- From the Editor
This issue starts with a special section on the 2016 quatercentenary celebration of Tang Xianzu and William Shakespeare. Alexa Alice Joubin served as guest editor for this special cluster to shed new light on the performances and festivities around the quatercentenary of Tang (1550–1616) and Shakespeare (1564–1616) in East Asia and beyond. The promotion of these national poets and playwrights is very much part of Sino-British cultural exchanges and China's bid for global influence. With three essays and Joubin's brief introduction, this cluster enriches our understanding of intercultural theatre, the larger phenomenon of Asian Shakespeares, and Asian drama in the context of world theatre.
The special section is followed by four articles, starting with Seokhun Choi's "Pansori Hamlet Project: Taroo's New Pansori Shakespeare for the Local Audience." Choi proposes an alternative model to the notion of "Global Shakespeare" by devoting attention to overlooked small-scale productions and verbal genres such as pansori, arguing that by relying on indigenous language and music, Taroo's pansori adaptation was geared toward the local audience, as "a powerful vehicle of sympathy and renewal of tradition." The essay provides a notable counterargument to the global orientation of the quatercentenary celebration that focused on the so-called "national poets."
In "Politics and Tactics in Revolutionary Performance: A Sino-Burmese Arts Troupe in Transnational Circulation," Tasaw Hsin-chun Lu offers an engaging study of a Sino-Burmese performance troupe that was formed in Rangoon in the 1990s and migrated to Taiwan in 2006. Through this group of five sisters, the article examines the rarely documented phenomenon of leftist performance among Chinese expatriates in Burma, first in the 1950s and 1960s and, after the 1967 anti-Chinese riot and subsequent government restrictions, in the 1990s. Lu offers illuminating insight on the group's navigation between ideology and cultural identity by adapting its performance content and style from Rangoon to Taipei. [End Page v]
The next article by Meera Baindur and Tapaswi H M continues the theme of ritual performance in recent ATJ issues. Titled "Bhuta Kola Ritual Performances: Locating Aesthetics in Collective Memory and Shared Experience," it concentrates on the case of the south Indian ritual performance of bhuta kola. In addition to detailed observations of the performances, the authors also offer two conceptual frameworks that focus on the aesthetics of order and place embedded in the audience's collective memory and on the shared aesthetic experience among the community members.
The final article in this group is Shiao-ling Yu's "Tradition and Modernity: Two Modern Adaptations of the Chinese Opera Hezhu's Match," a comparative study on the influence of social and political conditions on literary and artistic creations. Specifically, the article examines two adaptations of the traditional Chinese play Hezhu's Match into spoken drama in China in the 1960s and in Taiwan in 1980. Yu focuses on the impact of ideology in the former case and the pioneering role of the latter in Taiwan's little theatre movement.
The three emerging scholar articles offer perspectives from India, Taiwan, and Singapore. In "Applying/Contesting the Brechtian 'Model': Calcutta Repertory Theatre's Galileor Jibon (Life of Galileo)," Dwaipayan Chowdhury examines a 1980 production of the play directed by the German Brechtian expert Fritz Bennewitz. Specifically, Chowdhury focuses on the contradictions in applying the Brechtian "model" in the production headed by the famous actor Shombhu Mitra in the lead role, who borrowed techniques from the traditional form of jatra. In "Performing Intercultural Trauma: State, Land, and Women in Troy, Troy… Taiwan," Sophia Yashih Liu studies three versions of the Trojan War story by Taiwan's Golden Bough Theatre from the 1990s to the 2010. She views the iterations as linking the myth's traumatic connotation to the issues of state power, land, and women respectively while also serving to establish the identities of the theatre, Taiwan, and the director. In the group's final article, Nathan F. Bullock brings us to Singapore with "Spaces of Citizenship in Contemporary Singaporean Theatre: Staging the 2011 General Election." Focusing on two plays on the 2011 election, Bullock engages current studies of space and political identities by demonstrating how...