Taiwan Fun Magazine, March 2004

Alt Feature:


Global theater at the "Show Wen I Tung" International Theatre Festival

Compiled by Selena Huang Translated by Wendy Su



     Every two years, the National Chiang Kai-shek Cultural Center holds an International Theatre Festival, which is taking place this year from March 25 to May 9 in both the National Theatre and Experimental Theatre. The theme of this "Show Wen I Tung" Festival will focus on playwrights' productions. Through their works, theatre fans are given a chance to look into the different ways diverse theatre companies from around the world portray classic plays.

     This year, six performing groups from various countries have been invited to participate. These include Poland's "Teatr Piesn Kozla"; Japan's "Ku Na'uka", group renowned for combining Japanese traditional music, song and dance into their plays; England's "Theatre Babel" group, renowned for their emphasis on actors' dialogues; Canada's "UbU" group, which heavily uses symbolism in their plays; Taiwan's "Tainan Jen Theatre", renowned for the vocal training of their actors; and the "Rive-Gauche (Left Bank) Theatre Group", which emphasizes the sights and poetry of Taiwan.

     Teatr Piesn Kozla's performance, "Sumerian Epic Chronicles", combines spectacular vocal and drama performances. The actors exude tremendous energy on stage through their singing and dancing, which are supported by instrumental background music.

     Even if you are a bit conservative and don't want to show it all, this season you'll be able to walk around in flesh tones, the hottest thing since chocolate! Designers such as Donna Karen, Givenchy, and Calvin Klein have paid homage to the "ballet" with ethereal, feminine, delightfully "girlie" stories. Their collections are filled with the softest shades of salmon, peach, sugar almond, pink and a new even-paler-than-skin "pink".

     Tainan Jen Theatre's "Beckett Endgame" displays Beckett's literary characteristics through their Taiwanese-translated script. This group also uses their unique performance methods to unite music into actors' body movements, in order to discover further possibilities in cross-cultural drama productions.

     Ku Na'uka Theatre Company's Kyoka Izumi Tenshu Monogatari" performance uses the traditional theatrical performing methods of two actors acting the role of one character. One actor narrates the story while the other actor performs according to the storyline. This method creates a feeling of amazement and unreality for the audience.

     Theatre Babel's production of Ibsen's "A Doll's House" describes how the heroine, Nora, overcomes her weaknesses. The story describes her inner feelings as she bravely confronts the dishonest male world, and how she eventually walks out of her marriage, which she viewed as her safety net, in order to live life for herself for the first time.

     Rive-Gauche Theatre Group's "Abe Kobo: The Ruined Map" probes into the uncertainty of civilization. This play deliberately portrays both futuristic and nostalgic elements of civilization alongside each other.

     UbU Compagnie de Creation's "Maeterlinck The Blind" is a multimedia drama which only lasts 45 minutes. On the pitch-black stage, 12 floating heads--including a lunatic and a deaf person--carry on a conversation.

     For detailed performance times, please refer to the "What's On" section listings in this magazine or contact the ticketing service for the National Chiang Kai-shek Cultural Center at (02) 2343-1647.