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Against Again Troupe

  • Date:2022-03-14
Against Again Troupe

Chinese Name: 再拒劇團

Year of Establishment: 2002

Location: New Taipei City, Taiwan

Did You Know…?

Against-Again Troupe was founded in 2002 in Taiwan by a group of theatre practitioners coming from diverse artistic backgrounds. Its earlier productions focused on environmental theater, performance poetry, and multi-media theater, attempting to examine the human condition in the age of globalization, in regards to class, gender, identity and survival, presenting productions in various creative forms ranging from theatre, musical performances, to exhibitions and small-scale performance festivals. In 2019, their performance "White Clear Song: Memories of White" set against the backdrop of the decades of the White Terror and martial law won the Annual Grand Prize at the 18th Taishin Arts Award.

Unlike script-based theatrical productions, Against Again Troupe's works are often created from different performance concepts, creative methods, visual imagery or media properties, and many of these works use space, music or objects as "contemporary texts." In 2007, the troupe issued "Micro-theater Statement" and curated the biennial "Against-Again Apartment Showcase," using a small apartment as performance and rehearsal space, changing the viewing patterns and art experience.

The troupe further examined the concept of “Micro-theater” and curated another performance-exhibition project titled "All that's left to happen is some deaths" in 2012, performing in various alternative spaces in Taipei, Macau, and Cardiff, UK, as a multi-media art performance without actors. "American Dream Factory," a theatrical presentation of various aspects and fantasies of the labor life of youth, is composed of 12 intertextual dreams and built a labyrinth of signs called "Dream Factory." The play, which premiered at Guling Street Avant-Garde Theatre in 2010, was selected for the Festival/Tokyo (F/T), making it one of the first performances in Taiwan to participate in the festival.

"All that's left to happen is some deaths (my own included)" was invited to "Four at WSD" of World Stage Design in 2013 at Cardiff, UK, it was the only Asian art team in the program.

In 2014, a series of works such as "Der Ring des Nibelungen: A Revolution Unarmed – 'Götterdämmerung'," "Dictionary of Chaos: Addendum" is co-created as part of the "sound theater" series. Using "auditory" as an aesthetic expression, the music composition, voice and sound adapt to different themes of each performance. The same year, they established a sub-group "The Ex-rebel Lads." Starting from "The New Member," the first BL musical series in Taiwan which features the subculture of ACG, various sub-cultural elements from post-punk and glam rock to animation, comics, and video games were combined with contemporary theater to create a musical that belongs distinctively to the young generation of Taiwanese, creating a trend for “fan culture” in Taiwan’s theater industry.

"Der Ring des Nibelungen: A Revolution Unarmed – 'Götterdämmerung'" won the Gold Award for Sound Design at the World Stage Design Show in 2017, while "Dictionary of Chaos: Addendum” was the only performance from Taiwan at the International Exhibition of Scenography and Theatre Architecture Prague Quadrennial in 2019, participating in the Site Specific Performance Festival. In 2019, the troupe produced "White Clear Song," narrating Taiwan's history during 1950 to 1960 through sound, combining traditional chant-song with contemporary sound theater, depicting the stories of our homes in the hometowns of the victims, and going into townships for performances.

From small-scale avant-garde creations and works that span disciplines, Against Again Troupe's pieces are performed in everything from unconventional theatrical spaces to medium- and large-scale theatrical productions. Throughout all of this, Against Again Troupe strives to seek out new possibilities for how theatre art can escape the state of dissonance that arises from resisting global capitalist cultural homogeneity and depoliticized postmodern aesthetics.

In 2019, the troupe participated in the Tainan Arts Festival with the production "A Sentimental Journey," which was created in response to the #metoo incident, and it was nominated as a finalist for the 18th Taishin Arts Award. In the same year, the Transitional Justice Commission (TJC) commissioned Against Again Troupe to produce and perform "White Clear Song," which was based on the history of the White Terror, and they performed in places across Taiwan including Luodong, Xinying, Ciaotou, Lujhu, Jia Dong, Huwei, and Jing-mei White Terror Memorial Park. Furthermore, it was the winner of the Annual Grand Prize at the 18th Taishin Arts Award.

(Photo courtesy of Against Again Troupe & Central News Agency)