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2003- 2nd Annual  Taishin Arts Awards Finalists
Performance Workshop Theatre Taiwan[ Mumble Jumble ]
Taishin Bank Foundation for Arts and Culture

Title of the Project: Mumble Jumble 
Date of Premier: Nov 28, 2003
Venue of Premier: Experimental Theatre of National Theatre
Production Company: Performance Workshop Theatre Taiwan

Besides lecturing on the Western drama, Professor Stan Lai has been trying to introduce the Greek comedy to Taiwan. In 2003, the leading actors of the Performance Workshop Theatre Taiwan (PWTT), including Ismene Nai-chang Ting, Chen Lihua, Edward Lam and Mathias Woo cooperated with the Arts Centre in Hong Kong to stage the sitcom of Giligulu:Eat, Money, Man, Woman. This sitcom was a huge success. Aspired by this sitcom, Stan Lai combined its spirit with the collaborative improvisation talents of the PWTT to create another play, Mumble Jumble, catering to the local audience in Taiwan. The whole play does not have a complete storyline. Seven actors are facing different situations or topics, including the graduation trip, Xiao Lin, identity, globalization, flashmob, learning dialects, feeling, prison, in-depth traveling, and the last KTV. Each character alternates to play in a seemingly inconsecutive yet poetic and picturesque scene. However, they do lively present the vigorous life of different stages in this small island of Taiwan.

Stan Lai once more showed his skillful manipulation with the language and rhythm of theatre. While adapted from the original work by Mathias Woo from Hong Kong, this play turned out to be a parody and satire of the present Taiwan by means of several profoundly elaborated sequences that possessed various forms and simple concepts. Behind the clever entertainment, the simple linguistic elements put together powerful compassionate feelings, pointing out precisely the unique phenomena caused by democracy, wealthiness, injustice, metropolitan anxiety, and cultural identity.

In “Mumble Jumble”, we went back to political and social critique to bring theatre back to its roots as social forum. We also went back to open-ended structure as a challenge to playwriting. We stepped boldly forward in experimenting with a visual style, using projections of words and a digital word-screen, that didn’t at first fit with the performance style( alienating vs. engaging). That it all came together to create a new visual and emotional experience, and that we are being nominated for this prestigious award, is encouragement indeed, encouragement to continue to break new ground, and to keep theatre’s role as the conscience of society. (by Stan Lai)

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