As part of a "chinese corner" we are setting up in Paris (to any parisian reading this, meeting on thursdays, lunchtime, around Cour St Emilion, pm me for details), a group of friends of mine (chinese and french) are planning to set up a famous Yuan play, named The injustice to Dou E (窦娥冤). Whether they will ever play it is unsure, but it is a much more interesting way to learn chinese than the usual where are you from? and where have you been in China? things... and it can accomodate both french and chinese people, and all language levels)
I'm trying to help on the translation. So far the text is not difficult, and it is very nice, but I'm realising I know nothing about chinese theater. So I begin this thread to post my questions, sorry if they seem silly...answer.
NOTE : I'm talking about theater, not opera, and not recent or modern, Yuan dynasty stuff...
1- Scene, and vocabulary
Apparently, the entrance of a character is indicated by the word 上. eg卜儿蔡婆上
I would naturally translate this by "enter", as in western plays, but do characters enter the scene (I'm not sure the fact people get out of the scene is indicated), or does shang just mean : come forward. How did it happen?
In the prologue, people sometimes speak 云,sometimes "recite" 詩云. Now 詩云.is not just used for poems or songs, what does it refer to?
2- Characters and costumes
There clearly are a number of "setpiece" characters in chinese play. For instance, you will have some old woman role, called Bu'er (卜儿). Is there a place where I can find a list of those major character types.
Also, in some places, people are described by costume (扮): for instance we are told a person is "dressed like Chongmo" (沖末扮) or Zhengdan. Does anyone have a list of those? Are they different from the characters (eg Bu'er) described above.
Thanks in advance,
Edited by General_Zhaoyun, 26 May 2008 - 04:32 AM.