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Piao You and Xia Hai


Piao You(literally, ticket friends or fans) andPiao Fang(literally, box office), both are operatic terms, have nothing to do with today's box-office of a theatre or stadium.

Piao Youin opera refers to amateur performers of Peking Opera. It is said that during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the descendants of the privileged families under the Banner System in the dynasty went to many cities across the country to stage their plays for no remunerate. Their performances, or say, benefit performances, were calledPiao Xi. And the main organizer was calledPiao Fang, the amateur performersPiao You.

And in the past, amateur performers of Peking Opera could join formal troupes and become professional. This was calledXia Hai(literally, going to sea),which also has no connection with today'sGoing to Sea-- meaning to go in for business. But before the amateur turned a career performer, he was required to first become a member ofPear Orchard.

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