Yiwen Wu

Cohort Year: 2020
Research Interests: China
Education: BA: University of Virginia (Drama, Media Studies), 2017 MA: UChicago, 2019


Joint Program with Theater & Performance Studies

My research focuses on Chinese opera and the history of performance. I am particularly drawn to the transitional period from the imperial nineteenth century through the iconoclastic twentieth century because of its revolutionary nature and proliferation of theatrical entertainment. My MA thesis, “Actor, Character, and Theater: An Adaptation of Macbeth in Chinese Opera,” is a case study of Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking scene in a 1986 kun opera production. My interests in performance have emerged from one fundamental question: How do stories evolve across time and space? I want to explore the modality of Chinese opera across mediums, across decades, and across evolving national cultures. Along this line of inquiry, the dynamic interplay between performance and its medium fascinates me the most: How does media awareness affect our conceptions of performance? How does the experience of reading, listening, and watching enrich each other?