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Appendix G - Late Imperial Theatre Figures

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 January 2023

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Summary

Bai Pu 白 樸 (c.1226–1306), also known as Bai Renfu 白仁甫, is a Yuan zaju playwright, three of whose works survive. None of these are currently staged but the best known of these, Rain on the Paulownia Tree (Wutong yu 梧桐雨), is an earlier canonical treatment of the same love story as The Palace of Lasting Life, though with a more critical representation of the emperor.

Cui Shipei 崔時佩 is a little-known early sixteenth-century figure, remembered today for a lost chuanqi version of The Western Chamber, elaborated by his friend Li Rihua (Lorraine Dong 1978, 238–39).

Dong Jieyuan 董解元 ( fl. 1190–1208) is the attribution given to an early chantefable version of The Western Chamber. Jieyuan is a title rather than a personal name, and little else is known.

Feng Menglong 馮夢龍 (1574–1646) is a prolific late Ming writer and editor of fiction, drama, and poetry. Feng is important in kunqu history both as the editor of an influential adaptation of The Peony Pavilion with kunqu performers in mind, and as the author and editor of works that inspired theatre narratives.

Gao Lian 高濂 (1573–1620) is a Hangzhou author whose best-known extant work is The Jade Hairpin. Besides a brief residence in Beijing and a later record of him living by West Lake, little is known of his life.

Gao Ming 高明 (c.1305–1369) is also sometimes known by his courtesy name, Gao Zecheng 高則誠. He held minor administrative posts in Wenzhou from 1345 to 1356. His major work, The Lute, was apparently written in retirement.

Guan Hanqing 關漢卿 (c.1240–1321) shares with Tang Xianzu a position at the apex of the Chinese dramatic canon. Recorded as being from the Mongol capital of Dadu (now Beijing), roughly 18 extant zaju scripts are attributed to him, of which the most famous is The Injustice to Dou E (Dou E yuan 竇娥冤) (West and Idema 2010, 1–2). Only one play, Single Sword Meeting, is regularly represented on the kunqu stage.

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Publisher: Anthem Press
Print publication year: 2022

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