Alexa Alice Joubin deposited Sinophone Adaptations of Shakespeare: An Anthology, 1987-2007, ed. Alexa Alice Joubin (Palgrave, 2022) in the group GS Drama and Performance on MLA Commons 8 months, 2 weeks ago
Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear, three of the most frequently adapted tragedies, have inspired incredible work in the Sinophone theatres of Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China for over two centuries as political theatre, comedic parody, Chinese opera, and avant-garde theatre. Gender roles in the plays take on new meanings when they are embodied by actors whose new accents expand the characters’ racial identities.
Each of this book’s three sections offers contrasting adaptations of each tragedy for comparative analysis. This anthology showcases the directors’ methodic transformations both Shakespeare and Sinophone performance traditions. Organized thematically to address the cultural exigencies between 1987 and 2007, this collection of translated plays showcases some gems of Sinophone cultures that stand at the intersection of East Asian and Anglophone dramas.
Between 1987, when Chairman Deng Xiaoping reaffirmed “socialist market economy” as the guiding principle of China’s development and when Taiwan’s martial law was lifted by President Chiang Ching-kuo, and 2007, when the first competitive Chief Executive election changed Hong Kong’s political culture, these three tragedies were staged in multiple traditional and modern performance genres. They were informed by the anxieties and cultural dynamics in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan during this period. The year of 1987 was the beginning of the internationalization of Sinophone Shakespeare. The multinational technology company Huawei was founded in 1987, a landmark event in terms of China’s rise internationally.