Child Training and Employment in Taiwanese Opera 1940s–1960s: An Overview

  • Shih-Ching H. Picucci
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History book series (PSTPH)


Issues surrounding the ways in which children have affected theatrical performance in a European context have frequently generated discussion, in particular the role of children working in theater. Yet, similar issues that relate especially to traditional local theatrical performances in a non-European context have been insufficiently examined. One such example is Taiwanese opera (gezaixi: song drama). Similar to Beijing opera (or Peking opera), but distinct and unique in its modes of performance, Taiwanese opera first appeared approximately a hundred years ago.1 It continued to flourish and indeed Taiwan’s most renowned opera group, Ming Hwa Yuan Arts and Cultural Group, was elected as the representative family for Taiwan when UNESCO proclaimed 1994 as the International Year of the Family (IYF). This family-run troupe was founded in 1929 and has passed to the second and third generations of the family. They have not only endeavored to preserve its traditions, but have also made a concerted effort to promote the form nationally and internationally throughout the last century.2


Female Character Filial Piety Physical Punishment Folk Song Confucian Philosophy 
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© Gillian Arrighi and Victor Emeljanow 2014

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  • Shih-Ching H. Picucci

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