotics are rare to find. This article uses this model created by Anna Jo Busfield as a tool to analyze the eight characters one by one according to their respective gender. The conclusion of the analysis is that the actual main characters are not the male represented by Zhou Puyuan, but the female represented by Fan Yi and, therefore, explains from another angle why many directors have made Fan Yi the core character of that play.

Keyword: "Thunderstorm", dramatic action element model, subjectivity, female character

The Significance of Form and Meaning in "Thunderstorm" (by Li Yang)

Abstract: In the history of the Chinese theatrical literature, Cao Yu was one of the play writers who had paid most attention to the form. Carefully created by the play writer, background music, dramatic structure, "prelude" and "epilogue" were all arranged to serve the theme of the " law of nature" and the "cruelty" between heaven and earth. In "Thunderstorm", the canon style in the music, the intergenerational assimilation between father and son in the Zhou family and the linkage between the "prelude" and "epilogue" form a series of vicious circles and virtually depict the reality of "having no way out". In the meantime, the co-existence of the two theatrical concepts of "creating illusion of life" and "breaking illusion of life" not only strengthens the significance of the form of the works and expands the acceptance range of "Thunderstorm", but also enables the potential possibility for Chinese theatre to have theatrical concept dialogue with the contemporary theatrical trends of the world.

Keyword: Cao Yu, form, vicious circle, intergenerational assimilation, defamiliarization effect

Chinese Traditional Opera Study

"Realm" Theory and "Artistic Concept" Theory in Chinese Traditional Opera Criticism (by Li Xiao)

Abstract: Drama critics in Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty used these two terminologies, i.e. "realm" and "artistic concept", on many occasions to refer to a broad range of meanings, which was rather ambiguous and not as clear-cut as in Tang Dynasty and Song Dynasty poetry criticism. In the recent times, Mr Wang Guowei once made an important discussion about realm and artistic concept. Mr Wang's "realm theory" was a major theoretical contribution, however, it did not speak about artistic theory in detail. This theoretical defect has often led the later generations into misunderstanding. In Chinese aesthetic theory, its discovery and discussion about artistic concept is a significant contribution to the world cultural and artistic theories. Mr Zong Baihua once undertook an in-depth research of the meaning and structure of artistic concept. He raised the concept of "spiritual state of mind", which is an "artistic realm" created with "heart". The studies of this article emphasize on tracing back to the sources of history and theories, and provide systematic discussions about "realm" and "artistic concept" in Chinese aesthetics, especially, a discussion based on the integration of aesthetic theory and artistic practice, addressing the aesthetic meaning and effect of "imagery" and its associated "mirage" as the necessary conditions for the formation of artistic concept.

Keyword: situation, realm, artistic concept