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.

Photo courtesy of National Theater Concert Hall

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.


1. thespian adj.

戲劇的 (xi4 ju4 de5)

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


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.


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.


(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)


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。




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