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ERIC Number: EJ979833
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-1356-9783
Localising People's Theatre in East Asia: Performing Hakka Women and Pear-Growers on Taiwan's Fault Line
Liang, Peilin
Research in Drama Education, v17 n3 p377-396 2012
Since the 1960s and 1970s, theatre artists from around the globe initiated a wave of theatre practice that is commonly known today as People's Theatre or Theatre for Empowerment. Transforming its participants from being mere "spectactors" to "spect-actors" capable of articulating their concerns on-stage, the ultimate goal of such theatre is to bring about social change to the daily reality of its practitioners. Beginning in the latter part of the twentieth century, People's Theatre has exerted a profound influence on the development of contemporary theatre in East Asia. First introduced to Taiwan in 1990, the methodologies of People's Theatre have been rapidly adapted by various socially conscientious and politically committed theatre groups. Taking the case of Shigang Mama Theatre Company ([image omitted]), this paper aims to examine the localisation of People's Theatre in the (post)colonial and post-martial context of Taiwan. Consisting of Hakka housewives and pear-growers, Shigang Mama Theatre Company was initially established in 2000 to help its members with psychological recuperation after the catastrophic 9-21 Earthquake in 1999. Through People's Theatre, the members of the company have been transformed from being victims of the earthquake to women storytellers of their own lives on the stage. Focusing on the company's last major production, "Pear Blossoms," this study aims to examine the localisation of People's Theatre techniques in relation to the company's treatment of language and bodies during the rehearsal process, and how such theatre practices have subsequently shaped the company members' identity and self-perception. This study suggests that in the current practice of People's Theatre in Taiwan, far greater attention has been given to the liberation of the physical than the language aspect of its performer. Local resistance through theatre can only be at its most powerful when imported theatre practices are fully adapted with the bodily and linguistic specificity of its practitioners taken into consideration. (Contains 4 figures and 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Taiwan