This collection of Chinese shadow plays contains seven selected traditional shadow plays from the Qing and early Republican periods from Shaanxi and Shanxi. A minor operatic genre, the Chinese shadow theatre provides one of the best avenues for examining the mentality and sense of humor of the silent masses. Although Shaanxi sports the largest number of shadow traditions in China and is where the art form is most vibrant, its shadow plays have never before been published in either Chinese or English. Translated from rare hand-copied play scripts, this volume includes the most literary and refined plays of the genre as well as coarser popular plays and farcical Post-midnight skits. It also features a survey of the state of the shadow theatre in contemporary China, extensive critical introductions and bibliography.