Asian Theatre History Timeline

Timeline created by Cam2Rizz
  • 1000

    Wayang Kulit

    Wayang Kulit
    Wayang Kulit is a form of shadow puppetry in Indonesia, dating back to as early as the 10th century (Britannica). Flat puppets as small as 6 inches and as large as 3 feet made from the hide of water buffalo's are used. They are cut and perforated to cast shadows onto the screen. Performances are often held during the night so that shadows can show better (Brockett 316).
  • 1279

    Yuan Dynasty

    Yuan Dynasty
    The initial spike of Chinese drama occurred during the ruling of the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368). Over 700 titles during their reign still exist in the modern world (Brockett 313).
  • 1368

    Ming Dynasty

    Ming Dynasty
    Under the ruling of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), some of the most complex literary plays were written. Plays sometimes had up to 50 acts, or more. The most admired play during their time is "The Peony Pavilion," written by Tang Xianzu. At 55 acts long, it tells the story of a girl who gives up her life in return of a lover who she has only met in her dreams. When he visits her grave, she comes back to life (Brockett 313).
  • 1375

    Noh Theatre

    Noh Theatre
    Noh Theatre really began to take shape around 1375. Zen Buddhism was the greatest influence on it, which is the ideology that peace comes from unity, individual desire must be forgotten, and nothing alive on Earth will last eternally. Noh plays often have a protagonist that is a ghost, demon, or human souls still attached to Earth. In short, the forces that interfere with peace and harmony are defeated. Painted, wooden masks used for generations are commonly a part of costumes (Brockett 304).
  • 1400

    "The Shrine in the Fields (Nonomiya)"

    "The Shrine in the Fields (Nonomiya)"
    Falling under the category, woman play, in Noh theatre is "The Shrine in the Fields." It's based upon a famous Japanese novel, "The Tale of Genji." Lady Rokujo is humiliated, so she leaves the capital and goes to Nonomiya. While there, Lord Genji gives her a sacred evergreen tree branch and asks her to come back to the capital, She chooses not to and deals with the humiliation and sense of loss. Genji's visit and her response are the emotional focus (Brockett 307).
  • Chikamatsu Monzaemon

    Chikamatsu Monzaemon
    Chikamatsu Monzaemon is considered as one of Japan's greatest playwrights. He is responsible for a variety of plays, but is famous for his three-act plays about contemporary life. People praised him for his plays having double-suicides of lovers, sensitive characters, and stunning language (Brockett 309).
  • Bunraku

    Puppets are used in place of characters in Bunraku. The puppets started simple, with having just a head and drapery for the body. The puppets appearance progressed to having movable eyes, movable eyebrows, and jointed and movable fingers. Eventually, they doubled in size and were dressed in detail. Three handlers are used. One for the head and right arm, another for the left arm, and the third for feet. It is considered as one of the most complex puppet performances in the world (Brockett 309).
  • Kabuki

    Kabuki is the most popular form in Japanese Theatre, developed in the 17th century. It borrowed many plays and conventions from Noh and Bunraku, but adjusted to fit its own agenda.Having changed so much overtime, it hardly is similar to Noh, now (Brockett 309).
  • Chūshingura

    One of the most popular Kabuki plays written by Takeda Izumo is "Chūshingura." Often shortened, the original is 11 acts long and requires a full day to complete the performance. It is a play about honor and revenge where forty-seven samurai requite anything wrong done toward their master (Brockett 310).
  • Beijing Opera

    Beijing Opera
    By the 19th century, the Beijing Opera came to exist. It is considered to be a hybrid resulting from several forms in Chinese theatre. It is the most commonly known form in Chinese theatre to exist. Beijing Opera is often a series of performances from a longer work. All of the plays have a happy ending (Brockett 313).