Theater of Transposition: Charles Dullin and the East Asian Theater


Min Tian


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

In the first half of the twentieth century, Charles Dullin was not only one of the prominent figures of modern French theater, but also played a pivotal role in the French theater’s interculturation of the East Asian theater. Dullin incorporated the ideas of the East Asian theater in his productions and, more importantly, in the formation of his theory of “theater of transposition,” and in so doing, he also directly inspired the next generation of French theater artists (Antonin Artaud and Jean-Louis Barrault) in their interest in the East Asian theater. Dullin’s theory has not been appreciated and studied in the English-speaking world as deservedly as Jacques Copeau’s, Bertolt Brecht’s, and Vsevolod Meyerhold’s. Nor was his interest in the East Asian theater. But the role of the East Asian theater in the formation of Dullin’s theory, not in the least less important than it was in the formation of Brecht’s and Meyeyhold’s, merits a comprehensive and in-depth approach.

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