This work gives an 'inside' view of Chinese theatre and the actor in performance. In doing so it also challenges Western theatre artists such as Brecht, Grotowski, Barba and Schechner, who have extracted from Chinese theatre elements which might enrich their own theatres. Jo Riley writes from her personal observations of, and dialogue with, Chinese actors and her first-hand experiences of the theatre world of China in general, none of which was possible before 1980. She uses not only jingju (so misrepresented as Peking opera) but also exorcism, puppet theatre and ancient animation rites at the tomb to provide models for exploring the process of creating presence on the Chinese stage. Her study is well illustrated with photographs and diagrams and is accessible to anyone interested in theatre, even those with no knowledge of Chinese or Chinese theatre.