Yu Qian

Re-imagining the Chinese Theatre in the Yuan Dynasty: A Close Examination of Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle and Meng Jinghui’s The Good Person of Szechuan

My thesis addresses the following research questions:
In what ways has German theatre director Bertolt Brecht understood the Chinese theatre in the Yuan dynasty? How has he applied those understandings to his work The Caucasian Chalk Circle (1948)? And in what ways has Chinese theatre director Meng Jinghui understood the Chinese theatre defined by Yuan drama and Brecht’s epic theatre? How has he applied those understandings to his work The Good Person of Szechuan (2014)?

I argue that Brecht understood some characteristics of traditional Chinese theatre accurately, yet he misunderstood other characteristics of traditional Chinese theatre. Those understandings and misunderstandings were demonstrated in his work The Caucasian Chalk Circle. Meng Jinghui has been influenced by Brecht and traditional Chinese theatre. However, he understands Brecht’s concept of the alienation effect in a nuanced way. Those understandings are manifested in his play The Good Person of Szechuan.

Key terms: traditional Chinese theatre in the Yuan dynasty; Brechtian theatre; alienation effect; Meng Jinghui’s style of theatre; contemporary Chinese theatre.

Researcher Bio

Yu Qian directed a collaborative devised theatre projectnamed Latecomers in 2016. This project wasproduced for Melbourne University Open Body Student Theatre Group’s 2016 Winter Season. She directed another collaborative devised theatre project named Absolute (Un)certainty as the practical work for her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) (Theatre Practice) in 2017. This project was presented aspart of Melbourne Fringe Festival 2017.

Contact Info and Links

0456 203 610

ORCID number:  0000-0003-3253-2661