Theater, Your Otherworldly Connection
Written by Weiwuying Residency Artist CHOU Shu-yi
When you say, "This is such a disappointing and infuriating show!" It means that you are in a different world than that of the show: you cannot connect with it; it does not speak to you, and there is a tremendous distance between you. However, when you like a show, your relationship with it is an intimate one. There is a private understanding and an indescribable and empowering feeling in your body and soul like a firm embrace. The theater is a wondrous and extreme world facilitated by humans. A world whose complexity and disorder are controllable, its beauty and emotion creatable. A world divided.
Recently, I have walked into the theater in different capacities, as a choreographer and a performer. One thinks off stage, the other interprets on stage; one sees the whole picture, the other feels through action. When the two roles become one, you experience the world through another dimension! The theater exists between reality and fantasy. To reach it, everything seemingly fictional should undergo a great deal of life-based simulation. Besides productions, performers, and audiences, other roles also inhabit the theater, such as sounds, stage lighting and space, costumes, the stage manager overseeing order, and many others who play an essential part behind the scenes.
When you enter the theater, the front-of-house staff greets you, and you meet your fellow audience members. At the end of the show, everyone exits at the same pace. During the curtain call, while everyone vigorously applauds, you softly weep. The theater is like a small, artificial, and complex planet filled with contradictions and conflicts. Still, it rationally sorts out the madness that may erupt at any moment. Time is experienced differently in the theater. While your wristwatch may tell you the actual time, you may also be carried away by the spectacle on stage and disappear in an instant. No matter what role you take on in the theater, you do not finish alone or get stuck in the same part, just like the relationship between a person and society, though arbitrary, is firmly in possession of one another.
By walking into the theater, a life can examine itself from another form and perspective. By purchasing a ticket, you enter another world connected to you and allow yourself to slowly relate to everything on stage. Whether you like the show or not, your world will be changed by this experience.
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