Thu, Aug 09, 2018 - Page 14 News List

The past haunting the present

The Lab Space’s final Taiwan performance examines issues of sexual assault

By Jerome Keating  /  Contributing reporter

A scene from TAPE, which will be performed this weekend in Taipei.


In today’s world of “grab ‘em by the ...” and the #MeToo movement, you never know what might be dredged up from the past, especially if its on tape.

The mere mention of names like Roger Ailes, Harvey Weinstein Matt Lauer, Michael Cohen or Stormy Daniels guarantees strong reaction. And that’s why Brook Hall has chosen Butterfly Effect Theater’s season finale with Stephen Bilbur’s TAPE.

Hall says he likes a play that “starts a discussion,” and TAPE is sure to do that.

The play features Jon, an aspiring filmmaker, who hooks up with high school best friend, Vince, a volunteer fireman who makes his money selling drugs. Jon’s new film is being shown at a festival in Lansing, Michigan, and Vince has come from California to see it.

However, Vince has other motives. He harbors resentment that Amy, a girl they both dated in high school, told him that Jon date-raped her and wants Jon to fess up. Jon admits some guilt and then discovers Vince taped this and has also invited Amy, now an assistant district attorney in the Lansing Justice Department, to join them. And Amy has a few thoughts of her own.

This is a play where motives, memory, truth and perception of the past are all grist for the mill as these three rehash a 15 year-old incident.

In choosing TAPE, Brook wanted something “on the other side of the world from recent, Diary of Anne Frank and something that “speaks to today’s headlines and issues, particularly sexual assault.”

Brook had worked for US writer-director Richard Linklater in Austin, Texas and after seeing his award-winning filmed version of TAPE with Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman and Robert Sean Leonard, this play became a must on his bucket list of shows.

So what really happened 15 years back? Well, you’ll have to see the play.

Due to subject matter, no children under 16 are admitted without an adult guardian.

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