The Mountain Theater of U-Theatre is home to the international renowned performance group U-Theatre. Over the past decades, U-Theatre has trained inaquiet natural surrounding, developing unique productions that took inspiration from life and nature. In 2008, the venue was registered as a cultural landscape bytheTaipei City Government for its cultural significance in exploring the interrelations between human and nature.
Established by U-Theatre founder Liu Ruo-yu (劉若瑀), whotrained undertheinnovative Polish theater director Jerzy Grotowski in a mountainous area of Los Angeles, the mountain theaterhasservedas a base for U-Theatre to practicemeditationand the philosophies acquired from Grotowski.
Occupying more than 1000 square feet at Laochuanshan, the theater is Taiwan's only outdoor theater located in themountains. Overlooking Taipei Basin, the venueis locatedaway from the city's hustle and bustle, enabling troupe members to integrate meditation and martial arts with drums.
The mountain theater is divided into two parts, one of which is a wooden room constructed by troupe members for training and the other one is an outdoor stage that is open to the public.
Following the rule of "meditation first, drumming later,” the troupe members go up to their mountain base to train their abilities of inner awareness on a daily basis, and practice totry andmeet the goal of combining art and the spirit of Tao to enhance life quality throughtheirart.
As mountains are a major source of inspiration for U-Theatre's creations, the mountain where the theater is based is viewed as the troupe's "holy” mountain. Throughout the whole year, the troupe members contemplate on their lives and try to find inner peace by staying at the mountain venue. Then they seek to share that sense of serenity with the public throughtheirperformances.
The tranquility and purity of the mountain theater has made it the best venue for U-Theatre to practice its philosophy. It now also offers workshops for the public to experience U-Theatre's training methodsthatencompass meditation, Tai Chi, and drums. Visitors are also encouraged to interact with nature and share their life experiences withother travelers.
For more than two decades, the mountain theater has accumulated years of energy, footsteps, and hardships fromU-Theatre. It stands witness to how the troupe persisted in pursuing its lifestyle and vision to gradually become an internationally acclaimed performance group today.