10 Feb Asian Shakespeares: Theatricality and Authenticity in an Age of Localization
Alexander Huang (Comparative Literature and Asian Studies, Penn State University)
Wednesday, February 10 / 5:00 PM
Theater and Dance 2517
Shakespeare is a frequent traveler to Asia, and for nearly two centuries, East Asian theater directors and filmmakers have engaged Shakespeare in a wide range of contexts in locally-inspired but transnationally-produced works. The first decade of the new millennium is seeing an even greater boom of new Asian theatrical and cinematic Shakespeares. As these works emerge in the global cultural marketplace, in addition to the thorny questions of cultural authenticity and autonomy, one of the new artistic concerns is the pursuit of what can be called a global visual vernacular. The infatuation with Asian visuality haunts the artists as they search for new vehicles to carry their ideas across different cultural locations. This richly illustrated presentation explores the uses of masks, parodic impulses, visual strategies, and the international reception of a number of films and theatre works, including The Banquet, dir. Feng Xiaogang (in Mandarin), pan-Asian multilingual Lear, dir. Ong Keng Sen (in Noh-derived Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Thai, Bahasa Indonesia), Lear Is Here, dir. Wu Hsing-kuo (solo Beijing opera), Mandarin-English bilingual production of King Lear, dir. Tse Ka-shing, Maqbool (Urdu / Hindi), Richard III, dir. Lin Zhaohua (Mandarin, in Berlin), and others. Alexander Huang (Ph.D., Stanford) is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Asian Studies at Penn State University. He is the author of Chinese Shakespeares: Two Centuries of Cultural Exchange (2009) and the editor of a special issue for Asian Theatre Journal (forthcoming) and Shakespeare in Hollywood, Asia and Cyberspace (2009).
Sponsored by the IHC’s Performance Studies RFG, Department of Theater and Dance, East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies, and the East Asia Center.