“How do so many directors direct together?”

This is a frequent question. After six years of the launch of the World Wide Lab, we are still sticking to the spirit of collaboration, hoping that the possibility of collective creation might be achieved step by step.

From 2011 to 2015, we brought the World Wide Lab to reality at the Watermill Center and Brooklyn in New York, Rome in Italy and Syros in Greece. Each year directors fly to a city in one small corner of the world to work together for a creative collaboration lasting three to four weeks. We did this spontaneously. No one’s forcing us. Despite all the difficulties, despite the unreasonable nature of the project, upon the start of our next Word Wide Lab, we will still gather our luggage and fly to another destination.

Lots of people have come to our help along the way, while just as many questioning voices have poured in. Sometimes we even long for an ending, to spare ourselves another year of struggling together. Yet, gods have forbidden that. Challenges keep coming every year. They prove to be appealing to us, and again and again we keep making the impossible come true.

For those who have once done collaborative production, the most common manner is for directors to share the same topic and to each represent it in turn on the stage. Or some will bring their local productions to other countries in exchange for works made in those countries to come to theirs. This is quite common in cultural exchange programs. Creators watch other’s works courteously, sharing them and learning from them.

In the World Wide Lab, however, we literally keep ourselves inside a rehearsal room and direct several different pieces simultaneously. You will also find several directors directing the same scene at one time. We share the process of rehearsal and creation, whether it’s good or bad, chaotic or systematic, logical and rational or sentimental and sensual.

The so-called “co-directing” is not equal to directors’ directing a play one after the other. Instead, it requires the directors’ co-presence, and is at once spiritual, technical and physical. In the past 5 years, two or three directors co-directed one piece or play to refine our cooperative skills. We have constantly pitched questions, ignited sparks of innovation, and searched for the solution that will work best, or even better, suit everyone’s needs. With five years of adjustment, the true meaning of “co-directing” gradually generates new essence.

At World Wide Lab 2016 in Taiwan, we have challenged ourselves with many firsts: Our first time in Asia, our first time of co-directing one production by all the directors together, our first time of giving “site-specific performance” a try, our first time of doing ensemble work with all our 26 actors, and our first time to include a group of multi-lingual actors. (In the past we only worked with the local actors. This year we create an opportunity for the foreign actors to rehearse with the local ones.) This year, we have in total ten countries, ten different cultural backgrounds, and ten different mother tongues circulating in our rehearsal room. And we have cooperated with a public educational institution. We selected several actors from National Taiwan University of Arts to train together with other professional and foreign actors. We have connected ourselves with 435 Art Zone in Banqiao in New Taipei City and to the local culture. The ESP-I Performing Arts Group in Taiwan is in charge of the curating of performance and workshops, and the efforts the whole team has invested have reached a new height.

The name of our production this year is In Transit. It is an original work. “Trauma” and “healing” are our two themes. We have discussed “Trauma” through three dimensions: How do we deal with trauma? How do we talk about it? How is trauma passed on from one generation to another?

While revealing trauma, we will also be healed. Yet, how should trauma be “said” without creating a second injury? How could we transit those “moments” in association with trauma? Those moments when trauma can be talked about or cannot; those moments when we are not sure what to do; those moments when things seem to have faded out but emotions cannot be pacified; those moments when deep inside the body somewhere is still aching. We should have the courage to go on, as long as occasionally more support and understanding can be bestowed upon us. With the cross-cultural working platform established by World Wide Lab, we earned more chances to know and to listen to others, understanding how other cultures face their moments when they come. During this process, we are inspired, and this inspiration becomes our nutrients and materials for creative production. Hence, we have been determined that we shall lead our ensemble to locate a universal language belonging to our transnational members, a form of representation that will go beyond regional language and will incorporate our thoughts about trauma and healing.

In Transit is shaped not only by languages or narratives, but by the historical background of 435 Art Zone, the multiple traces imprinted by the contemporary and old Taiwanese society, as well as our most intimate personal stories. All of them will be uncovered in this arena where we do our production.

Perhaps, just at this moment when this article is still being written, many of our hidden stories are still being excavated and harbored inside our rehearsal room. Before too long, however, we will definitely be integrated into a piece of production that can be better said, better understood, and less constrained by lingual boundaries. We will see you then!

by Jocelyn Yuchia Chang, Taiwan
(Translated by Yu-Ting Kao)

Time | 2016/11/12-13 PM2:00
Venue | 435 Art Zone in Banqiao (No.435, Zhongzheng Rd., Banqiao Dist., New Taipei City 220, Taiwan)
Directors | World Wide Lab
Performers | All the crew of World Wide Lab 2016 in Taiwan
Curator | ESP-I Performing Arts Group
Co-Organizer | ESP-I Performing Arts Group, National Taiwan University of Arts, Banqiao 435 Art Zone
Free tickets.

文/張育嘉 Jocelyn Y. Chang








「國際導演實驗室2016年在台灣」,我們挑戰了更多新的第一次。我們第一次來亞洲,我們第一次要所有導演共同完成一個作品,我們第一次挑戰場域性創作演出(site-specific),我們第一次跟26個演員合作ensamble work,我們第一次擁有多重語言的演員群(過去我們只跟當地演員工作,今年我們接受了海外演員與當地演員同時一起排練)。今年我們總共來自十個國家,十種不同的文化背景,有十種不同的母語在排練場裡出現。同時今年我們也與教育單位合作,我們從台灣藝術大學中甄選出部分的演員,與其他專業演員和外國演員一起訓練、排練;我們與板橋435藝文特區合作,與在地文化連結;並且由台灣的找我劇場製作策劃整個演出和工作坊。整體團隊投入的規模,也是比歷年要成長許多。

今年的演出劇碼「In Transit (穿越)」,是完全的原創作品。我們以「創傷」與「療癒」為主題,從三種不同的層次來討論「創傷」這個議題:我們如何面對創傷?我們如何討論創傷?創傷如何透過我們代代傳承?

揭露創傷我們同時獲得療癒,但是如何「說」才不至於導致二度傷害?我們要如何穿越這些跟創傷有關的「時刻」?那些可說或說不出口的時刻;那些不知該如何是好的時刻;那些事過境遷後無法平復的時刻;那些儲存在體內深處時不時隱隱作痛的時刻。我們要能夠有勇氣去走向下一步,有時候只是需要一點點的支持和理解,但是透過「國際導演實驗室」所創造出來的跨文化工作平台,我們多了些機緣去理解、去聆聽其他人、其他文化如何面對這些時刻。而在我們理解與聆聽的過程中,獲得許多的啟發,這些啟發成為我們創作的養分和素材,我們也因此決定帶領我們的ensemble團隊,一起來找出屬於這個跨國創作團隊的「共同語言」(universal language),一個超越地域性語言的表現形式,將我們對創傷和療癒的想法放入我們作品裡。

「In Transit」(穿越)這個作品,並不單單只是透過言語或故事來形塑,而是包含了創作場域板橋435藝文特區他的歷史背景,台灣當今的社會和過去的種種所遺留下的來痕跡,還有我們很私密、很個人的故事在這場域裡頭被揭露出來。


劇名|IN TRANSIT (穿越)
時間|2016年11月12-13日   PM2:00
形式|場域特定創作(Site-specific performance)
編導|國際導演實驗室(World Wide Lab)




This entry was posted on November 6, 2016 by .
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