星期五, 8月 24, 2007

Reminiscence as the driving force:《PostMan》by Taiwan Drama Performance

Time: 2:30 p.m., December 17, 2006

Place: Cheng Kung Hall of National Cheng Kung University

Director: Lee, Tsung-Hsi

L'homme a voulu monter vers les étoiles

Écrire son histoire

Dans le verre ou dans la Pierre

Notre Dame de Paris

Try one’s best to draw the scene to the past and tell affecting stories with skills. This is what the audience would find from “Goodbye! Moon of Kaohsiung Harbor”, “Hear Tide”, Scènes de la viee Bohème” and “PostMan”. Since it becomes a tide that pop music draws materials from classic songs, classic dramas have been played in succession. It seems that a wind of reminiscence has been spread over in the theaters of Taiwan.

What makes difference is, the effect brought by the creative script of “PostMan” in the drama's sinking era seems to have overridden the force of experimental innovation. After the Little Theater Movement declined in 1980s, the drama circle experienced a period of “all flowers in bloom” and some groups that deeply root themselves in the field of drama have become eminent out of a lot of troupes. The needs of audience finally subdue the creators and prevent them from climbing toward the unreachable ideals any more.

PostMan” is a very kind performance. Seen from the ages of audience, the play is aimed at a definite audience group. The youth enjoy the hot atmosphere, and experts understand the hidden meaning.



Script

To say the funniness of this play, the first half is quite successful. The affairs of the time being are combined well with the gut, plus some hints foreshadowing later development of the story. The funny drama actions pack the serious background of the era. A tree of sole trunk is boring, while excessive branches will loosen the structure. The first half presents a tree in leafy profusion, a story consisting of complicated elements, worthy of expectation.

Relatively, in the second half of this play, the trunk restrains the development of branches and the story is focused on a single matter, that is, how postman He-Ping sends the eighteen letters to the daughter one by one. To match with the situation, the letters do not indicate the importance of a mother on the growth of a daughter, but seems like candies used by a helpless single father to comfort his daughter.

In the structure of script, the head is some heavier than the foot, and it is difficult to find where is the climax this play. Therefore, the audience must seek fun from the branches, which reduces the strength of the trunk. It is estimated that the purpose of the second half lies in sensibility and expression of emotion. It is a pity that, after the rest between the two halves, the guts of the first half are decrypted too easily, reducing the audience’s expectation on the story and the tension of this play.

Director

The first half is performed with a rapid progress, and the imagination of postman He-Ping is the section I favor the most. From this short section we can see that the director is acquainted with theater language and mise-en-scene. The distinct presentation of projected film shows the delicate thinking and skills of the director. Unfortunately, it seems that he is a little inexperienced in handling older roles and events of longer history. This is the biggest weakness of this play.

However, it is quite successful in the aspect of appetency. To pick out bones from inside an egg, it is a little weak in depth and it seems that the point of itch is not reached.

Actors

Though there are not many senior actors in Southern Taiwan, the performance of the actors and actresses in this play can brighten your eyes. I believe that this should be attributed to the director. Actors of same competence can not meet the director’s expectation so precisely in another group.

The He-Ping of 23 years, the He-Ping of 40 years, the squad leader in the army and Chen, Ming-Hung are the most eye-catching roles, but with the increase of years and experiences, the older He-Ping does not show significantly difference in wisdom or behavior. Though the superposition method of “role and his avatars” is used many times, the several He-Pings do not look like a same role.

The shaping of female roles falls into the old pattern: young women smiles lovely, middle-age women endure all kinds of hardships, and old women are cheerless. Obviously, the female roles in this play look flat and thin.

Design

Three-dimensional space is used skillfully on the stage, but it is a pity that the ladder, indicating a bridge of communication, does not function all the time. The design of background curtain is quite special: it will not usurp the roles of other important devices at ordinary times, but play an important role when holding a ball or projecting a film.

The lights are used properly, improving the effect of the drama in several scenes. The ball and the ending are the scenes that deeply impress me. Comparatively, the costume design is not good. The best design is the postman's uniform, but I am just impressed by this uniform only after seeing this play.

During the process of enjoying it, I can’t help remind myself of some films like “Forrest Gump” and “The Kid”. It seems that this play is not created based on the feeling of postman's hard work, but is a topic selected by the script writer. The personal character of director is strong and leads the actors to professionalism. The director's style dominates the actors' personalities.

In addition to the easiness to understand their works, the reasons why Taiwan Drama Performance can become eminent under the unfavorable macro-environment lie in that, they do not make experiments and play deep theory without explicit purposes, and they make the audience feel they are a group of human kindness by paying attention to details. For example, the stamps attached on the postcards, the temporary post office outside the theater, and the evacuation service at the washroom during the break, all these considerations of details are elements for their success.

星期五, 1月 19, 2007

為何走進劇場─《封神傳響-挪吒》九天民俗技藝團

時間:2006年11月25日晚上7:30
地點:台中縣立文化中心(豐原)
製作人/團長:許振榮
導演:劉昱偉

觀看演出以及下筆之前,陷入一陣苦思。顯然這不是一個習於以劇場語言做演出的團體,既然如此,該用何種角度書寫一篇評論,以達成溝通與鼓勵的目的?

不如從為何走進劇場談起。

劇場無疑是個吸引人的地方,一旦感受到它的魅力,投入其中工作之後,會發現很難有工作能滿足從中所獲得的精神層面,但是絕大部分的工作都可以滿足你的物質層面。也就是說,單就薪資而言,這是個投資報酬率極低的工作。

為何還有這麼多人不顧一切投入這行業?簡言之,創作者對其作品有「不得不做」的堅持。在這場演出當中,我感受到「想做」的企圖,但面臨到「不知如何做」的困境。

這未嘗不是個開始,就我熟識的同業,每個人幾乎都是從不斷跌倒爬起,思考下個動作、下句台詞該如何處理,從不斷重複當中摸索出自己特有的表現方式。所有的表演藝術形式幾乎都是以此方式工作,正由於劇場有其精粹性,所以有別於同樂晚會。更複雜的是,劇場發展出一套自己的語言,觀眾也許沒有察覺這些語言 ,但對創作者而言,可能終其一生都在不斷尋找此種語言模式。

有了這個概念,我們來看看這場演出所擁有以及所欠缺的元素。
【擁有】
題材─《封神榜》中挪吒的傳奇。
方式─擊鼓與陣頭。
演員─獨特的生命經驗。
【欠缺】
劇本─與題材不同,劇本有其寫作方式與技巧此劇本的結構不夠緊實。
導演─對節奏、構圖、氛圍、鋪陳與高潮無法掌握。
設計群─欠缺協調,無法提供加分效果。
就一個演出而言,血肉已具備,但欠缺骨幹。 以目前所擁有的元素,仍有其改善空間。

題材:挪吒的傳奇與表演內容無法融合,各行其是容易失去焦點。

方式:許多國家都有擊鼓表演,即使台灣也有不同團體做過類似演出,如何將此成為特色需要繼續發展。

演員:草莽性格是最大特色,但必須先內修再外顯,接受表演課程訓練,學習如何在台上精準與專注。
必須強調這是個相當好的創意,不亞於其他國家。陣頭、家將與大仙尪仔的組合具有威嚴與神秘的色彩,非常吸引人。 但如何將行進間精彩的表演放進侷限的舞台將會是未來努力的方向。
於是如何去蕪存菁以邁向國際舞台,會是領導者最大的課題。我相信豐富的戶外演出已經為這團體累積許多經驗,材料已具備,刀工、火候與擺飾若是能更精粹,將會端出一桌色香味俱全的好菜。


Technorati : , ,

星期四, 1月 18, 2007

newsletter of young critics IATC

This is the website and cover of the newsletter December 2006/January 2007

11 Hosted on Zooomr