The peace and quiet of a traditional Chinese courtyard in Beijing is suddenly broken with the arrival of a group of people from Taiwan in 1937. Soon after, a smokeless and bloodless war breaks out in the courtyard as a more conventional war against Japanese aggression spreads across the nation.
That's the story of the new drama from the Beijing People's Art Theatre (BPAT). Titled Homeland (Gu Yuan), the play handles the cultural clashes that took place between ordinary people from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan and their united strength in fighting against Japanese aggression, demonstrating a little-known chapter of war history.
"The play portrays the patriotic feelings of individuals and draws attention to a group of people that were rarely noticed," said director Tang Ye.
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(Michael T. Luongo’s article appeared in The New York Times, 3/9.)
EVERY city has its heroes — people who, for whatever reason, leave an indelible mark. Washington is awash in monuments to past presidents. New Yorkers work and live in a grid of ancestral icons: Rockefeller Center, Peter Cooper Village, Astor Place. And Paris is studded with plaques honoring luminaries from Joan of Arc to Victor Hugo to Edith Piaf.
(Soloski’s article appeared in the Village Voice, 1/4.)
Picture a show with no video, no projection design, no treadmills moving scenery on and off the stage. Easy enough. But now imagine a theater without recorded music, without amplified sound, without electric lights. No simple feat. Actually, can you recall the last time you saw a play without any technical assistance, a show in which the media wasn't somehow multi?
In January, New Yorkers enjoy two major festivals—COIL and Under the Radar—as well as satellite events and individual productions, most of them described as experimental, many of them actively engaged in questions about the use of stage technology: Are new developments a way to enhance live performance, or does mediation interfere with the very idea of liveness itself?