SOAS University of London

From Text to Performance: The Interpretations and Adaptations of Interrupted Dream (Youyuan Jingmeng) in Peony Pavilion

Associate Professor Shih-pe Wang

Date: 25 April 2014Time: 10:00 AM

Finishes: 25 April 2014Time: 12:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G51

Type of Event: Lecture


Tang Xianzu’s Peony Pavilion is obviously the masterpiece of classical Chinese drama, while the variety of its stage performance has also lasted for four hundred years up to now. This talk selects the crucial scene of the play, the interrupted dream, to see how the playwright managed his metaphoric world and inner life which revealed the ideal of literati through a young girl’s stir of passions. Besides text analysis, this talk also shows video clips of some different adaptations of its performance on the 20th century kunqu stage, to look into the different interpretations by actors and directors whose inheritance and invention consequently made Tang Xianzu our contemporary.

Short bio

Shih-Pe Wang is an associate professor in the Department of Chinese Literature, National Chung Cheng University in Taiwan where she has been since 2007. Her major research field is classical Chinese drama with main focus on Yuan zaju and Ming-Qing chuanqi concerning literati’s metaphoric qu writings and the theatrical culture/performance interweaved through actors, audience, publishers and critics. Her research also includes how the contemporary traditional drama has been inherited and invented in modern theatre. She is currently executing two projects both on course improvement and student nurturing through theatre studies funded by the school and by the Ministry of Education in Taiwan. Her latest interest is in early English sinologist’s translation strategy of Yuan drama, as well as in the variety of “adaptations” of dramatic text/performance across genres, cultures, and times.