Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pitt Players present[ed] The Yellow Jacket.

The Yellow Jacket
From 1942's The Owl, the University of Pittsburgh's yearbook (via Documenting Pittsburgh).

Around this time in 1941, the Pitt Players opened their season with "the delightful Chinese fantasy" The Yellow Jacket.
In line with the Players' policy of producing at least one experimental drama each year, Mr. Whitehill chose this allegorical satire of the Oriental theatre convention. Over make-believe mountains, across imaginary rivers, through mythical snow storms, Woo Hoo Git (John Reid) made his way in search of his lost heritage. Fantastic spiders did not daunt him, nor were the temptations of beautiful women in "the flowery paths of pleasant ways" enough to turn him from his quest. The play was comparable to an Oriental Our Town . . . The play was more than amusingly novel, and the Players presented it admirably.
A 2010 Theater Journal article, "Trying on The Yellow Jacket: Performing Chinese Exclusion and Assimilation", goes into the contemporary politics and modern interpretations of the play, which not surprisingly didn't age well.

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