The Word from R4

The Monkey King at Stage Time and Juice XXIII (May 20, 2017)

Six kids, aged 6 – 12 plus two fathers plus two adults with performing experience joined forces to depict the opening scenes of the epic legend: The Journey to the West.
With words, our expressive bodies, music and a few found objects, we presented a rendition of the origin of The Monkey King from the ancient Chinese tale.

The children creatively used their bodies and voices in expressive interpretive dance to depict Chaos (before the Earth was formed), then the planets and, finally, the Immortal Stone from which the Stone Monkey was born. Then the players transformed into the animals who greeted the Stone Monkey and then again into the monkeys who eventually became the subjects of the Handsome Monkey King.

Full album can be viewed here:
Stage Time & Juice 23:Monkeys and Mischief

According to legend, as the monkeys played in a stream, they wondered where the water came from. They followed the stream to a waterfall. We used a length of pale blue fabric, leading it out across and around the playing area. The fathers held one end up high to create the image of a waterfall while the children ducked under: playing in the “water”.
Most of the spoken words came from our Narrators but the children had key lines that gave the performance life and moved the story along.

Our music sources were recordings of traditional Chinese bamboo flute and guzheng, contemporary Japanese sound-collage and the Big Band (1940’s American Swing) classic “Sing, Sing, Sing.”

The young lad who took the title role, wrote the following reflection on his experience:

It was mind boggling to mEEE just dancing around and actually be King and do this amazing stuff! My favorite parts are jumping in and out from the waterfall and when they say “Long live our great king!”. It was fun in many ways! The top three of my favorite things in this Monkey King production are: 1. Muffins, 2. Rehearsals, 3. Having fun doing everything. I like Ms. Ruth shows us how to do teamwork, we had a good team. I learned how to remember lines and do the theatrics. I also learned how to move around projecting my voice. I love to share my ideas with everybody, too. Of course, I love to do this again, because there were cupcakes and muffins, AND because I can participate in the performance. I like to perform, and I want to do another performance in the next one. ~ Max

Two additional performing Juicers wrote about their experiences. You can read them here…”

And, finally, a drawing by Juicer Charlotte Jade

And that’s the eNews for May 2017
from the Red Room, the culture of listening and sharing.

Hello from the sound crew of the Monkey King!

The Word from R4, April – May 2017

Looking back…
Stage Time and Juice 22
Three young performers (under 10-yrs old) joined several over-thirties to sound out Chapter 7: “A Mad Tea Party” from the world-famous ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND at Stage Time & Juice March 18.

Looking ahead…
Preparations continue for a reading of CHIMES at MIDNIGHT. CHIMES is based on an Orson Welles screenplay which follows the career of one of Shakespeare’s beloved fools, Sir John Falstaff through his (mis)-adventures in and around the lives of King Henry IV and V. We expect to read the script aloud in time for the Bard’s Birthday in late April.

Several projects are underway as I write:

I’m scheduled to return to the ICRT studio this week to complete post-production of our recording of A Most Dangerous Game, a short story by American writer Richard Connell. The story came out in 1924. It’s theme, man hunting man to the death, has been revisited in plays, movies, books and radio drama throughout the decades since its publication.

Our live reading of Chimes at Midnight was on the 20th of April, in time to celebrate the 453rd anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth (and, as legend has it, his death). Our script was adapted for us from the Orson Welles screenplay of the same name. The scenes are taken from several of Shakespeare’s plays, most notably Henry lV, parts 1 & 2. Throughout the play, we follow the career of Sir John Falstaff and his relationship with Prince Hal, heir to the throne of England.

R4 will represent itself at the up-coming Spectacular Atrophy event with a sound collage made up of materials drawn from George Orwell’s 1984. Several voices will read aloud and music will be incorporated to suit the mood.

Finally, preparations are underway to greet a new group of Stage Time and Juicers for fun with theatre games. We’ll be workshopping a new telling of a few episodes of the story of the Monkey King, drawn from the most recent translation of The Journey to the West.

Ruth Giordano

10 March 2017 故事分享之夜 三月份 Round Table Read – Aloud

Red Room Radio Redux (R4) invites you to …

紅房大聲說: 小氣財神
時間: 8 pm – 10 pm
日期: 2017.3.10
地點: 紅房國際村 (空總創新基地)
入場費: 費用:隨喜

Time: 8 pm – 10 pm
Date: March 10. 2017

This month’s theme is Shakespeare On Love.
We’ll also be reading a script compiled from scenes from Shakespeare’s history plays: “Chimes at Midnight” the story of Jack Falstaff.

Venue: Red Room International Village TAF

No microphones, no special effects.

9 February 2017, R4 Round Table Read – Aloud 故事分享之夜

R4 Round Table Read – Aloud 故事分享之夜
Thursday, February 9 at 8 PM – 10 PM

Red Room Radio Redux (R4) invites you to …

紅房大聲說: 小氣財神
時間: 8 pm – 10 pm
日期: 2017.2.9
地點: 紅房國際村 (空總創新基地)
入場費: 費用:隨喜

Time: 8 pm – 10 pm
Date: February 9. 2017
Venue: Red Room International TAF
Your Patronage: Pay-by-Value

No microphones, no special effects.

21 January 2017, STJuice XXI: Aesop’s and Other Tales

STAGE TIME AND JUICE at the Red Room XXII: Aesops and Other Tales

Let’s kick off the new year by sharing a little of life’s wisdom! We invite everyone to come and take the stage for 5 minutes to share something funny or wise with a song, dance, joke, or story!

There will be a signup sheet at the door for those who wish to share. Everyone else is welcome to sit back and enjoy the companionship.

Ruth Giordano, director of Red Room Radio Redux, will also lead a group of Juicers in relating several of Aesop’s fables.

In order to lighten everyone’s load, we will no longer be hosting our community table. However, hot chocolate and juice will be available for purchase at the Bessie, the Red Room Bar.

Suggested age: 5-99

Contribution: NT150 per adult, NT 100 per child (ages 5-18) to cover cleaning costs.

STAGE TIME AND JUICE at the Red Room: 家庭聆聽分享會



導演兼紅房音控師 Ruth Giordano,也將帶領他們兒童團隊表演伊索寓言的戲劇。



活動日期與時間:1月21日(六) 2:30 pm – 4:30pm

清潔費:大人NT$150 ;小孩 (5-18歲) NT$100

Stage Time and Juice 是紅房(Red room)社群與 Taipei City Playgroup 共同舉辦的活動,主要是為了鼓勵小朋友們能發揮創意及步入探索的道路。 活動主要以英文進行,參加的小朋友們可以有機會聆聽故事、欣賞表演、分享彼此的才華與想法。歡迎一起加入我們的大家庭,倒點果汁,隨意找個位子坐下,和我們的夥伴們一同學習,一同分享這個多元化的平台。 活動當天在櫃台會有報名表,讓勇敢的小朋友們可登記上台朗讀、表演歌舞、魔術、短劇或講故事及笑話等。

活動地點:國防部空軍司令部舊址 圖書館 2 樓
台北市大安區建國南路一段177號 (濟南路與建國南路交叉口)No. 177, Sec. 1, Jianguo S. Rd (Intersection of Jianguo S. Rd. and Jinan Rd.

Hosts: RED ROOM and The Taipei City Playgroup

12 January 2017, Round Table Read Aloud January

Time: 8 pm – 10 pm
Date: January 12. 2017
Venue: Red Room International Village, TAF
Your Patronage: Pay-by-Value*


The “Pay-by-Value” system allows attendees the option to award money based on the value they received and their financial ability.
In a nutshell, you pay according to what you feel you have received.

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All languages and all levels of experience are welcome.
No microphones, no special effects. No competition. Guaranteed moral support.
我們不用麥克風、不做特效、不彼此競爭! 只有彼此支持鼓勵!
“There is a certain satisfaction in voicing written words. We lift them off the page and let them out into the air. At the Red Room village we have created a space-within-the-space and we meet there to listen and to be heard.” -Ruth, Director R4

-Ruth, 紅房新廣播劇團團長

Learn more –詳情請見:
Red Room Radio Redux Or search Facebook for R4=radioredux

THE WORD FROM R4, December 2016



See photos from the Anniversary production of Jack at Stage Time & Juice XX

The idea of a one-day workshop for the purpose of creating a short presentation for the 7th Anniversary celebration came to Juice’s Carol Yao in the course of a discussion about a future and more elaborate R4/Juice collaboration. Jack & the Beanstalk was chosen from a list of familiar (Western) folk tales mainly because of that story’s potential for noise-making (sound effects).

Four teens were recruited: Julian and Nicole Hsu, Jessie Chen and Sosia Chen-Wernik. Carol and Ruth rounded out the cast.
We had less than three hours to learn the show. Radio drama allows for reading the script – no memorization was required. People settled into their assignments easily. Only one person played multiple roles and those characters appeared in separate scenes. The youngest member of the group took responsibility for sound effects and the eldest teen took on most of the narration as well as handling the cue-cards.

A last-minute addition was Ashish Purswaney, who translated the pre-show script, greeted the audience, introduced the craft of Radio Drama and responded to Cue Cards. The show was well received. There was a good turnout and the family audience was receptive to our offering. The sound system was of excellent quality and expertly-managed. All-in-all it was a good experience, if a bit rushed. But sometimes, that’s how we roll.

Earlier in November the ReadAloud met over some poetry by Robert Frost.
Generally, we feel that the monthly ReadAloud could use some more attention. While it was never meant to be a big event, it’s not thriving.

To end on an up-beat: the November calendar also included a visit to the ICRT studios for a recording session of Most Dangerous Game. Pat Woods and Paul Batt met there with Ruth and our favorite recording engineer Liu Ping. Everyone were so familiar with the material that the session went swimmingly and we were satisfied with the work in just a few hours.



Charles Dickens wrote his most famous hit single at a time when Christmas traditions and celebrations had fallen out of style.

The novella appeared in December 1843 as: A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. It has not been out of print since.

Dickens was quite fond of the holiday and, with his history as a thespian, he thoroughly enjoyed reading it aloud each yuletide to family, friends and neighbors.

It’s become an R4 tradition here in Taiwan to present this classic in one form or another – always closely adhering to the original language. In 2012, a cast of readers assembled at the ICRT studios to record a scripted version, (penned by our own dramaturg, IgnatzRatskywatsky). This recording has been broadcast yearly at holiday time.

Dickens’ own abridged version was our material for the DecemberReadAloud: Sixteen souls gathered in the Red Room at TAF to take turns reading aloud. Incidental music set the mood and simple sound effects enhanced the listening experience.

The room had been festively decorated by Red Room elVes (that’s V for Volunteers, without whom there would be no Red Room) They even made the room smell Christmas-y with cinnamon and citrus and cider.

That’s the Word, and God bless us, everyone!

Ruth Giordano
Red Room Radio Redux

The WORD from R4, October 2016


First up was October’s ReadAloud – Spirits Abound. It was an intimate evening for sharing stories and poetry. There were the beautiful lyrics of classic poets such as Christina Rossetti and Edgar Allan Poe, as well as original poetry. There were tales of ghostly encounters; real or imagined, we leave to your interpretation. The gathering was also treated to a complex 21st century re-working of traditional folklore. Poe yet again made another appearance with a reading of his tale of jealousy, revenge and being buried alive: The Cask of Amontillado.

If anyone is curious, has a wonderful database of Halloween poetry and more. Check it out at

Once summoned by prose and poetry, the spirit Edgar Allan Poe was not ready to depart from the earthly realm yet! Next up was Three by Poe – an evening of two stories and a narrative poem by the master of mystery and the macabre. First, the evening opened with a lively game of Murder. Participants wore red stickers to show they were playing and given mysterious instructions. One at the gathering was the Murderer. With a wink, he or she would kill until they were caught and accused.

It was just a game, by the way. No one really died.

r4-poe-2016-001s-12Then, the lights were dimmed and the audience crept onto the carpet and pillows as invited by Thomas Bellmore and the Three by Poe commenced with Paul Batt reading The Black Cat, a tale of murder, alcoholism, rage, and abuse. Mr. Batt’s deep voice throbbed around the room, drawing in the audience under the spell of the dreadful tale. Sarah Brooks provided a chilling accompaniment to the story with believable cat’s meows and other sound effects.

r4-poe-2016-001s-23After a brief intermission, Thomas Bellmore took the mike and delivered his beautiful rendition of “The Raven.” Bearing more than a slight resemblance to Poe himself, Mr. Bellmore’s hypnotic rendition of lost love and grief stirred the audience to the point that there was no need for sound effects. He took everyone along for the dark, exquisite ride.

r4-poe-2016-001s-32Finally, Whitney Zahar was up with The Tell-tale Heart. Together with Sarah Brooks on sound, Ms. Zahar spun the classic tale of murder, madness, and guilty conscience. The two ladies held the audience in a terrifying grip from beginning to the chilling end.

r4-poe-2016-001s-6Throughout the whole evening, master artist Charles Haines maintained a silent, but compelling presence on the stage. Donning a mask and with an easel propped before him, Mr. Haines created a beautiful, surreal canvas which featured all three of Poe’s works while the readers performed.

In a word, Three By Poe can be summed up as—spellbinding.

By Ruth Giordano and Whitney Zahar

View the full album here
R4 Three by Poe

Collaborating for the Kids: STJ and R4, November 2016


We would like to announce an exciting collaboration between two sibling groups: Stage Time and Juice @ the Red Room, and Red Room Radio Redux (R4)! Ruth Giordano, the director of R4, has been involved in all aspects of theater practically since she began walking. As she frankly states: she has more than 50 years of experience to share.

In the next two upcoming Stage Time and Juice events you will be able to enjoy the fruits of that collaboration, beginning with a presentation of “Jack and the Beanstalk” during our anniversary show beginning at 2:30 on Saturday, November 19. Ruth will teach several teens how to use their voice and how to hand-create sound effects to retell this fairy tale classic in a fresh and appealing manner.

January 21 brings us Aesop’s Fables, based on a script Ruth penned in 2008 for a children’s theater company in Massachusetts. She will be adapting to fit the Juice troupe. This workshop is geared towards the younger children (ages 7-13). Part of the preparations for taking the stage will include prop and accessory crafting: parents will probably be called upon to assist!

Make sure to visit our Stage Time and Juice Facebook page to receive the most current information about all our workshops and events.

If you, like Ruth, have a gift or passion to share, remember that the Red Room’s door is always open! A small exchange of knowledge can change a child’s (or grownup’s) life forever!

By Carol Yao and Ruth Giordano

The Word from R4 – August 2016

R4-mgd-FB-1920x1080pxThe Most Dangerous Game adapted for Radio Drama by R4 was performed in August 2016.
First, on a Saturday morning at Taipei American School by invitation of the Middle School Library and sponsored by the PTA. Roughly 70 people came to witness our intrepid readers unfold the classic tale by Richard Connell.

A write up for the second performance of MDG is not available at this time, as I am urged to meet the e-news deadline. But come and hear Paul Batt and Pat Woods perform at the Red Room on Friday, September 2, as well as enjoy some truly “dangerous” games.

In August we met for ReadAloud – Dreamin’
As a group (taking turns) we read Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech, which was originally delivered in August of 1963.
Individuals brought a variety of material to the table including: an original short story about an encounter with a spooky doll and a true story about two encounters (years apart) with a visible spirit.

Looking ahead to ReadAloud September – We’ll take as our theme “Playing for Change”
At Red Room we dedicate our September to the worldwide Playing for Change movement which raises money to build schools and fund music programs in the world’s poorest communities. How can we celebrate the PFC mission at our ReadAloud? Or have fun with the words: playing, change…?

All are welcome to come read aloud or simply listen. All languages and all levels of experience welcome.
Bring a story, a song, poem, quotation, a joke or whatever you’d like to read – or hear – aloud.
您可以準備任何想讀或想聽的小故事、歌曲、詩詞、名言、笑話;自己的作品或別人的著作,都行! (每人大約10分鐘,時間視參加者多寡增減)
You may read your own material or something written by someone else.
(roughly 10 min limit, depending on the number of readers)
Constructive criticism will be offered – a great opportunity to improve skill.
Bring a snack or a beverage to share. Wine will be on sale by the glass.
All languages and all levels of experience are welcome.
No microphones, no special effects. No competition. Guaranteed moral support.
我們不用麥克風、不做特效、不彼此競爭! 只有彼此支持鼓勵!
“There is a certain satisfaction in voicing written words. We lift them off the page and let them out into the air. At the Red Room village we have created a space-within-the-space and we meet there to listen and to be heard.” -Ruth, Director R4
-Ruth, 紅房新廣播劇團團長
Learn more –詳情請見: > Events > Red Room Radio Redux
Or search Facebook for R4=radioredux