Russian classical literature on Chinese stage: Problems of adaptation and perception

Research output


Most of the state-owned theatres in the PRC implement the Stanislavsky’s system. The Stanislavsky’s system has flourished in China since the 1950s. It comes as no surprise because at this time in the USSR Stanislavsky was praised to be “the top of socialist realism”. At the beginning of the 1960s, five among eight volumes of the complete works of Stanislavsky were translated into Chinese, and in all theoretical publications in China he was called “the creator of realistic theatre”. A closer view to the contemporary huaju (“spoken drama”) reveals that the Stanislavsky’s method was perceived in China only partly. This paper will try to give a brief overview of several fundamental problems of perception and interpretations that contemporary Chinese theatre confronts, focusing on the production of Russian plays. The first problem is the lack of tradition or habit to examine, to investigate the “material” (epoch described in the particular play, way of life, attitude to religion, cultural characteristics etc.). As a result, the second problem is the challenge of translation. The third problem is the dominance of “international stereotypes”: the Chinese know how to play the Russians, know how to play the Americans; other nationalities more or less fit these two performing models. The forth problem is the absence of full-blooded theatrical critique. And the fifth problem is the necessity to workout common professional criteria.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-13
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Russian classical literature on Chinese stage: Problems of adaptation and perception'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this