Sitcom meets theater in Love on the Air 2: I Am Drama Queen (愛情放映中2─我是女主角), which elicits laughter and reflection in equal measure.
The debut work by A Good Company (好劇團) will be staged at Wenshan Theater (文山劇場) for eight shows from tonight through Oct. 23. The piece was cowritten and is directed by Wang Chi-yao (王紀堯), who came up with the concept behind the acclaimed Taiwanese teen romance film Eternal Summer (盛夏光年), and features actress Hsieh Ying-hsuan (謝盈萱) in the title role and actors Wasir Chou (周詠軒), Chang Yao-jen (張耀仁), Cliff Cho (邱俊儒), Dana Fu (傅德揚) and Dai Miu Shiue (戴旻學) as her ex-boyfriends.
The play centers on an independent, modern woman who recently turned 30 and finds herself pregnant without knowing who the father is. She embarks on a soul-searching journey by visiting five of her ex-boyfriends, and though she sets out to find a man who is willing to marry her and act as a father to her child, she ends up finding something else.
“Underneath the trappings of a romantic comedy, this play offers something to think about,” Wang told the Taipei Times at a rehearsal on Sunday. “It dispels a lot of stereotypes about women and shows a woman discovering what is really meaningful to her.”
To push the envelope, Wang incorporated five singing and dancing routines into the play. One of the highlights sees the female lead imagining herself as a man and singing in a fantasy sequence.
A version of the play in which Wang sketched out four of the male characters premiered in June last year. For this production, Wang invited actress Hsieh to cowrite her own part, added one more male character, and uses the female lead to connect the five male roles into one story.
WHAT: Love on the Air 2: I Am Drama Queen (愛情放映中2─我是女主角)
WHEN: 7:30pm tonight and Oct. 21, 2:30pm and 7:30pm tomorrow and Oct. 22, 2:30pm on Sunday and Oct. 23
WHERE: Wenshan Theater (文山劇場), 32 Jingwen St, Taipei City (台北市景文街32號).
ADMISSION: Tickets are NT$600, available through NTCH ticketing, online at www.artsticket.com.tw, and at 7-Eleven ibon kiosks
ON THE NET: zh-tw.facebook.com/pages/好劇團/210352785661325
“I am a director who likes to tailor the story around the actors I know,” Wang said. “It allows my actors to perform naturally and show their uniqueness.”
The play’s concept is taken from Milan Kundera’s 1969 book of short stories titled Laughable Loves, which pieces together seven tales of love to build a kaleidoscopic vision of romance.
“This patchwork story offers insight into Taiwan’s contemporary romantic landscape since the 1990s,” Wang said. “We’ve all been through romantic struggles and learned from them.”