Is This the Way We Were? An Intercultural Interpretation of Tainaner Ensemble’s "Anping, Our Town"

By Jui-Sung Chen and Shin-Yi Lee.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: January 6, 2015 $US5.00

In 2013, Cheng-Ping Hsu, the adaptor of "Tainerer Ensemble," adapted Thornton Niven Wilder’s "Our Town" into a localized, intercultural performance, "Anping, Our Town," in Taiwan. In fact, under the influence of globalization in theatre, Taiwanese theatre has produced many intercultural performances, such as Shakespearean adaptations, but most of them are considered cultural collages. To our surprise, Tainener Ensemble’s "Anping, Our Town" can be seen as a successful intercultural performance in postmodern Taiwanese theatre because it is unlike those performances which merely appropriate western theatre without taking their historical traditions and cultures into consideration. According to Rustom Bharucha, an Indian interculturalist, appropriation in intercultural theatre which has a “de-historicizing tendency” is the most problematic aspect of interculturalism. Thus, in order to understand if Tainener Ensemble’s "Angping, Our Town" is a successful intercultural performance, we discuss three aspects of the play to explore how Cheng-Ping Hsu represents other culture in his own context, to compare the original and its theatrical adaptation, and to explore the components that have this theatrical hybridity be viewed a communicable “two-way street,” not a “dead end.”

Keywords: Globalization, Interculturalism, Theatrical Hybridity

The Global Studies Journal, Volume 7, Issue 4, January 2015, pp.1-8. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: January 6, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 725.166KB)).

Dr. Jui-Sung Chen

Assistant Professor, Department of English Studies, MingDao University, Chang-hua County, Taiwan

My name is Jui-sung Chen. My main research interest lies in applying interculturalism to theatre studies. I would like to explore issues such as intercultural adaptation, theatrical reproductions in theory as well as in practice based on the thinking of intercultural theorists. A second strand of my research interest is related to theatrical adaptations, especially Shakespearean productions, in modern Taiwanese theatre. In addition, I am also interested in a comparison between Western and Eastern theatre and expect to explore their cultural issues in their contexts.

Shin-Yi Lee

Assistant Professor, Center for General Education, China Medical University, Taichung City, Taiwan

My name is Shin-Yi Lee. My main research interest lies in applying theatre studies. I would like to explore issues such as political issues and theatre theories. I am also interested in a western literature.


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