Reflections of Chinese Theatre in Thornton Wilder’s Play



In Thornton Wilder’s stage techniques, his freehand of time and space on the stage greatly stimulates audience’s imagination. The bareness stage; the use of pantomime or sign language; the vast expanse of life and the innovative use of the Stage Manager emancipate the restrictions of the traditional western box set, breaking down the so-called “fourth wall” between the audience and the actors. It seems difficult to judge exactly whether Chinese theatre affecting Wilder or not, but they are indeed close relative. But it is also arbitrary if takes the Chinese theatre as the main source of influence. In fact, the interplay of these diverse aesthetic modes in Wilder’s drama not only helps to create the dramatist’s unique “world theatre” idiom but also gives his plays a broader, more balanced appeal.


Thornton Wilder; Chinese theatre; Reflection

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