It’s a New Year and LAB Space has prepared a new, jam-packed season.
The year starts with I, Claudia by Kristen Thomson, a poignant play about a young girl struggling with the many challenges that life presents as she comes of age.
Claudia is about to enter the teen years, and her troubles are just beginning. First there is puberty, and then her parents are getting a divorce. To add to that she is not with the popular in-crowd at school. And if that is not enough, Claudia has a dreaded science project due and her schoolmates, who were supposed to help, have bailed out. What more problems can one have in life’s personal journey?
Photo courtesy of LAB Space
Theater wise, this is a one-person show where all four roles (two male and two female) are played by one actor using masks to change roles. Those four are Claudia the protagonist, Leslie (her father’s girl friend), Douglas (her grandfather whose wife just passed away) and Drachman, the school custodian who knows that Claudia’s refuge for sorting life out is the school basement.
Derek Kwan (關顯揚) who played in Michael, the “Neanderthal-type” blue collar, self-made man in last year’s God of Carnage takes on this challenge as well as the play’s theme that we only discover our true selves when we, like Claudia, reflect on our sorrows.
Book early for this show for it only runs for two weekends.
And then what about the rest of this? LAB Space has a lot more in store for all. A.R. Gurney’s star-crossed Love Letters and an intimate cabaret happen in February just before Valentine’s Day. Next come the tempestuous, The Blonde, the Brunette, and the Vengeful Redhead in the summer and the all-familiar 24 Hour Theater Festival in the fall. Closing the year are The Diary of Anne Frank and Twas the Night Before Christmas, a Christmas story as told by a mouse who realizes his house was missed last Christmas. This will be an eventful year and the LAB has other special activities planned as well.
What: I Claudia
Where: The LAB Space (實演場), 3F, 9, Beitou Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市北投路一段9號3樓)
When: Today, tomorrow and Saturday and Jan. 20 to Jan. 22
Admission: NT$650, available through www.accupass.com
On the Net: www.thelabtw.com/go/Claudia
A friend of mine, Katy Hui-wen Hung (洪惠文), who comes from an old, prominent family and has an abiding and deeply knowledgeable interest in Taiwan history, observed that one of the words for tomato in Hoklo (more commonly known as Taiwanese) is kamadi which appears to be taken from Tagalog, kamatis. She speculated that it moved up along the trade routes from Manila, an old trading town. Small things like imported words signal an old, deep relationship between what is now the Philippines and this place we call Taiwan. Beginning in 1968, archaeological work at Baxian cave in Taitung County’s
After a rebellion decimated the Fongshan County (鳳山縣) capital in 1721, the Kangxi Emperor finally decided to allow the construction of walled cities in Taiwan. The following year, with the completion of an earthen wall surrounding it, Old Fongshan City (鳳山舊城) became Taiwan’s first walled city. Over a century later, the wall was replaced with a stone one, much of which remains standing today. To walk the length of this wall is to walk through centuries of history in just one afternoon, as modern-day amenities intermingle with traces of Taiwan’s past. Any visit here should begin at the Center of Old
Prison books are a semi-major literary genre. Works such as Solzhenitsyn’s The First Circle, flanked by One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, are classics, with Dickens, Genet and Nelson Mandela also featuring. Most of them are at least partly autobiographical, and Tehpen Tsai’s (蔡德本) Taiwan White Terror novel, Elegy of Sweet Potatoes, is no exception. It was originally written in Japanese (Tsai was brought up during Japan’s occupation of Taiwan), then translated into Chinese. An English version, finely crafted by Grace Tsai Hatch, appeared in 1995 and now re-appears from Taiwan’s Camphor Press. The author, who helped with the
The Jiaman mosque in the city of Qira, in the far western Chinese region of Xinjiang, is hidden behind high walls and Communist Party propaganda signs, leaving passersby with no indication that it is home to a religious site. During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan last month, two ethnic Uighur women sat behind a tiny mesh grate, underneath a surveillance camera, inside the compound of what had long been the city’s largest place of worship. Reuters could not establish if the place was currently functioning as a mosque. Within minutes of reporters arriving, four men in plain clothes showed up and took