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Kudiyattam: Theatre and the Actor's Consciousness (review)

Kudiyattam: Theatre and the Actor's Consciousness (review) nature of this scene. Had Wu made this fact clear in her translation, a straightforward and less heavy-handed rendering would have sufficed. The problem of ignoring role categories is more starkly apparent in the case of the protagonist Wang Menglin, who is supposed to be played by a sheng (male) actor, a fact Wu highlights in the introduction as a subversive strategy but is nonetheless not translated in the play proper (p. 53). As a result, a reader who has not read the introduction will have no idea that Wang should be played by a sheng actor throughout the play. Still another example where pointing out a character's role type is crucial can be found in scene 4, "Spring Embroidery," in which Lady Xie, Wang's future wife, and one of her maids, Spring, mock the sentimentality of her other maid, Fragrance. The original Chinese underscores this short scene's comic nature through role category assignment: dan (lead female) for Xie, tiedan (secondary female) for Spring, and chou for Fragrance. Using a chou actor to play Fragrance has the potential of making this scene a hilarious farce, as when she sings such sentimental lines, in a clown makeup and male http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Theatre Journal University of Hawai'I Press

Kudiyattam: Theatre and the Actor's Consciousness (review)

Asian Theatre Journal , Volume 27 (2) – Jan 26, 2010

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University of Hawai'I Press
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Copyright © University of Hawai'I Press
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1527-2109
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Abstract

nature of this scene. Had Wu made this fact clear in her translation, a straightforward and less heavy-handed rendering would have sufficed. The problem of ignoring role categories is more starkly apparent in the case of the protagonist Wang Menglin, who is supposed to be played by a sheng (male) actor, a fact Wu highlights in the introduction as a subversive strategy but is nonetheless not translated in the play proper (p. 53). As a result, a reader who has not read the introduction will have no idea that Wang should be played by a sheng actor throughout the play. Still another example where pointing out a character's role type is crucial can be found in scene 4, "Spring Embroidery," in which Lady Xie, Wang's future wife, and one of her maids, Spring, mock the sentimentality of her other maid, Fragrance. The original Chinese underscores this short scene's comic nature through role category assignment: dan (lead female) for Xie, tiedan (secondary female) for Spring, and chou for Fragrance. Using a chou actor to play Fragrance has the potential of making this scene a hilarious farce, as when she sings such sentimental lines, in a clown makeup and male

Journal

Asian Theatre JournalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jan 26, 2010

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