A tour launched in January by the Paper Windmill Theatre to bring performances to the nation’s 368 townships, cities and districts has so far attracted a total audience of 72,100 people, the troupe said on Monday.
As of Sunday, the troupe had staged performances in 22 townships, cities and districts since the “First Mile, Kid’s Smile: Arts for Children in 368 Townships” tour began on Jan. 12, the troupe said.
Paper Windmill, founded in 1992 by a group of screenwriters and filmmakers, performs children’s plays, dances, puppet theater, black light theater and multimedia shows.
In its latest tour, the troupe is performing the Taiwan Fantasia, which includes a reinterpretation of the story of Don Quixote, in a piece that interprets renowned Taiwanese and international paintings with body movements, as well as a piece that depicts the father-son relationship through live actors, puppets and multimedia.
The production also includes a story about fish, as well as a blacklight theater performance and a theatrical piece that tells the history of the county in which the show is being staged.
Lee Yung-feng (李永豐), the troupe’s chief executive officer, said at a press conference that the telling of local stories is one of the tour’s highlights, and is aimed at strengthening art education and familiarizing children with the history of their hometown.
Lee said that theatrical renditions of the 228 Incident were among the performances staged in New Taipei City (新北市).
Meanwhile, the story of Kano, the nation’s first baseball team, was told in Chiayi County and that of the 1870s Mudan Incident, in which Japan attacked Taiwan after Japanese sailors were killed by Taiwanese Aborigines, was performed in Pingtung County, he added.
So far, more than 6,700 people have donated to the tour, with total donations reaching NT$51.86 million (US$1.73 million), Lee said.
The troupe performs in any township that raises NT$450,000 to fund the performances.
Donations from corporations are restricted to NT$400,000 per show to encourage participation from individuals, the troupe said.
Since the troupe receives no government support, it relies exclusively on donations.
The troupe’s last tour ran for five years until December 2011 and visited the entire nation, then 319 townships.
At the press conference, the troupe also launched a book series titled Mobilization of Taiwan 368 that records the stories of people from around the nation who have dedicated themselves to improving their communities.
Royalties from the books will be used to fund the current tour.