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New Plays from Taiwan: What's Next After Marriage Equality?

Thursday, November 14
Martin E. Segal Theatre Center
365 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10016
6:30pm Readings + Panel
FREE + Open to public. First come, first served

In May 2019, Taiwan became the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage. Join us for an evening with Taiwanese playwrights, Chao Chi-Yun  (趙啟運), Lin Meng-Huan (林孟寰), and  Liu Chien-Kuo (劉建幗), who have created short plays embracing the achievements and struggles of this  historic moment. This evening will feature three staged readings performed by a stellar cast of New York-based actors and directed by  Michael Leibenluft of Gung Ho Projects. The readings will be followed by a discussion with the playwrights, curators, director, and translator Jeremy Tiang moderated by Linnea Valdivia, Literary Manager for the National Queer Theater.

-- 'Why Don’t We Get Married' by Liu Chien-Kuo
Halfway through a rehearsal, Xiao Ai’s girlfriend (and fellow actress) proposes to her—but in the flurry of wedding planning, will they lose sight of what marriage means? Meanwhile, in the audience, a mother and daughter have a difficult conversation about love—all interspersed with Taiwanese opera.

-- 'Love in Time' by Chao Chi-Yun
Now that gay marriage has come to Taiwan, two sisters come up with a plan to stage a wedding for their late father and his former boyfriend—but Uncle Zun is still very much alive, and may not go along with their scheme. A play about love and loss, and what happens when progress comes too late.

-- 'The Red Balloon' by Lin Meng-Huan
2049. When Lang Yong and his late husband had a child thirty years ago, they used genetic manipulation to ensure the boy would be gay too. Now their son wants to undergo orientation reversal surgery so he can be “normal”—but what does that mean in a world where anything is possible by medical means?

Please also join us for a panel discussion on the contemporary experience of queer playwrights in Taiwan and US on Wednesday, November 13 at 6:30pm at Taipei Cultural Center in New York (1 E 42nd St). Playwright Leigh Fondakowski and Sociology scholar Liao Yen-Chia will join the Taiwanese artists in this discussion moderated by Adam Odsess-Rubin, Artistic Director of National Queer Theater.

-- Chao Chi-Yun ​(Playwright) was born in 1985 in Kaohsiung, a maritime city and major shipping hub in southern Taiwan. With his long-term engagement with the infamous Tainaner Ensemble, Chao is known for his focus on immersive theatre and, more recently, musicals which have attracted positive critical acclaim. His signature style is to transform daily “nonsense” talk into something poetic, mixing in LGBTQ+ culture, traditional Taiwanese folklore, modern pop culture - and food!
-- Lin Meng-Huan​ (Playwright) a.k.a Dazi currently serves as Artist-in-Residence of National Taichung Theater, Taiwan. With a Master’s degree from the Department of Drama and Theater at National Taiwan University, Lin’s works span across theatre, children’s play, and television. He has received awards including the Hong Kong Youth Literary Awards, Taipei Literature Award for Best Script, and the Script Award of Taipei Children’s Art Festival. Lin has given birth to more than 20 staged productions including ​A Dog’s House​, ​ARK 47​, and children’s play Jane’s Magic Dragon Egg​. TV series ​The Teenage Psychic​, which Lin was a member of the screenwriter group, was shortlisted for Best Script for Mini-Series/TV Movie at the Golden Bell Awards.
-- Liu Chien-Kuo​ (Playwright) Born in a traditional opera family, Liu earned a Master’s degree in drama from the National Taiwan University of Arts. She is currently the director of the ChiChiao Musical Theatre. Her written and directed works encompass a diversity of artistic disciplines including drama, musicals, Taiwanese opera, Beijing opera and Bangzi opera. She strives to break through the boundaries of theater and culture to create unique productions. For two consecutive years, she had been invited to adapt the works of Bertolt Brecht for the Taipei Arts Festival. Her recent original productions have won the ardor of young audiences.
-- Jeremy Tiang​ (Translator) has translated leading Taiwanese playwrights such as Wei Yu-Chia, Shen Wan-Ting, and Zhan Jie; his translation of Chen Si'an's ​Ocean Hotpot​ was recently seen at the Edinburgh Festival. His own plays include ​A Dream of Red Pavilions​ (Pan Asian Rep), The Last Days of Limehouse​ (Yellow Earth London) and ​Salesman之死​ (Target Margin Theater, March 2020). He has also translated books by Jackie Chan, Lo Yi-Chin, Li Er, Yan Ge, Zhang Yueran, Chan Ho-Kei, and Yeng Pway Ngon, amongst others. His novel ​State of Emergency won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2018.
-- Michael Leibenluft ​(Director)​ ​is an Obie Award-winning director based in New York City. Credits include ​I’ll Never Love Again ​by Clare Barron at the Bushwick Starr (NYT and Time Out Critics’ Picks), ​June is the First Fall ​by Yilong Liu with Yangtze Rep, ​The Whore from Ohio ​by Hanoch Levin at New Yiddish Rep, ​How I Learned to Drive​ by Paula Vogel at Drum Tower West Theater in Beijing, ​Lost Tribe​ by Alex Borinsky at Target Margin Theater Lab, ​The Subtle Body by Megan Campisi at 59E59 Theaters and the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center, and other projects developed at The Flea, NYTW, The Civilians, EST, and NYU/Tisch. Upcoming: Salesman​之死 ​by Jeremy Tiang at Target Margin Theater in March 2020.​. ​
-- Pao-Chang Tsai ​(Curator) graduated from the Department of Drama and Theatre at the National Taiwan University and received his Master's in music theatre from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. He was the Co-Artistic Director at Tainaner Ensemble from 2009 to 2018. ​The Common Wealth Magazine​ has selected Pao-Chang Tsai as the Future Young Leader in Performing arts. He also went to America Repertory Theater at Harvard University for further study in Voice and Speech sponsored by Asian Cultural Council, and visited Moscow Art Theatre for three months.
-- Linnea Valdivia ​(Moderator) (she/her/hers) is a professional freelance dramaturg, producer, and playwright. She has artistic credits at theaters including the Lark, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Curious Theatre, Art House Productions, Playwrights Realm, and New Dramatists. She is a 2019 National Critics Institute Fellow (Eugene O'Neill Theater Center) and alumnus of the 2019 POP Core Workshop at Playwrights Horizons. Linnea is most interested in supporting and creating spaces for new work that re-imagine popular cultural narratives and explore histories that have undergone relentless historical erasure. She is the literary manager for the National Queer Theater in New York City. BA: Whitman College
Co-curated by Yu Chien Liu, Pao-Chang Tsai, and  Chi-Ping Yen  in partnership with Gung Ho Projects and National Queer Theater, with support from the  Ministry of Culture, ROC (Taiwan)  and the Taipei Cultural Center in New York, in collaboration with Frank Hentschker (Segal Center). All plays are translated by Jeremy Tiang and directed by Michael Leibenluft/Gung Ho Projects, a New York-based multilingual theater company that uses performance to create opportunities for self-expression, empowerment, and exchange across linguistic and cultural divides. Presented in partnership with National Queer Theater, whose mission is to foster and support LGBTQ communities through social justice in the performing arts. Media Partnership with Lambda Literary that nurtures and advocates for LGBTQ writers.

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Unmissable Titles from Taiwan to See at the 2019 Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival

The 23rd annual Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival returns November 7-15 with a spotlight on the best of this year’s Taiwanese presentations including Jung-chi Chang’s WE ARE CHAMPIONS, an inspirational sports film featuring Taiwanese high school basketball championship and Valerie Soe’s LOVE BOAT: TAIWAN, a provocative documentary exploring Taiwan’s longest-running summer program for diasporic Chinese youth worldwide. Both films will make their Canadian premieres on November 9th and 10th with the filmmakers in attendance for post-film discussions.

This year’s Reel Asian celebrates the Toronto Raptors championship with WE ARE CHAMPIONS, the stunning new film from Taiwanese director Jung-chi Chang, who won Best New Director at 2012 Golden Horse Awards for his debut feature TOUCH OF THE LIGHT. Based on a true story, WE ARE CHAMPIONS follows two brothers from a struggling family who shared their dream and love of basketball but ended up competing against each other on opposite teams. By delivering dazzling performance in a realistic style, this film was recently nominated for six Golden Horse Awards, including Best Supporting Actor and Best New Actor.

Highlights also include Valerie Soe’s LOVE BOAT: TAIWAN, a documentary about Taiwan’s iconic Overseas Compatriot Youth Formosa Study Tour, akin to Birthright Israel, a government initiative that started in the 1960s and has become a legend among diasporic Chinese. This film traces Chinese diaspora and Taiwanese identities by exploring the history and popularity of this summer camp. Having been screened across the United States, it will hit Reel Asian as director Valerie Soe, a Love Boat alumna herself, will be in attendance to talk about the making of this documentary that interviewed the participants and counselors in the program.

Reel Asian’s shorts programs also feature a mix of narrative and animation from emerging filmmakers of Taiwanese descent, including KEFF, whose SECRET LIVES OF ASIANS AT NIGHT is a screwball noir about what the model minority does after dark; Athena Han, whose BUNNY MAN observes the differences between the categories of CBC (Chinese Born Canadian) and FOB (Fresh Off the Boat); Kevin Feng, whose I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW, is an intimate essay animation about the process of working through the grief of losing someone you love; and Zozo Jhen, Tena Galović, Marine Varguy, Liu Yen-Chen & Ellis Kayin Chan, whose GRANDPA follows a little boy who processes the death of his grandfather during a traditional Taiwanese funeral procession.

The Taiwanese presentations are presented in collaboration with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Toronto, with the support from the Taipei Cultural Center in New York. For the full lineup and schedule, please visit

About Reel Asian
The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival (Reel Asian) is a unique showcase of contemporary Asian cinema and work from the Asian diaspora. As Canada’s largest pan-Asian film festival, Reel Asian provides a public forum for Asian media artists and their work, and fuels the growing appreciation for Asian cinema in Canada.

Screening schedule and Film Description

Saturday, November 9, 3:30 pm / TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 3
Valerie Soe / 2019 / 60 min / English and Mandarin with English Subtitles / Documentary
*This screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Valerie Soe, moderated by journalist, Jan Wong

One of the longest-running summer programs in the world, Love Boat spanned a number of large political shifts in the region, aspiring to connect young people to their roots through cultural programming—or some would say, propaganda.
Director Soe, who was herself a Love Boat participant in the 80s, presents the differing positionalities and experiences of program participants from the 60s to the present day, who in one way or another, find themselves part of this program and are expected to cultivate a relationship with their Taiwanese homeland and develop new understandings of their identity.

Sunday, November 10, 5:15 pm / TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 3
Jung-chi Chang / 2019 / 115 min / Mandarin with Chinese and English subtitles / Drama
*With director Jung-chi Chang in person!

Born into the bottom rungs of society, two teenage brothers with nothing but each other hope to change their fate through their love of basketball. Little brother Tung-hao joins an elite school and transforms into a dazzling James Harden-esque superstar; big brother Hsiu-yu brings his scrappy Steve Nash-game to a ragtag squad about to be disbanded, finding an unexpected camaraderie in his never-say-die teammates.

Shorts Program

Saturday November 9, 2019, 1:15 pm / TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinema 3
KEFF / 2018 / 18:00 / English, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, & Mandarin with English Subtitles / Canadian Premiere / Comedy / Thriller
What does the model minority do at night? A screwball noir in five different languages.

Tuesday November 12, 2019, 10:30 am / Bachir/Yerex Presentation Space
Wednesday November 13, 2019, 1:30 pm / Bachir/Yerex Presentation Space
Kevin Feng / 2019 / 6:10 / English Titles / Canadian Premiere / Animation / Drama
A letter written to the director’s mother, this tender and haunting animation shares the process of working through the grief of losing someone you love.

Tuesday November 12, 2019, 10:30 am / Bachir/Yerex Presentation Space
Zozo Jhen, Tena Galović, Marine Varguy, Liu Yen-Chen & Ellis Kayin Chan / 2018 / 5:00 / Mandarin with English Subtitles / Canadian Premiere / Animation / Drama
A 7-year-old boy processes the death of his grandfather during a traditional Taiwanese funeral procession.

Wednesday November 13, 2019, 10:30 am / Bachir/Yerex Presentation Space
Athena Han / 2018 / 7:51 / English and Mandarin with Chinese and English Subtitles / Drama / Comedy
Four Taiwanese friends get into a heated conversation about the differences between the categories of CBC (Chinese Born Canadian) and FOB (Fresh Off the Boat) over a meal when a mysterious bunny enters the restaurant.

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Taiwanese artists Shu-Lea Cheang, Yu-Cheng Chou, Po-Chih Huang, Hui-Yu Su and Cheng-Ta Yu At Taiwanese Pavilion, Performa 19 Biennial

Taiwanese artists Shu-Lea Cheang, Yu-Cheng Chou, Po-Chih Huang, Hui-Yu Su and Cheng-Ta Yu are invited to participate in Taiwanese Pavilion at Performa 19 Biennial, the eighth edition of the biennial presents more than twenty new commissions by artists from over a dozen countries around the world to join in three weeks of exciting programming, from November 1–24, 2019, at locations throughout New York City.

The Taiwanese Pavilion is part of the PAVILION WITHOUT WALLS program, co-curated by Performa, Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-LAB) and Taipei Fine Arts Museum, supported by Taiwanese Ministry of Culture and the Taipei Cultural Center in New York. The Pavilion Without Walls is a series of new performances co-commissioned by Performa and international cultural partners to bring vibrant contemporary artists to the biennial. The performances commissioned through this initiative often travel from the biennial oversees, fostering cultural exchange and connecting international artists with both the New York City arts community and global audiences. The Pavilions are motivated by Performa’s strong belief that the arts foster tolerance and a deeper understanding among world cultures. Past Pavilions include: Norwegian Pavilion, Australian Pavilion, Polish Pavilion, Estonian Pavilion, and the South African Pavilion.

For Performa 19, technological pioneer Shu Lea Cheang (b.1954, Taiwan, lives in Paris) will present SLEEP1237, during which participants will be read to sleep, following a screening and public discussion of her early innovative work. Yu-Cheng Chou (b. 1976, Taiwan, lives in Taipei) will explore systems of labor, exchange and trade in New York, by tracking the movements of distributed goods such as soybeans and whole wheat. Illuminating the lived experiences of Asian immigrants in New York, Po-Chih Huang (b. 1980, Taiwan, lives in Taipei), whose complex conceptual works challenge industry status quo, will arrange an elegy for Song Yang, a Chinese immigrant sex worker who committed suicide in Flushing, Queens in 2017. In Su’s first live theatrical work, artist and film director Hui-Yu Su (b. 1976, Taiwan, lives in Taipei) will survey the life of Tian Qiyuan, Taiwan’s first openly gay and HIV-positive student and co-founder of the experimental 1980’s Taiwanese theater group Critical Point Theatre Phenomenon, by reinventing Tian’s influential production White Snake, originally inspired by a classic Ming Dynasty legend. And video artist Cheng-Ta Yu (b. 1983, Taiwan, lives in Taipei) will examine the phenomenon of social media celebrity via a series of staged interventions—both online and in real life—working with influencers to consider cultural stereotypes.

Performa 19 is turning New York City landscape into a big open-air museum and theater. The Taiwanese artists will express their statement and interact with New York audience through the arguments and discussion on a range of global issues, such as labor, immigrants, trade, gender equality and the influence of social media.

Founded in 2004 by art historian and curator RoseLee Goldberg, Performa is the leading non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the critical role of live performance in the history of twentieth-century art and encouraging new directions in performance for the twenty-first century.
The eighth edition of the Performa Biennial once again celebrates the extraordinary vitality, inventiveness and significance of New York as a leading global performance capital of the world.

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus, the influence of the school and the radical concept of its curriculum, which holds performance at its core, appears in several Commissions. The Bauhaus is also the focus of the Performa Institute programming, daily events, and talks at the Performa 19 Hub – a pop-up space in Manhattan that becomes the epicenter of the three-week program.

Performances, Exhibitions and Screenings:

November 2, 2:00 pm-3:30 pm
Anthology Film Archives | 32 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

November 2, 5:50 pm- November 3, 6:25 am
Performa HUB | 47 Wooster Street, New York, NY 10013

November 2, 12:00 pm-3:00 pm
November 7, 1:00 pm-7:00 pm
November 8, 1:00 pm-7:00 pm
November 9, 1:00 pm-7:00 pm
November 10, 1:00 pm-7:00 pm
November 14, 1:00 pm-7:00 pm
November 15, 1:00 pm-7:00 pm
November 16, 1:00 pm,7:00 pm
November 17, 1:00 pm-7:00 pm
November 21, 1:00 pm-7:00 pm
November 22, 1:00 pm-7:00 pm
November 23, 1:00 pm-7:00 pm
November 24, 1:00 pm-7:00 pm
WALLPLAY 321 CANAL | 321 Canal Street, New York, NY 10013 \

November 8-24
Performa HUB | 47 Wooster Street, New York, NY 10013

November 20-21
Performa Hub at Deitch Proeject | 18 Wooster Street, New York, NY 10013

November 15, 8:30 pm-9:30 pm
November 16, 8:30 pm-9:30 pm
November 17, 8:30 pm-9:30 pm
Abrons Arts Center | 466 Grand Street, New York, NY 10002

新聞聯絡人:駐紐約台北文化中心 鄢繼嬪,電話:+1 646 790 3013

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