Jiao Juyin

Jiao Juyin
b. 1905, Tianjin; d. 1975
Theatre director
Jiao Juyin was a leading practitioner of the Stanislavsky system in China and a longtime director of the Beijing People’s Art Theatre. His accomplishments in these two areas represent his most important contribution to Chinese Huaju (spoken drama).
Jiao’s ‘theory of mental images’ (xinxiang xue) was the director’s adaptation and application of the Stanislavsky system. The theory calls for the actors to form images of the characters in their mind before performing them on the stage. Jiao’s method of training actors was divided into three stages: experiencing life, developing mental images, and creating stage images, with mental images serving as a bridge between real life and theatrical performance, moving, as Jiao said, from external to internal, and from internal to external.
Like many Chinese dramatists of his time, Jiao also participated in the ‘nationalization of spoken drama’ (huaju minzuhua) in order to give this imported dramatic form a Chinese character. Jiao’s lifelong pursuit was to create a Chinese system of performance by integrating the artistic techniques and aesthetic principles of Chinese opera with the realistic Western drama, and both his theoretical writings and stage productions were directed towards this goal. The Beijing People’s Art Theatre—which was modelled after the Moscow Art Theatre—provided Jiao with a testing ground for his experiments, and became the pre-eminent national company of spoken drama under his guidance.
In 1979, Jiao Juyin was posthumously rehabilitated and buried in the Babaoshan Cemetery in Beijing.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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