Guo Shixing

b. 1952, Beijing
Playwright
The son of middle-class bank-workers and a descendent of a line of chess champions dating back to the Ming—Qing period, Guo Shixing authored the critically and commercially successful Loafer trilogy, consisting of three plays about the amateur obsessions of Beijing residents—goldfish, chess and birds—that were staged in Beijing between 1993 and 1997, all directed by Lin Zhaohua. Fishmen (Yuren) was written in 1989 during the Tiananmen demonstrations, but could not be produced because of the political climate. It opened at the Beijing People’s Art Theatre in March 1997, the year after Chessmen (Qiren) was staged. Birdmen (Niaoren) was written in 1991 and staged in 1993, setting box-office records and running through 1995. A journalist by trade—formerly the theatre critic for the Beijing Evening News (Beijing wanbao)—the trilogy was Guo’s first attempt at playwriting.
He was hired as a resident playwright of the Central Experimental Theatre in Beijing and went on to author other successful plays, including Gossip Street (Huaihua yitiao jie, 1998).
Chen, Xiaoming. (2002) Acting the Right Part: Political Theater and Popular Drama in Contemporary China. Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press, 324–30.
Conceison, Claire (1998) The Occidental Other on the Chinese Stage: Cultural Cross-Examination in Guo Shixing’s Birdmen. Asian Theatre Journal 1: 87–101.
Guo, Shixing (1997). ‘Birdmen: A Drama in Three Acts’. Trans. Jane Lai. In Martha Cheung and Jane Lai (eds), An Anthology of Contemporary Drama in China. New York: Oxford University Press, 295–350.
CLAIRE CONCEISON

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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