Now in its 10th year, Green Ray Theater’s “world theater” series will present two award-winning plays — a remounted work Proof, which they first performed in 2005, and a new work for them called The Goat: or, Who is Sylvia? in May.
Last year, following on from director and playwright Wu Nien-jen’s Human Condition series, which was presented in its entirety from part one to part four in a record-breaking one-month-long marathon string of performances becoming a runaway hit for the troupe’s “national theater” series, Green Ray Theater focuses this year on staging two adaptations of Western contemporary literary works, which will not only expand audiences’ world view, but also impress them with a whole new theatrical experience.
Green Ray Theater marketing director Li Yen-hsiang said in a telephone interview with the Taipei Times last Thursday that as compared with original plays, which are often larger in scale and put more emphasis on the sense of storytelling, adaptations of contemporary literary works in the “world theater” series are often more delicate and smaller in scale, with only four to six performers in a one-act play. In other words, the more delicate a play is, the greater a challenge it will place on the acting skills of the performers because they have a relatively larger part in the play. This gives performers an opportunity to display their strengths as professional actors and actresses.
David Auburn’s Proof, which won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play, explores the affection and trust between a father and a daughter, a man and a woman, two sisters, as well as a teacher and a student after the discovery of a proof of a mathematical theorem written in a notebook. The play only has four characters, whose emotions constantly flip back and forth between past and present. Given that the mood of performers must change swiftly and frequently, and performers must memorize lots of lines in the script, the play requires performers with sound performing skills and emotional and psychological depth. “This is a play that brings forth a brilliant playwright and a feast for audiences, but it is also one that is very exacting on its performers,” said Wu after reading the script.
Theater of the Absurd playwright Edward Albee’s 2002 Tony Award for Best Play The Goat: or, Who is Sylvia? tells the tale of a married architect, who leads an ostensibly ideal life with his loving wife and gay teenage son. But his life crumbles when he falls in love with a goat. In the play, the son’s gay identity is nothing to be surprised at since it is just a lifestyle choice. But when a man loves a goat, does such “love” really exist? This is the question around which the play is themed. The construction of the characters challenges performers’ acting skills, and the incisive dialogue constantly pushing itself to its limit tests the audiences’ bottom line.
Proof and The Goat: or, Who is Sylvia? will be performed four times each in Mandarin Chinese at the Metropolitan Hall in May and Proof will also go on tour in Greater Taichung and Greater Tainan in June. Tickets will be available through ERA ticketing and online at www.ticket.com.tw starting next Monday.
(Lin Ya-ti, Taipei Times）