Taiwan Season: Solo Date

Tsai Pao-Chang
Tainaner Ensemble
Assembly George Square Studios

Tsai Pao-Chang Credit: Tainaner Ensemble

One knows after the first several minutes of being in the venue that this is going to be a remarkable theatrical experience.

Solo Date begins as a simple story of love and loss. But it become so much more than that, not just in the story but in the telling.

Blindfolded Ho-Nien has just discovered that his lover is dead. He is told to close his eyes so he can see. The information and all interaction comes from figures that are projected on a scrim attached to the front of the box that surrounds him.

As Ho tries to recover and discover Alain, his lover comes to him created as an artificial figure projected on the scrim, able to interact with Ho as if still alive and in the room. (Timing for the actor is all.) Ho is surprised and hurt at the secret life Alain had hidden from him. “Couples don't tell each other everything.”

But this is just the beginning; what we discover about the two men through the unique and provocative production values is only part of the experience. The production itself is innovative but never gets in the way of the story. It is unique blendings of the various tools that are being developed in the dizzying world of computers. This is the direction theatre is headed.

The creation of Tsai Pao-Chang and the team at Tainaner Ensemble makes a good, solid production into something memorable. This is tomorrow's theatre. Don't miss this!

Reviewer: Catherine Lamm

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