- From the Editor
Asian Theatre Journal offers another diverse issue that shows the range of activity in our field. Plays range from translations of classics of the kumi odori by Nobuko Ochner and kyōgen by Kristy Jenkins to a modern intercultural collaboration score by Phillip Zarrilli and collaborators. Articles and reports take us from traditional picture narration (pardeh khani in Iran by Amir Lashkari and Mojde Kalantari), to current Vietnamese chèo by Lauren Meeker, to kunju by Josh Stenberg, and Chinese shadow puppetry by Annie Rollins. Baldal Sircar’s legacy and impact in Bangladesh is detailed by Syed Jamil Ahmed. Indian popular improvised theatre is reconstructed from archival material by Kedar Kulkarni. Philip Smith discusses Alfian Sa’at’s work, and Levi Shen discusses Kuo Kao Pun’s work in Singapore. Sally Gardner contemplates the dance scarf in Yogyakarta’s Javanese dance. Lin Weng-ling analyzes the work of Chi Wen-jan, giving insight into Taiwanese modern theatre. The reviews give us a wider spread.
Authors range from illustrious senior scholars, to assistant professors, to recent PhDs, to one still finishing a BA degree. Authors live in Iran, Bangladesh, the People’s Republic of China, the United Kingdom, the United States, Indonesia, Singapore, Germany, Australia, the Philippines, Korea, and Taiwan. In terms of research interests we are all over the map and dealing with different time periods. But all the works are of or influenced by Asia performance practice. They celebrate the passionate engagement with Asian theatre that our multigenerational, international community of scholars pursues and diverse uses the scholarship serves, from creating new forms of intercultural practice, to recuperating cultural heritage, to contesting state or elite power, and more. The works show how art is a crucible in which we forge who we become, that history can be re-envisioned sitting in archives with wall posters in hand, that ideas experimented with may have nothing to do with the surface of a piece as “Asian.” [End Page iii]
I owe additional thanks to the Malaysian-American Commission on Education and Exchange and the University of Malaya, whose support, in addition to that of my home institution, I enjoyed while editing this issue. [End Page iv]
University of Malaya, MACEE,
Fulbright Senior Scholar