This play was written by Li Yu, a famous early Qing playwright. The plot line is tight-knit, the choreography thrilling. The version of the Taiwan Kunqu troupe was adapted by Professor Hong Wei-zhu, based on Li Yu's original and the version from the Zhejiang Kunqu Opera Troupe, adapted by Zhou Chuan...Read more
This play was written by Li Yu, a famous early Qing playwright. The plot line is tight-knit, the choreography thrilling. The version of the Taiwan Kunqu troupe was adapted by Professor Hong Wei-zhu, based on Li Yu's original and the version from the Zhejiang Kunqu Opera Troupe, adapted by Zhou Chuan-ying and Zhu Guo-liang. The story began with a libertine, Qi You-xian, whose kite fell to the courtyard of the second daughter of the Zhan family, Shu-juan. When he retrieved the kite, a lady's response was given in the form of a poem. His classmate Han Qi-zong saw that, was tempted, and deliberately left the kite again in the Zhan family's courtyard. This time, it was the elder daughter, Ai-juan who picked it up. She pretended to be her younger sister and set up a date with Han Qi-zhong.When Han Qi-zhong saw her homely face, he was alarmed and fled the scene. One year later, when Han Qi-zhong became the zhuangyuan, his uncle arranged for him to marry the Zhan family's second daughter. Not knowing that he had met an imposter, Han Qi-zhong preferred death to complying with the marriage arrangement. On their wedding night, he refused to go into the wedding chamber. With much ado was the misunderstanding clarified, and a happy ending was brought about.
Conventionally, the role of Zhan Ai-juan had been assigned to the caidan of the comedian line characters. It was the Jiangu Kunqu Opera Troupe that first assigned the role to a regular dan character. When the Taiwan Kunqu Opera Troupe invited masters from the Zhejiang Kunqu Opera Troupe, Gong Shi-kui, Wang Shi-yao, and Zhang Shi-zhen to produce this play, they followed the example of the Jiangu Kunqu Opera Troupe to enlist a female character to play Zhan Ai-juan. In this production, a dan (female characters) from the Beijing Opera Troupe of National Taiwan College of Performing Arts, TangTian-rui, starred as the plain daughter. Under her interpretation, Zhan Ai-juan, though not a beautiful woman, exhibited her own female wits and charm.
|Group||Taiwan Kunqu Opera Theatre|
|Creative staff||Taiwan Kunqu Opera Theatre|
|Venue||The Metropolitan Hall, Taipei|
|Other Works||A Newly Composed Kunqu Opera Fan Li and Xi Shi The Wooden Hairpin|