San-Tzu Chen

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Cooprider-Bernstein, Betsy

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Theatre Arts


Opera--China; Theaters--China--Lighting; Stage lighting


In the effort to revitalize Chinese Classical Opera, the application of modern Western Theatre designs and practices can play a significant role. Due to the aesthetic conflict between different theatrical forms, the problem of "adaptability" is unavoidable. To ensure appropriate applications, the importance of the search for the resolution can not be overemphasized. This thesis is concerned with the problems attending the application of the Western lighting approach to the stage of Chinese Classical Opera. The paradigm of the Western lighting aesthetic used to examine the conflict is derived from Richard Palmer's book The Lighting Art. Nine principles are applied individually to the Chinese Theatre. In the process, the adaptability of the Western lighting approach receives a theoretical examination. The result of this enquiry is that nine Western aesthetic principles can be employed in the Chinese Theatre. However, each principle requires modifications, according to the degree of aesthetic conflict it has with the Chinese Theatre. The possible solutions discussed in the thesis should be further tested in the actual productions. This thesis, therefore, is the first step towards achieving the ultimate goal of establishing in the future a set of "Chinese lighting aesthetic principles" which will contribute additional aesthetic meaning to the Chinese Classical Opera.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [71]-72)


72 pages




Northern Illinois University

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