Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Noreen C. Barnes

Second Advisor

Dr. Aaron D. Anderson

Third Advisor

Prof. James Stover


In the theatre field, Bertolt Brecht could be counted as a representation of cross-cultural phenomenon. His Verfremdungseffekt theory, Marxist beliefs and wide application of Chinese elements made him a significant stop for every person in theatre who has a passion for Chinese culture. For this reason, I am studying Brecht as a representative innovator who adapted the Eastern Asian elements, especially those from China, into his work, to illustrate this cultural phenomenon and the artistic achievement of his works as well. As an old saying in the Confucian Analects, “Isn’t it delightful to have friends coming from far away? ”, Brecht is like an old friend of China even though he never went to there. Since his works have been introduced into China from 1930s to 1940s, research of Brecht experienced ups and downs through the different political eras.

Even now, Brecht’s theory and practice still has a deep impact on the Chinese drama. I particularly focus on Brecht’s works toward China, and try to illustrate them based on the former research from the European and American scholars as well as from Chinese scholars. I will clarify the Chinese traditional philosophy as the foundation of the whole thesis as well as the beginning of the first chapter, and analyze the Chinese-styled abstraction of Brecht’s poetry. In Chapter Two, I will illuminate the interaction between Brecht and traditional Chinese opera based on Huang Zuolin’s research. In addition, I will clarify the long-term misunderstanding that Chinese drama had for Brecht. In Chapter Three, I will focus on A Good Woman of Sichuan and The Caucasian Chalk Circle as representations to interpret the relationship between Brecht’s and the original versions as well as the Chinese philosophy that Brecht’s version has employed. Finally, the conclusion contains not only the summary, but also the possibilities for Brecht research in the future. Hopefully my work could balance both the objective truth and my personal thoughts, and contribute to the ones who may need them in the future.


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Available for download on Friday, March 22, 2216