World Oceans Day 2019

A local English theater production is pushing for a new lobby in Taiwan

Taipei Shorts 台北戲劇表演
Mar 22, 23 at 8 PM, March 24 at 1:30 PM

Download pdf of full program here

or Read online here

Comedy Shows are a rarity in Taiwan. Whether you are looking for classical Standup Comedy or English theater productions in general, the range of offers is quite limited.

Especially in Taipei – the place to be for most expats settling in Taiwan – the demand for English language performances arises more and more. On the other side, trained actors, writers and directors, both Taiwanese and local expats, lack the opportunity to present their talent. Although there is certainly enough capability and interest, showcases in Taiwan have remained very little in the past few years.

Foreign actors do not only have to deal with legal issues and unstable incomes, but also the whole set up for foreign theater productions is aggravated by governmental barriers. In addition, English Theater is often less accessible for the local community since most actors and directors are of foreign residency.

John Brownlie has experienced this huge gap in Taiwan at first hand. He is an actor himself and was involved in several English theater productions at the LAB space, produced and directed by Brook Hall. Taipei Shorts is his first own production and will take place at the Red Room venue three days in the row, from 22nd – 24th March. Given the challenging circumstances, John has dedicated his work to push for a new lobby for local English language theater.

‘Your Country Needs You’ finds a politician, secret service agent and a person of an impossible age, wrestling with the question, “Who are you?” – Your Country Needs You, written and directed by Shashwati Talukdar

Taipei Shorts consists of six different short plays covering a variety of themes and genres from comedic mystery “Why is John Klug here” to pensive female assassin in “The Love Drug”. John’s main purpose on choosing this format was to engage as many talents as possible. In total, 15 actors, 7 writers and 7 directors have worked on this production. All parties are either local expats or Taiwanese, willing to reach out to foreign and local communities likewise. Being involved in Taipei Shorts “gives both actors and directors a real chance to breathe life into English Theater in Taiwan”, says John.

TAIPEI SHORTS – Six Plays One Pass only at Red Room, Taipei

Entry passes can be purchased online on https://www.accupass.com/go/taipeishorts for $300NTD (students) or $400NTD (standard).

The short plays will be performed on
3/22 (Fri) 8pm, 3/23 (Sat) 8pm and 3/24 (Sun) 1:30pm
at Red Room Taipei, Jianguo S. Rd. Sec. 1 #177 (1st building on the left, 2F).

Reflections on RED 糸工

糸工 ]藝術對畫 閉幕趴Red – VD XXVI , Closing Party
展期 Date|Saturday, 2018.10.06 – 3PM – 5PM
地點 Venue|Red Room 紅坊國際村
新藝術對畫藝廊 The New Red Room Visual Dialogues Gallery

Running from September 2nd to October 6th, Red Room’s Visual Dialogues is in full swing with its inaugural exhibition, RED, in their new location. The show, a group exhibition, invited artists from across all mediums to submit works that contemplate and address Red Room’s eponymously named exhibition. Ushering in a new chapter in the history of Red Room and Visual Dialogues, the show brings together works from Red Room veterans and newcomers. Of note amongst the latter, are the Photowalkers, a group of photographers and photography enthusiasts based in Taiwan.

To those familiar with Red Room’s original location, the issues of space and presentation may linger in the imagination, especially for those tasked with curating the large and open multipurpose room. There was undoubtedly a certain charm in having a mixed performance space, gallery, community center. After all, the focus and mission of Red Room emphasizes community first above all else. Nonetheless, from this writer’s personal conversations with previous curators, the large open room and its high walls always posed a challenge. In a sense, the works were swallowed by the walls. A space with that kind of appetite could potentially become a challenge for the artists working to fill it with work.

With this in mind, the new gallery and location mitigates these issues in one easy master stroke. The gallery has its own space now. What is for now called the Visual Dialogues Gallery exists separate from Red Rooms performance area. The compartmentalization means the gallery is now more forgiving, more accommodating to the works on display. RED, a group exhibition composed of 27 different visual artists, 13 photographers, and over 40 different works, becomes the perfect exercise in space and presentation for the new location. Walls are full, works are not competing for recognition, and walls are not hungry.

Red Visual Dialogues 26 from Red Room on Vimeo.

The works themselves, in paint, in glass, in digital print, in book, in wall, in poster, in woven swing, tackle what “red” means, in all the permutations the mind can imagine. Playful works, loving works, and works that ask us to stretch our conception of this all to human color, hang democratically, side-by-side. It is no wonder such a topic can elicit such varied interpretations. One gets the sense that red is the oldest colors. A color that flows from the inside.

The closing of the show will be on October 6th, and will take the form of a take-down and party. If you did not make it to the opening, I highly recommend making time and paying Red Room a visit and checking out RED. The work, the artists, and the new space may surprise you.

Download the pdf for Visual Dialogues Artist profiles here.

Download the pdf for Photowalkers bios here.


Sean Gaffney
[email protected]

Red Room Reflections, September 2018