Fei, Faye Chunfang
Fei, Faye Chunfang
Married; husband's name Sun Huizhu. Education: City University of New York, Ph.D.
Writer, historian, playwright, poet, short-story writer, and educator. East China Normal University, Shanghai, China, professor of English and director of American Studies Graduate Program. Macalester College, assistant professor of dramatic arts. Taught critical theory, theatre history, and dramatic literature for eight years in the United States.
Author of play, China Dream, produced in the United States, Singapore, and Japan.
Author and educator Faye Chunfang Fei is a scholar of theater and drama. She has taught theater history, dramatic literature, and critical theory in the United States and China, and is herself a produced playwright and author of poetry and short stories.
With her book Chinese Theories of Theater and Performance from Confucius to the Present, Fei makes available in English more than fifty primary texts on theater and stage performance in China. Fei provides translated materials from several prominent figures in Chinese theatre covering almost 2,500 years, from 400 A.D. to current times. "She has examined the rich repository of classical and modern writings about theatre and performance from throughout Chinese his- tory and selected a ‘greatest hits’ collection of 54 excerpts by writers from all walks of life, from antiquity to the present," commented Claire Conceison in TDR: The Drama Review. Before this book, "the majority of classical theories of xiqu, Chinese traditional theatre, have never before been translated into English," noted Grant Shen in the Asian Theatre Journal. "Faye Fei's Chinese Theories of Theater and Performance makes a significant improvement in this situation."
Among the topics and materials included are ancient performance theories, entertainment records from Chinese antiquity, accounts of the expansion and prominence of Chinese theater during the Yuan, Ming, and Quin Dynasties, Confucian dynasty hymns, drama reviews, memoirs of performers and theater personnel, acting manuals, works on acting theory, and more. She looks carefully at the influence of Western ideas on Chinese theater as well as innovations that arose as responses to those strong Western influences. Fei also includes political and ideological writings from Mao Zedong. "By including articles by leading xiqu figures and Mao, Fei reveals the cultural and political currents beneath what appears on the stage," Shen observed. Conceison noted that "the texts assembled in Fei's book stand on their own as a testament to the rich critical and aesthetic tradition of Chinese dramaturgy and performance," and continued: "Perhaps most significant of all is Fei's introduction of important aesthetic concepts in Chinese theatre discourse that have never before been available to Western readers."
"The importance of Fei's contribution to the still-fledgling but ever-growing body of English-language scholarship about Chinese theatre cannot be overstated," Conceison remarked. "Fei's fluent and dependable translation of materials in modem Chinese affords pleasant reading," Shen concluded. "It also testifies to her expertise and insight into the field of modern drama."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Asian Theatre Journal, fall, 2000, Grant Shen, review of Chinese Theories of Theater and Performance from Confucius to the Present, p. 285.
TDR: The Drama Review, spring, 2000, Claire Conceison, review of Chinese Theories of Theater and Performance from Confucius to the Present, p. 187.
Theatre Survey, May, 2001, Sara Davis, review of Chinese Theories of Theater and Performance from Confucius to the Present, p. 96; November, 2004, Eilzabeth Wichmann-Walczak, review of Chinese Theories of Theater and Performance from Confucius to the Present, p. 323.
Japan Foundation Web site,http://www.jpf.go.jp/ (February 24, 2007), biography of Faye Chunfang Fei.