Xiaomei ChenMar 10, 2021
Staging Chinese Revolution
Theater, Film, and the Afterlives of Propaganda
Columbia University Press 2016
Xiaomei Chen's Staging Chinese Revolution: Theater, Film, and the Afterlives of Propaganda (Columbia UP, 2016) examines the changing place of revolutionary propaganda in a changing China. Chen analyzes the "grey areas" in deceptively simple plays and films, showing how a contemporary film about Mao Zedong or Deng Xiaoping can also be read as an indictment of the corruption and inequality of "socialism with Chinese characteristics." In our discussion we also touch on Xiaomei's family's history as prominent Chinese actors and her own intellectual journey, beginning as a Red Guard and ending as a tenured professor at UC Davis.
Andy Boyd is a playwright based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of the playwriting MFA at Columbia University, Harvard University, and the Arizona School for the Arts.