Taiwanese theater director Wang Chia-ming (王嘉明) will lead his troupe, the infamous Shakespeare's Wild Sisters Group (莎士比亞的妹妹們的劇團), to stage the French debut of "Dear Life (親愛的人生)" from Nov. 28 through 30 as part of the 2019 Paris Autumn Festival.
"Dear Life" takes inspiration from Alice Munro, a Canadian writer and laureate of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature. Her intimate writing and keen eye for the minute occurrences of everyday life have captivated readers' attention for decades through her revolutionary architecture in crafting short stories.
Four novels will be successively presented on the stage without any link or rupture between them — principally the stories of women whose lives have suddenly changed in response to a chance occurrence, pressing desire, or casual lie. Set in the different districts of urban Taiwan, the female characters either slip away, disappear, or resign themselves to returning home, but what they always carry with them is a taste of the unknown.
"Dear Life" dissects these ordinary destinies just as one might rummage through an old travel bag in search of unavowed secrets and lost emotions. Onstage, different characters wrestle with these micro-upsets, pains, and hopes, only to build up a web of intrigues. These schemes then divert off in different directions, repeatedly, as a reminder of the impermanent nature of human lives.
Director Wang, who is currently serving as artistic director of the Shakespeare's Wild Sisters Group collective, hopes to examine the distancing effect of time via a near-cinematographic sense of rhythm and respectfully detaches himself from new eponyms in order to take the viewer on an internal voyage to fresh, but unnecessarily exotic, pastures.
Performed in Mandarin with French subtitles, "Dear Life" will then travel to Valenciennes, France for a one-night showing at Le Phenix theater on Dec. 4 as part of European theater and dance festival NEXT 2019.
Maison des Arts de Créteil: Nov. 28-30, 2019 @ 8pm (free)
Phoenix national scène Valenciennes: Dec. 4, 2019 @ 8pm (ticketed)