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坐忘.香港:姚克的戲劇因緣

A Forgotten Memory of Hong Kong: Yao Ke and Modern Drama

展覽 Exhibition

香港中文大學將於本年3月23日至6月30日舉辦「坐忘.香港:姚克的戲劇因緣」展覽,由香港中文大學中國語言及文學系、文化及宗教研究系(文化研究文學碩士課程)及大學圖書館合辦,展出著名劇作家、翻譯家姚克教授的相關展品。

姚克教授(1905-1991)畢生與戲劇、文學結下不解之緣。早在三十年代的上海,他便於溫源寧主編的英文雜誌《天下月刊》擔任編輯和發表文章,積極向西方介紹中國文化。姚教授擅長編寫歷史劇目,創作了不少膾炙人口的劇本,如《清宮怨》、《楚霸王》、《美人計》、《西施》、《秦始皇》等,名重一時。至1948年來港定居,改編《清宮怨》劇本,拍攝電影《清宮秘史》。隨後以編劇身份參與製作《阿Q正傳》、《一代妖姬》等國語片,在香港電影史上留下痕跡。

1961年至1967年,姚教授於香港中文大學聯合書院中文系任教,並曾任中文系系主任、文學院院長。姚教授為大學發展新文學課程,致力推廣戲劇的教育工作;亦曾參與中英學會中文戲劇組,培育話劇人才,推動香港劇運。展覽冀能紀念姚教授為中國戲劇和香港劇壇所作的貢獻。

 

Professor Yao Ke (1905-1991) was an important playwright in Modern Chinese Drama history. He devoted himself to incorporating elements for the traditional Chinese stage into modern drama and film. His history play Sorrows of the Forbidden City (清宫秘史), which premiered in Shanghai in 1941, ran for more than a hundred performance. In 1948 he moved to Hong Kong and resumed his interests in writing historical dramas, among which Xi Shi (西施) and Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇) are still remembered today. Professor Yao later ventured to write on modern themes; for example, his play Abyss (陋巷) depicted urban slums and drug addiction in Kowloon City. By constantly organizing activities with other playwrights like Hsiung Shih-I (1902-1991) for the Chinese Drama Group of the Sino-British Club of Hong Kong, Mr. Yao attracted a lot of young talented people into the theatre.

From 1961 to 1967, Yao Ke further extended his influence to the academy by joining the Department of Chinese at the United College as a lecturer. Apart from focusing on teaching and research in classical Chinese drama, he introduced for the first time the courses in modern Chinese literature into the curriculum when serving as the Head of the Department and the Dean of the Faculty of Arts. This revolutionary practice revealed his identity as a modern Chinese writer.

Today Yao Ke is remembered as an important Shanghai writer because of his friendship with such renowned figures as Lu Xun and his achievement as a major playwright. However, Professor Yao’s Hong Kong period remained largely invisible to the public eye. To pay homage to this master, we have organized this exhibition. By collecting and presenting Yao Ke’s traces in old books, journals, posters and manuscripts, we would like to revive a forgotten and yet alluring memory of Hong Kong, as well as recognizing his tremendous contributions to the city and the university.