Abstract

This essay examines the debate over female impersonation in theatre in early Republican China (1912-1937). The adversaries of nandan (female impersonators) saw the social equity between the sexes and the normalcy of gender, sex, and sexuality as integral parts of the process of building a modern nation and contended that theatre should contribute to this endeavor. Supporters of female impersonation saw female actors as hedonistic, underscored women's inferiority in xiqu performance, and emphasized that female impersonation was essential to the artistry of xiqu's distinct aesthetic.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2109
Print ISSN
0742-5457
Pages
pp. 189-206
Launched on MUSE
2013-06-06
Open Access
No
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