Sat, Nov 17, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Chi Wei-jan’s Playing the Violin to be read at master class in New York
討論台灣過度美國化 劇作家紀蔚然《拉提琴》

Chi Wei-jan poses with a mime.
紀蔚然與默劇演員合影。

Photo courtesy of National Theater Concert Hall
照片由兩廳院提供

Playwright Chi Wei-jan’s new work Playing the Violin has received rave reviews since it premiered last week at the National Theater. The play — Chi’s first theatrical work since his novel Private Eyes came out last year — is being widely hailed among thespian circles as his greatest play to date. Chi has even been invited to read an English version of the play in New York next year at a master class event for contemporary Chinese playwrights.

Chinese American playwright David Henry Hwang, winner of the Tony Award for his play M. Butterfly and currently a playwright-in-residence at the New York-based theater company Signature Theatre, is organizing a master class event to read contemporary Chinese plays, which is to be held in New York from March 10 to 18 next year. Four playwrights from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan have been invited to the master class, including Beijing’s Meng Jinghui, Shanghai’sYu Rongjun, and Hong Kong’s Chong Mui-ngam, while Chi will be there to represent Taiwan. Chi says that he will read his new play at the event, and says that it is in the process of being translated into English, which will be read by local professional actors.

Chi says that the event is a great opportunity to share his work with a New York audience, even though it is just a reading and not an actual performance. Out of all his works, Chi feels that his newest work — Playing the Violin — is the most appropriate for the reading because it deals with specific issues, including the excessive Americanization of Taiwan and the plight of contemporary intellectuals.

Playing the Violin is Chi’s first theatrical work in five years. Chi’s style of black humor, along with his shrewd social and cultural observations, and candidly forthright introspections, are all blended together in the trenchant new play.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. thespian adj.

戲劇的 (xi4 ju4 de5)

例: Michael Caine is arguably one of England’s most successful thespian exports.

(米高‧凱恩可以說是英國赴海外發展、最成功的戲劇演員之一。)

2. Americanization n.

美國化 (mei3 guo2 hua4)

例: Hollywood’s domination of most of the world’s media markets is one the more apparent forms of Americanization.

(好萊塢支配全球大多數媒體市場,是美國化較明顯的例子。)

3. shrewd adj.

敏銳的 (min3 rui4 de5)

例: Always a bit of a dreamer, he usually goes to his sister for advice because of her shrewd common sense.

(總是個夢想家的他,通常會找對常識具有敏銳能力的姊姊幫他指點。)


(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

劇作家紀蔚然新作《拉提琴》上週於國家戲劇院首演,大獲好評,不少圈內人士紛紛表示,該作品是紀蔚然繼去年小說《私家偵探》之後最新的舞台劇作品,也是公認到目前為止最好的一部劇作。明年他也將應紐約「當代華文戲劇讀劇工作坊」之邀,到紐約以英文版現身。

曾以《蝴蝶君》榮獲東尼獎的著名華裔劇作家黃哲倫,目前是紐約Signature Theatre劇團駐團劇作家,他也正在籌劃「當代華文戲劇讀劇工作坊」,預定明年三月十日至十八日舉辦,屆時將邀請四位來自兩岸三地的劇作家,除了北京孟京輝、上海喻榮軍以及香港莊梅岩,代表台灣的就是紀蔚然。紀蔚然表示,他將帶著新作《拉提琴》參與盛會。屆時《拉提琴》將譯成英文,由當地專業演員朗讀全劇。

紀蔚然表示,雖然只是讀劇,但卻是一個將自己作品介紹給紐約觀眾的好機會,而他所有作品當中,剛出爐的《拉提琴》最適合,因為該作的題材不但涉及台灣過度「美國化」的問題,還討論了當代知識分子的困境。

《拉提琴》是他睽違現代劇場五年的作品,敏銳的社會文化觀察、坦然直率的人心內省,紀氏風格的黑色幽默,依然犀利的交融在這最新的劇作中。

(自由時報記者趙靜瑜)

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