After two years of script development, The Hundred Flowers Project has taken its first thrilling leap towards realizing the play’s jarring, eerie meta-theatricality through video and sound design. During a 4-day intensive design workshop, the entire team experimented, played, questioned, and created new ideas that have become the beginning flesh on the bones of the “tech” skeleton, a central, powerful character in the play. Playwright Christopher Chen and director Desdemona Chiang’s immersion into the world of “tech” will continue to inform the play’s revision process during the upcoming Bay Area Playwrights Festival.
Here’s a recap of the meaty flesh we’re talking about:
Chiang wrote a blog post for Flowers Producing Partner, Playwrights Foundation, about inserting herself into the process as a director.
Chiang says, “The ongoing process of The Hundred Flowers Project is, in a way, a meta-representation of the very (meta) thing it’s creating. I’m part a group of people struggling to making a play about a group of people struggling to making a play about Mao. And, like these people, we are figuring out how to honor the path that this project has traveled, all the while looking forward, searching for innovation, and revolutionizing the present moment.” read more
Playwright Christopher Chen wrestles with ideas of “meta theater” in his recent blog post for Playwrights Foundation.
“By challenging conventional structure, plays that have strains of “meta-ness” challenge the notion that there is only one set way of suspending disbelief. I have found that when a piece of theater manages to transport me to another place after initially laying bare all its tricks and methods, after making me (initially) hyperaware that I am sitting in a theater, the journey usually has a uniquely transcendent kind of magic.” read more
The Hundred Flowers Project video designer, Wesley Cabral, offers a juicy window into exploring this meta-theatrical world through video during the recent design workshop — check out his vlog.
Sonia Fernandez, dramaturg extraordinaire, offers non-traditional research methods as she poses for this sculptural investigation of color, face, and body.
Actors Cindy Im and Will Dao play house. Cabral investigates sudden illuminations of domesticity onto white static objects.
Cindy Im is transported to another time and place. I’m particularly drawn in by the way the video obscures her features.
The startling exploration of video on three surfaces, including the texture of the floor, floods the bodies of actors Anna Ishida and Ogie Zulueta.