※World premiere. The performance details will be announced one week in advance of the show.
※In Mandarin with Chinese and English lyric surtitles.
※Latecomers may not be admitted until a suitable break in the performance. Kindly follow the instructions of the NTT staff.
※Suggested for ages 12+
Inspired by the short story Ward No. 6 by Anton Chekhov, through reflection and debate, Existential Feelings focuses on the innate nature of humanity and free choice. Written by LIU Chien-guo, who is creating a new generation of traditional opera works, and directed by modern theater veteran POO Hong-chen, it stars Taiwan’s first Bangzi opera diva Wang Hai-ling, HSIAO Yang-ling and LIU Chien-hua of the Taiwan Bangzi Opera Company. This is a groundbreaking work that integrates Bangzi opera and modern drama.
The story is set in the year 298 of a new world order, in which the human race is controlled by artificial intelligence. Less intelligent people are labeled as “broken” and sent to hospitals for “repair”. A doctor working in one such institution is emotionally affected by the rantings of Patient 2537, and thus begins a discourse on the meaning of life and free spirit.
ChiChiao Musical Theatre
ChiChiao Musical Theatre was founded in southern Taiwan in 2004 and the founders are WANG Hai-ling and her two daughters, LIU Chien-hua (nicknamed “Chi”) and LIU Chien-guo (nicknamed “Chiao”).
ChiChiao Musical Theatre is devoted to creating dialogues between tradition and innovation. The characteristic feature of its works is the fusion of different styles of operas and genres of music. Through creative energy, lively presentation, and the use of language familiar to the new generation, the works of this company attract young audiences, ensuring that traditional dramatic culture is passed on and preserved.
Taiwan Bangzi Opera Company
The Taiwan Bangzi Opera Company, based in Kaohsiung, works to preserve a form of folk Chinese opera that originated in Henan Province and uses woodblocks (referred to as bangzi) as accompanying musical instruments. Under the leadership of its artistic director and Bangzi opera diva WANG Hai-ling, it attracts new generations of performers and creates new styles of performances as it works to integrate aspects of Taiwanese culture and customs with artistic meaning. Every year, it develops an annual production that involves the modern theater elite and collaborations across artistic disciplines, as well as organizes academic forums and educational activities. This company has been invited to perform domestically and internationally.
Artistic Director and Lead
Production / ChiChiao Musical Theatre, National Center for Traditional Arts
Taiwan Bangzi Opera Company
General Producer/ PENG, Hung-chih
Artistic Director / WANG Hai-ling
Director / POO Hong-chen
Playwright / LIU Chien-kuo
Stage and Puppet Design / CHANG Che-Lung
Lighting Design / WONG Choo-yean
Music Design / Blaire ko
Traditional Chinese Opera Melodies Design / WANG Hai-ling
Costume and Brocade Design / LIN Chen-zheng
Key Vision and Promotional Photographer / LIN Yu-Quan
Producer / Loïs PAN
Company Manager / LIN Chuan-fei, CHEN Jing-huei
Executive Producer /LIN Chun-hui
Performers / WANG Hai-ling, HSIAO Yang-ling, LIU Chien-hua, HSUEH Mei-hua, ZHENG Shun-wen
Musicians / Taiwan Bangzi Opera Company
WANG Hai-ling, a recipient of the National Award for Arts, is the artistic director of the Taiwan Bangzi Opera Company. She became interested in traditional Chinese opera at a very young age and was considered a child prodigy. She made her debut at 14 and has graced the Bangzi opera stage for nearly six decades with a repertoire of more than 150 operas and 100 roles. Although she began in “dan” (female) roles, she has shown her diverse talent by also taking on sheng, jing and chou roles. In 2008, her album All My Life for Yu was honored with two Golden Melody awards.
At dance rehearsals with the troupe Ruff Stuff, then 13-year-old Asante met Kenrick “H2O” Sandy. The two formed Matrix with a group of friends, inadvertently sowing the seeds for Boy Blue.
Asante created the music for the films Street Dance 3D and
Born into a traditional opera family, LIU Chien-guo earned a Master’s degree in drama from the National Taiwan University of Arts. She is currently the director of the ChiChiao Musical Theatre. Her written and directed works encompass a diversity of artistic disciplines including drama, musicals, Taiwanese opera, Beijing opera and Bangzi opera. She strives to break through the boundaries of theater and culture to create unique productions. For the past two years, she has been invited to adapt the works of Bertolt Brecht for the Taipei Arts Festival. Her recent original productions have won the ardor of young audiences.
Malaysian-born POO Hong-chen is a veteran theater director in Taiwan trained in the Grotowski system of acting. He worked as resident director at Off Performance Workshop before establishing M.O.V.E. Theatre in 2006, where he serves as artistic director. He is a long-time observer of psychological and social states and develops experimental and artistic works, which feature poetic physical landscape and multi-perspective collaged narrative to construct a surreal visuality and a unique theater esthetic. His works have been performed at Avignon Off and in Asia. His recent productions have been recognized with the outstanding director award at Hong Kong’s Chinese Drama Festival and Best Script, Director, Art Design and Physical Performance awards at the Bangkok Theatre Festival.
LIU Chien-hua earned a Master’s degree in drama and theater from National Tainan University. She is the lead sheng (male role) actor in the Taiwan Bangzi Opera Company and the eldest daughter of Bangzi opera diva WANG Hai-ling. She has shared her mother’s interest in traditional opera since childhood. She was director of the Taiwanese opera club and founded the Bangzi opera club in high school. In 2005, she entered the Taiwan Bangzi Opera Company and her performances have beem praised by a wide audience.