Yu Shangyuan

Yu Shangyuan (Chinese: 余上沅; pinyin: Yú Shàngyuán) (October 4, 1897 April 30, 1970) was a 20th-century playwright, Chinese drama educationist and theorist. Yu Shangyuan’s hometown was in Shashi, Hubei Province, China. His whole family depended on low wages to make a living. However, he enjoyed drama since he was a little boy. Being recommended by Hu Shih (Chinese: 胡适) and Chen Duxiu (Chinese: 陈独秀), he went to Peking University and graduated from the English department, then, he went to America for further study. As one of the founders of Chinese modern dramas, he made a considerable contribution to dramaturgical theory. His main achievements are his contribution to the development of “the Chinese drama movement” (Chinese: 国剧运动) and his representative works: Syllabus of Performing Arts (Chinese: 表演艺术大纲).[1]

In this Chinese name, the family name is Yu.
Yu Shangyuan
Born (1897-10-04)October 4, 1897
Shashi, Hubei , China
Died April 30, 1970(1970-04-30) (aged 72)
Nationality Chinese

. . . Yu Shangyuan . . .

Yu Shangyuan was born on October 4, 1897 and enjoyed drama since he was a little child. Yu’s family was not rich. His father was a salesclerk in a cloth store called Yu Hongchang. His mother did all the housework. At the age of 7, he studied in an old-style private school which was opened by his housemate. He dropped out of school when he was 12 years old and then he went to a cloth shop to be an apprentice. Fifteen-year-old Yu was enrolled in Boone Memorial School of Wuchang. After he graduated, he entered undergraduate of the school and majored in liberal arts. Being recommended by Hu Shih (Chinese:胡适) and Chen Duxiu (Chinese:陈独秀), he transferred to the English department of Peking University and studied Western literature. In 1920, Yu taught in the English department of Beijing University. From 1921 to 1924, Yu actively participated in the New Culture Movement (Chinese:新文化运动) and developed a great interest in drama. At the same time, he published several concerned articles in the supplement of the morning paper. (Chinese:晨报) In 1923, he went to Carnegie University on a half scholarship from the government for further study, then majored in Theatrical Literature and Art at Columbia University in New York.[2]

Returning to China in 1925, Yu joined in the organization of “Chinese drama club” in Beijing. Then he opened the department of theatricals in Beijing Mei Zhuan College (Now, it is Beijing Art College). Besides, he taught modern dramatic art, stage designing and performance and rehearsals, etc. Also he directed several dramas, for instance, Mutiny. In autumn of 1926, Yu accepted the offer to become a professor at Shanghai Guanghua University, Jinan University, etc. At the same time, he, together with Xu Zhimo, set up a bookshop named New Moon (Chinese: 新月), where he took the responsibility of editor and manager.

In the winter of 1928, being engaged by the secretary of the Peking China Education and Culture Foundation (中华教育文化基金会), he served as professor in National Peiping University Institute of the Arts and organized Peiping small theater in his free time.[3]

In 1935, accompanied by Mei Lanfang went to the Soviet Union to visit and perform. Then went to European countries to study drama education. In 1935, the National Theatre School was established in Nanjing, he was hired as a school councilor and principal.

When the Second Sino-Japanese War began, Yu moved his school to Changsha, Chongqing to organize students to do propaganda work.[4]

. . . Yu Shangyuan . . .

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. . . Yu Shangyuan . . .