Within a decade, Ming Hwa Yuan (MHY) built its fame by setting up a new image of gezaixi, Taiwanese “song opera.” MHY is acutely aware of the visual possibilities on stage, the utility of stage technology, and the company’s promotions and marketing are a classic example for commercial theatres in Taiwan. In the first half of this paper, a brief history of gezaixi is the axis on which is sketched the transformation of MHY; in the second half, an outstanding MHY production, The Legend of the White Snake, provides an example for further analysis.
Ming-Lun Wu is a PhD student in the Department of Film, Theatre and Television at the University of Reading, United Kingdom. Her research focuses on gezaixi in Taiwan and issues of influence. Her current working thesis centers on the emphasis of visual elements in gezaixi performances within the context of ideological and political backgrounds. She received her MA from the National Taiwan University.