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The 7th Taishin Arts Award Performing Art Nominee
M.O.V.E. Theatre "Fable to Be, or Not to Be"

M.O.V.E. Theatre's experimental festival "Fable to Be, or Not to Be" took place on October 30 – November 1, November 6-9, 2008 at the Guling Street Theatre. In this interview, M.O.V.E.'s producer River Ren-Zhong LIN discusses the innovative production.

Fable to Be, or Not to Be is an experimental festival that combines not only individual performances, but also theatrical production, creative marketing, and integrating resources. With a cast and crew who were mostly born after 1980, it is a performance of the collective power of the younger generation.

Our inspiration came from the poll of the year's Kanji of Japan. At the end of each year, a poll is conducted in Japan to choose a Kanji—Chinese characters that are used in Japanese writing—to represent the year's events and the people's opinions and responses to both the Japanese country and the world. The idea of this poll, combined with my interest in social observation, prompted me to invite 10 performers of the younger generation to write, direct, and perform their own solo performances. In this way, we hoped to bring to the audience the attitude, values and thoughts of our generation.

The ten performers, ranging from actors, directors, singers or musicians, to dancers, each proposed one Chinese character to stand for one subject of the modern Taiwanese society, including the culture of corporal punishment, self-identification under the unique relation across the Taiwan Strait, as well as the discussion on crowd violence, mass media and gender issues.

The ten characters "泡"(bubble), "罰"(punishment), "掙"(struggle/earn), "寂" (lonesome), "忘"(forget), "勿愛"(don't), "群"(group), "絕"(desperate), "讓"(yield), and "凹" (indent)] were performed by the ten soloists such as popular female poet Shia-Shia, graffiti artist Bbrother, renowned dancer Shu-yi CHOU, Golden Bell nominated actress Hung-Yin CHOU, and illustrator Cola KING. The solos were about their own observations of political, cultural, economical, and educational social issues.

Our promotion of the Fable to Be, or Not to Be made good use of pop culture, employing the welcomed snapshots of fashion looks on the street, the products sold in the fashion market, the kuso ads, street graffiti, modern poetry, etc, and this successfully brought many visitors to the festival. We also collaborated with the fashion industry. King's art work was sold as brooches, while fashion brand USED had designed the performers' clothes. This branding helped create a sharp and fresh image that attracted a young audience. Along with the short trailer directed by Lu HUNG, director of AHead Creative CO., Fable to Be, or Not to Be successfully integrated multiple types of art, attracting the attention of both old and new audiences.

The most unique part of Fable to Be, or Not to Be, is that it is an experiment of collective creating power. Although the festival is composed of 10 solos, everyone had joined in the choosing of the 10 characters, and every individual had a part in making this festival whole. Through the language of the younger generation, our generation, we hope to communicate with the audiences of our age, and make theatrical production something that's "in" and also fun. I believe our efforts had paid off; we made it, and that's my greatest achievement in the experience.

-----As told to Susan Kendzulak

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