Taking the life story and writings of Sylvia Plath as a point of departure, this piece probes the relationship between death and creative work. The script uses refined, poetic language and is full of deep philosophical examinations. The actors are extremely capable, and through a precise grasp of performance they turn the theater into a dense body space. A sloped stage adds to the expression of life's uneasiness. Different from earlier narrative dance, the director uses language, body and space to construct a poem from a symbolic system. Aside from formal aesthetics that leave one watching with a breathless gaze, this work is an experiment in the possibilities of the relationships of the writer, director and actors. Committee member: Yu-Pin LIN
Hsu Yen-Ling x Sylvia Plath
Shakespeare's Wild Sisters Group's (SWSG) play Hsu Yen-Ling × Sylvia Plath performed at Taipei National University of the Arts on April 17, 2008, features actress Yen-Ling HSU who plays numerous roles: poet Sylvia Plath, Plath’s inner voices, and various people Plath had encountered.
Set on the eve of Plath's suicide and based on her poem Fever 103 (1962), the play contrasts Plath’s life story with her writings. The poet’s world was filled with darkness and pain, yet her glimpses of joy and humor are incisive. The play explores the route from literature to theatre conveyed with experimentation with language. Hsu sings, hums, murmurs, talks and babbles creating audio sounds that juxtapose languages and words.
The austere stage set contained two chairs face-to-face to conjure up an oppressive interrogation chamber. The chamber also shifts to a psychiatrist's office and to an intimate bedroom. A pool is beneath the stage symbolizing creation and death. Additionally, video cameras are set on the wall, ceiling, and floor, to catch Hsu's live performance from different angles, and to capture the almost undetectable changes of her actions. The microphone becomes one of the key elements because Hsu's voice is virtualized, amplified, and produces the stress raised by the cacophony of sounds. Through the combination of the pre-recording and synchronic images, the play then becomes an experience of echoes, confrontations, and dislocations.
About Shakespeare's Wild Sisters Group (SWSG)
Founded in 1995, Shakespeare's Wild Sisters Group (SWSG) participates in theater festivals locally and abroad. Most of SWSG's members come from the Drama Club of National Taiwan University (NTU) and the Linear Theater Group, comprised of students from the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature of the Night School of NTU.
In 1995, SWSG made their debut with A Boring Life, written and directed by its chief creative artist Ying-Chuan WEI. SWSG strives to produce two or more new productions annually. Currently the group plans to tour Taiwan and to develop educational theater activities while actively engaging in national cultural politics.