The Well of Words, May 2018

Stage Time & Wine 100 from Red Room on Vimeo.

The Well of Words
Memories from ninety-nine Stage Time & Wines

On the 16th June, Red Room will host its 100th Stage Time & Wine. This milestone represents over eight years of events hosted by Red Room, an ever-growing community, and an ever-stronger ‘culture of listening’. If you have been to Red Room before, it is likely you have felt the special kind of energy that resonates from the walls. If you haven’t visited Red Room yet, the 100th Stage Time & Wine may be the perfect opportunity for you to feel it for yourself.

“Stage Time & Wine is a build-your-own event where each participant is invited to contribute to the creation of the evening”

Ayesha Mehta, Red Room Co-founder

Anything can be shared within the Red Room: voices, stories, poems, songs, instruments, dances, ideas, memories, sounds, murmurs, silence. At the heart of Red Room is a ‘culture of listening’, so I believe it would most appropriate if we share the words of others in this article. I have rummaged in the Red Room archives and unearthed memories, personal experiences and voices from ninety-nine Stage Time & Wines.

In the beginning: an idea

Red Room was born from words. It all began with a conversation between Ayesha Mehta and Ping Chu when a fortuitous rainshower caused their paths to cross in Dulan, Taidung in 2009. This conversation planted a seed, which released its roots into the Taipei artistic community and began uniting individuals with a common passion.

“In this web-connected world we live in today, we have stopped practicing deep listening and are losing the human connection on the personal level. We are busy doing, not being. Being allows us to grow and feel the bliss we are all capable of experiencing.”

This is the vision that Ayesha shared with Ping. Her dream of creating a ‘listening space’ was the building block upon which Red Room could grow. Ayesha’s seedling of an idea sparked an interest and inspired others. Before long, a group of friends gathered to plan an event where participants could express themselves freely and listen deeply to each other. Ayesha’s brother, Manav, came up with the name ‘Stage Time & Wine’.

The first Stage Time & Wine took place in the Learning Kitchen. As Roma Mehta described it, the friends “put things together”; they experimented with the space, hung up shawls as stage curtains, created a ‘bar’ through each sharing what they had, and then hoped people would come along to enjoy the evening. Nobody could have predicted that the event would take off in the way it did.

Stage Time & Wine 1

“We didn’t really plan for Red Room to be what it’s become. It’s grown every year. We definitely didn’t know when we were sitting around the table what Red Room would become.” (Charles Haines’ memory of Red Room’s creation)

“The first Stage Time & Wine event was filled with laughter, raucousness, honesty and a room full of strangers entering into intimacy and giving towards each other.” (Ayesha Mehta)

Words of Red Roomers: what does Red Room mean to you?
“It’s the shaky rushy feeling that washes over me when I step up to the microphone.” (Rose Goossen)

“We’ll embrace it, applaud it and dream with it when the night ends.” (Leah List)

“When we were introduced to Red Room, it was like a door opened… to myself.” (Ruth Landowne Giordano)

“The act of sharing my work and listening to others recharged my battery every month.” (Daniel Black)

“If we can make people feel, if we can be REAL, even for a moment, by giving form to our creativity then we have achieved something.” (Trevor Trebotski Tortomasi)

“At the core, it is about restoring the lost spoken word and creative expression, sharing, and listening.”

(Ping Chu, Red Room Co-Founder)

“The word artist holds no boundaries, it’s not marked by a mustache or a hat…”
(Extract from a Red Room poem by Manav Mehta)

Constance Woods’ memory of a young woman sharing a love letter at Stage Time and Wine: “A frisson of a moment sparkled through the room.”

Emily Loftis’ memory of painting Ping’s shirt in an interactive stage time performance: “You don’t have to be an artist to understand the simple pleasure of spreading paint over canvas. But there was something more to this experience as well. Ping was doing exactly what Red Room offers everyone who comes through its doors: an invitation to leave your mark.”

Beyond the four walls: Red Room’s social impact

Like a pebble thrown into a pond, Red Room has stirred up a rippling effect across the Taipei artistic community. Conversations happen in the Red Room. We feed off each others’ energy and inspire one another to take our ambitions further. We collaborate, form bands, put on plays, create art together.

“Together we did create a community or a tribe of like minded people who want to participate in something bigger than themselves.”
(Ping Chu)

Red Room has provided a platform for young artists to experiment, find their unique style and put their work out there. “They help promote the young artists who otherwise would probably have difficulties doing so… We support one another. It’s all about contributing to the community.”
(Faye Angevine)


Stepping into the Red Room is also the beginning of an individual, internal journey; we are dared to take risks and to be real. “Red Room is mesmerizing. Now I can dream bigger, feel better and aim higher than before.” (Tina Ma)

Looking forward
What surprises will the 100th Stage Time & Wine have instore for us? The Red Room team have an ambitious aim to involve 100 performers for the 100th gathering… and there will surely be 100 glasses of wine to accompany! Gather with us and share this precious moment, cherish the open platform for expression, and add your voice to the well of words.

What is the origin of the name Red Room?

The Red Room was essentially named as a feeling. It turned out the room that I imagined to be ‘red’ was in fact very very ‘green’ … but in my memory there was a warmth, a character somewhat crimson and understated. After coming up with the event name of ‘Stage Time and Wine’, I suppose the wine itself bled into my mind, a seeping stain that could in some way support the activities that would happen within. Why house a single event as a room in a greater space? Perhaps an intuition or a hope of things to come, of more rooms having opportunity to build themselves and nestle within the scaffolding. Stories tend to unfold in red rooms.

Ayesha Mehta, Co-Founder Red Room
Founder Ayama Music
18 July 2017

Image: Co-founder Ayesha at one of the early Stage Time & Wine events.

Performers, Aside @ the Red Room 3, June 2013

This month at Aside we witness a shift on our view of personal expression within the arts. Each presenter will share with us their individual and unique story as an artist, whether it be through drama, prose, music or dance.
This select group of presenters at ‘Aside’ have found inspiration and have in turn inspired others in their field of expertise. They use their art and creativity to spread the possibility of social change. At ‘Aside’, you will have the opportunity to engage in their passion in a more intimate setting, and to experience their work. The purpose? To connect with other people and organizations with similar ideas.

The Performers

Claire Daelin



Claire attended a clown school and was named “Extra Stinky, Extra Sticky, the Disaster”. Once upon a time, she was an exam-addict and Taiwan’s superstar test-taker with the highest College Entrance Exam score in the Science category. She studied Electrical Engineering at the National Taiwan University because the national ranking said so. Alas, she graduated top 10 but can’t fix any electronic to save her life. She pretended to research Decision Psychology at Columbia University with a $300,000 fellowship and authored papers which put many insomniacs to sleep. Theater training and performing helped her admit the bloody truth that she is not who she pretended to be. Claire hosted a kids’ TV show (which was why she became allergic to kids). She was last seen at the “normal job” scene as the Director of Innovation Partnership Program and CEO’s special assistant at X PRIZE. To help young people gain courage to pursue their passion and niche, she’s writing School Detox: A Manual for Young Superheroes Learning to Be Awesome. She hosts a web show called My First (where passionate people talk about their “firsts”). She’s building School for the Curious.

Connect with Claire at

About the performance:

Seeking Out Loud is Claire’s first original monologue. It’s an intimate look into her personal search for answers to the age-old question of mortality and the resulting loneliness.


Sangpuy Katatepan Mavaliyw 桑布伊



Sangpuy Katatepan Mavaliyw, comes from Katatipul Village, an ancient Pinuyumayan tribe where mountain meets ocean in southeastern Taiwan’s Taitung County. A singer with an immemorial voice hiding in his young shell. When he was a child, the clear, distant sound of his grandfather singing left a deep impression on him and he began to sing the songs of Katatipul.

Face Book:

About the performance:
When the night has come, the bonfire is bursting, the breeze is softly sweeping through treetops, and the smoke is spiraling with the wind. You don’t need the clamorous music at such peaceful moment, the only thing you need is tranquility. Let Sangpuy’s unique voice bring you back to the origin, and cure your soul.


Katie Partlow


Katie Partlow is a theatre artist originally from Washington State in the US.  She’s lived in Taiwan since 2001, working as both a bilingual performer, director and writer as well as a consultant on cross-cultural work.  Living in Changhua County for her first 7 years here, where she honed her Mandarin and cross-cultural communication skills, Katie eventually moved to Taipei in 2008 to study for an MFA in acting from Taipei University of the Arts.  Since then, Katie has worked on many projects with artists both locally and abroad, including being an educator and performer for Song Song Song Children’s Theatre (九歌兒童劇團) and the English editor and translator for the Taipei Fringe Festival. In 2011, she founded her own theatre companies: Solo Taiwan Theatre (說了台灣劇團) and Little Friends Theatre (小朋友劇團). Katie strongly believes that as globalization becomes more and more dominant in our everyday lives, learning how to communicate with and understand different cultural perspectives becomes necessary to improving human life.   Performance art grows out of basic human cultural behaviors like dance, song and storytelling, and as such  is a hugely useful tool in cross-cultural communication.

About the performance

Katie will be sharing her relationship with performance art and how it intersects with everyday life.

Rene Kamm


Rene Kamm (aka Ren aka Antithesis) is an emcee, poet and producer. He represents one half of the rap duo Ren & Miles and is a founding member of the Legendary Chronic Crew, Coastal Connections Conglomerate and the Rhyme Crookz of Taipei. He has two EPs available for free download at

About the performance:

Freestyle: off-the-top, unrehearsed, improvised. Whatever you want to call it. I have no idea what words I’ll be kicking, but be sure that they will rhyme and it will engage. As Rakim said, “MC to me means Move the Crowd.”



Tina Ma

Tina Ma, Aside4


Like most artists, in younger days Tina was a Taiwanese hippy, rebelling against anything that interfered with her free will. She loved playing the guitar and learned American music while participating in all the social movements when Taiwan was seeking its identity in the early 80s.

After 30 years, she knows that the voice and sound must come from her own ground and soil now. Having explored different art forms, she has finally chosen telling Taiwanese stories through songs from the ancient Chinese to current days, and to follow her bliss…

She likes to see herself as someone who uses this ancient musical instrument – moon guitar, to share shamanic spirits from nature and folklore of the mother earth. The instrument is two stringed, but says a lot in a simple ways, as most of life’s wisdom does.

Tina 是她英文名,

About the performance:

《彈琴》: 劉長卿

Tang poetry / playing the Guqing: Liu Changqing;

“Emotionless the mood of ‘seven-strings’;
In tranquility, I savor the chilly tone of the ancient melody: ‘Wind through the pines.’;
I am one who loves the ancient tunes;
There are few now who can play them.”

Recently I encountered this ancient instrument, and it has become my love.  Although I can not really master the skills I try to learn from the
unknown notes kept from Tang Dynasty, nothing I have seen before.
Love to show you my vulnerability in my limited
control of this forgotten ancient self expression.



Lai, Pei-Hsia

  • Ph. D Candidate, International Affair College, Jinan University, China
    Publisher, Amazing Magazine, Writer
    Author, 《回家,The Courage of Coming Home》
    Psychiatric Counselor / Corporate Trainer
    Musician / TV and Radio hostess / Artist / Photographer

In 1984, Pei-Hsia released her first personal album “Freeze My Love”.  Later, she was invited by the Christian Rehabilitation Fellowship to participate in the Rehabilitation Education Promotion Program. In this program, Pei-Hsia had the opportunities to visit many juvenile prisons, adult prisons for men and for women, and halfway homes, throughout Taiwan.

Everyone of these places Pei-Hsia went, had encountered one after another life story of love and tears, that had deeply shocked this young freshman who has just entered the real world.  These extra-ordinary life experiences not only opened Pei-Hsia’s perspective of soul, but also led her into a deeper thinking and expectation on the subject of life.

As she got older, her exploring and researching of human nature gets deeper and deeper, and her expectation of it is also getting grander. After all, everyone is longing for “being loved and understood”.  With the extra bit of patience, we will be able to help others, and to iron out all the pains and trauma in our life.


Ayesha Mehta

Ayesha Mehta is a performer and creative collaborator. She is the co-founder of Red Room (Taiwan), a monthly event that brings together local communities to share their voices, and explore the art of listening. Ayesha has a deep connection with Taiwan where she grew up before moving to Australia and still considers Taipei her home.

  1. Ayesha is a professional vocalist who has performed jazz, contemporary, and experimental sound works in Australia and internationally. Since graduating with Bachelor Degree in Music and vocal performance from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Ayesha has been teaching voice and sharing her passion for music in Sydney, Melbourne, India and Taiwan.

About the performance:

Ayesha will be performing select songs from the Johnny Mercer songbook.

Connect with Ayesha at

29 June 2013, Aside@the Red Room

aside-headerThe Red Room, organizer of Stage Time & Wine, cordially invites you to
Aside @ the Red Room

Date: Saturday, June 29th, 2013
Time: 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Venue: Learning Kitchen (above Third Place Aveda Salon) : No. 117, 2F, Da An Road, Taipei 北市大安路一段 117號2F.

Join us for Red Room’s exclusive event “Aside” featuring seven performers

This month at Aside we witness a shift on our view of personal expression within the arts. Each presenter will share with us their individual and unique story as an artist, whether it be through drama, prose, music or dance.
This select group of presenters at ‘Aside’ have found inspiration and have in turn inspired others in their field of expertise. They use their art and creativity to spread the possibility of social change. At ‘Aside’, you will have the opportunity to engage in their passion in a more intimate setting, and to experience their work. The purpose? To connect with other people and organizations with similar ideas.

Opening: 朱平 Ping Chu, founder of Canmeng Aveda.
Master of Ceremonies: Manav Mehta


Katie Partlow
Claire Daelin
Sangpuy 桑布伊
Tammy Hsieh
Tina Ma
Ayesha Mehta
Rene Kamm

Tickets NTD500 each. Limited seating. Reservations required.
Please contact Manav Mehta to confirm your attendance:
Cell: 0910 947 307 Email: <>

Refreshments will be provided. Floor seating so please dress comfortably.

Supported and sponsored by

ripplem 肯夢aveda_Logo_out 99 NONZERO LOGO


The Red Room is a not-for-profit platform for creating community; for time to develop a culture of listening to each other, and what is around us. Our events are explorative, and have no separation between audience and performer.

The Song Room

rr songroom 0613 mastImagine finding the words and music within yourself to create a song that is truly yours. Within all people there exists a unique melody and message to share.
Let us help you capture it!

The Song Room – featuring international guests Red Room co-founder Ayesha Mehta and music producer Arik Blum.

The Red Room is offering 10 lucky people the chance to develop their songwriting  over the course of 3 workshops with internationally acclaimed writer/music producer Arik Blum and professional vocal coach Ayesha Mehta.

All participants will walk away with invaluable tools help them unlock their inner songwriter as well as an original track with their own voice and their own words.

3 day Red Room Songwriting Workshop for NTD 5400 includes:

  • Lyric writing
  • Stream of Consciousness
  • Lyric and Melody Writing
  • Songwriting
  • Group vocal coaching
  • One on One recording

Dates: 19, 20, 21 June 2013

Time: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Venue: Jeff Ukulele Studio Rm. 10, 12F., No.50, Sec. 1, Zhongxiao W. Rd., Zhongzheng Dist., Taipei City 10041, Taiwan 10041台北市中正區忠孝西路一段50號12F-10

For registration and more information, please contact  Manav Mehta 0910947307 / e:  or Jeff Uke 0988284572 / 2-2370-7880

試著想像… 透過探索屬於妳自己專屬的文字和音樂,來創作一首歌,並且欣賞其他參與者獨特旋律和歌詞分享的環境,是個

紅房 (Red Room) 提供10位幸運朋友們擁有這樣的機會,透過三堂工作坊由廣受好評的作家 / 音樂製作人Arik Blum以及專業聲樂教練Ayesha Mehta的指導,來練習創作寫自己的歌。


  • 歌詞創作
  • 音樂主流意識
  • 歌詞和旋律寫作
  • 歌曲創作
  • 聲樂教練
  • 對一錄音 (3 day workshop plus a recorded track to take home – 5,400NTD).

Intermediate level translation from English to Mandarin will be available upon request.

日期: 2013年6月19, 20, 21日 時間: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
地點: Jeff Ukulele Studio 傑夫烏克麗麗學苑 台北市忠孝西路一段50號12樓之10
報名及詳情請洽:Manav 馬那夫 0910947307 / email: /
Jeff Uke 0988284572 / 2-2370-7880

Red Room 1st birthday, by Ping Chu

Shared at Red Room’s first birthday celebration at Hua Shan Culture Park.

Wow, a small ripple has become a big wave. 
I would like to salute Roma by sharing a poem by Christina Rossetti:

“Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you.
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I.
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.”

Character is like the wind.  You don’t see it until it passes through.

In the past month, I have seen many people show their character with selfless commitment to plan this Red Room birthday.

One person, in particular, is Roma.  She is the Mistress of the Red Room.  She knew she would not be able to attend this celebration and she still worked out the details and took on many tasks until the last moments before she leaves for India.

I also want to single out one person, Ayesha. She is in Australia now. Without her, there will be no Red Room. ( Roma and Ayesha, this applause is for you. )

Today, I also want to share a quote from Joseph Campbell:

“People say that what we are all seeking is a meaning for life.. I think that what we are seeking is an experience of being alive.”

Here, at Red Room, We are after the sense of being alive and the pursuit of an adventure.

Every Red Room night has made me feel more alive.

Thank you, Red Room.

Happy First Birthday, Red Room

~ Ping Chu, Co-founder Red Room