Highlight: A lingering terror - Taipei Times
Fri, Oct 13, 2017 - Page 14 News List

Highlight: A lingering terror

By Diane Baker  /  Staff reporter

Chiu An-chen stars in the Party Theater Group’s production, The White Storyteller, about the impact of the White Terror era, at the Experimental Theater in Taipei this weekend.

Photo Courtesy of Tang Chien-che

The Party Theater Group’s (同黨劇團) latest production, The White Storyteller (白色說書人), which was commissioned by the Quanta Arts Foundation (廣藝基金會), opened last night at the Experimental Theater in Taipei.

The play, written by Golden Bell winner Zan Jae (詹傑), is about memories, betrayal and the lingering repercussions of the White Terror era on the victims and their families.

The Party Theater Group has gained a reputation for productions that combine actors, puppets, masks and multimedia visuals, and for The White Storyteller it pulled together a team from several mediums.

The director is Tai Chun-fang (戴君芳), who made a name for herself with her experimental kunqu (崑曲) opera productions. The only “live” person in the show is actor Chiu An-chen (邱安忱), who portrays multiple characters, while Wu Rong-chang (吳榮昌) of the Hong Puppet Theater (弘宛然) and Huang Wu-shan (黃武山) of the Shan Puppet Theater (山宛然) will handle the “non-animate” characters.

Welsh artist and longtime Taipei resident Tim Budden, who created puppets and sets for theaters for several years after he graduated from university in the UK, but is better known in Taiwan for his intricate Chinese-style papercut artworks, created papercuts and shadowy projections to provide atmosphere for the show.

Handpuppets and kunqu techniques are used to tell the life of the storyteller’s father — and his suicide during the 1960s, when White Terror was still very much a factor in the lives of Taiwanese — with details drawn from actual suicide notes written by victims of that era.

The White Storyteller is performed in Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese) and runs about 90 minutes.

■ Experimental Theater (國家戲劇院實驗劇場), 21-1 Zhongshan N Rd, Taipei City (台北市中山南路21-1號) tonight and tomorrow at 7:30pm and tomorrow and Sunday at 2:30pm

■ Tickets are NT$800, available at NTCH box offices, online at www.artsticket.com.tw and at convenience store ticketing kiosks

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