90 minutes without intermission
Please note that latecomers may be admitted at some point to the auditorium after the performance begins. Please kindly follow the instructions of the NTT staff.
A love story buried deep within A Wen’s heart
Glove puppet master A-wen has manipulated his puppets during many performances on the themes of loyalty, filial piety and life’s joys and sorrows. One lady puppet in particular, Xiao-hong, has accompanied him his entire life and it almost seems as if there is an emotional bond between them. When lonely, Xiao-hong sits with him as he listens to Nanguan (a traditional music form). YEH Yue-huang is a young funeral director who warmly sees people off as they leave this world but is careful not to reveal her occupation to anyone. She always softly hums a Nanguan melody. One day these two meet, marking the beginning of a moving story.
Time Slipping Through Fingers is a collaboration between Hao Theater director WU Shan-shan and Taiwan’s national treasure glove puppet master CHEN Xi-huang. Over their many years of working together they have created new combinations of modern theater and traditional puppet theater. Time Slipping Through Fingers was written by SHI Ru-fang, who is adept at linking the classical to the contemporary. For this production, Chen plays the role of A-wen, who shares a story from his life that has left a deep impression on him. This production serves as a tribute to Chen, a puppet master with more than seven decades of experience, and to raise awareness of the disappearing art form of glove puppetry. However, this is a modern theater production in every sense, with traditional art forms such as Taiwanese glove puppetry, Taiwanese opera and Nanguan used to advance the storyline. Actors and puppets interact in a brilliant performance, creating a unique juxtaposition and leading the audience on an in-depth exploration of this emotional tale.
Lead Actor/ CHEN Xi-huang
CHEN Xi-huang, now 88, is a national treasure for his lifelong devotion to glove puppetry and is the founder of a traditional puppet theater troupe that bears his name. He learned this art form from his father, legendary puppet master LI Tian-Lu. Although interest in the general puppetry art has declined, this has not stopped Chen from continuing to hone his skills and to pass them on to younger generations.
WU Shan-shan is director of Hao Theater. She graduated from Ecole Internationale de Theatre Lassaad in Brussels, Belgium, where she studied the methods of Jacques Lecoq, such as Italian comedies, Greek tragedies, masks and mime. Physical movements, sound and language are the important elements of performance and their fusion forms the basis of her works. She is adept at the arrangement of puppets and actors to create a unique theatrical ambience. Her credits include Time Slipping Through Fingers, Holidays, La Boite and The Pilgrimage. Her works have been performed in more than 40 countries and she has been involved in many international collaborations.
SHI Ru-fang is a well-known playwright whose works connect the classical and the contemporary, giving equal emphasis to culture and innovation. Shi is known for the ability to go beyond imagination to create smart, captivating scripts. Literary critic WANG De-wei once described Shi as “the best interpreter of Taiwanese contemporary theater”. Shi’s works have crossed disciplines and involved a diversity of forms, including the Beijing, Kun, Yu and Yue forms of Chinese opera and stage plays.