Theater stages comeback in Taipei with Post Pandemic Renaissance

After a long pandemic winter for theater lovers in Taipei, Post Pandemic Renaissance Theater Company is on a mission to bring a blossoming spring of culture, with invigorating new plays, and timeless classics, for both local and global audiences.

Post Pandemic Renaissance (PPR) is is made up of professional and amateur theater artists dedicated to bringing high quality performances and entertainment experiences to audiences every Friday at two Taipei City venues, Co-founder and Artistic Producer, Stewart Glen told Taiwan English News, and the project aims deeper than mere entertainment. 

The Monologues

On September 10, the group will host the first ever Taiwan Monologue Slam at Red Room Rendezvous. The slams will feature 10 actors, 10 monologues, and one slam: and you – the audience – are the judge.

“A monologue is one of the coolest and most honest types of performance in acting: a single piece of text performed by a single actor,” Glen said.

“They have to take everything into account: meaning, delivery, and emotion – all in front of a live audience.”

“This is a great way to see real, raw, high-quality acting in its purest form. We have professionally trained actors performing alongside first-timers, and the audience will choose a champion at the end.”

“We will also be sponsoring and supporting Team Taiwan for The World Monologue Games in 2022,” Glen said.

The Plays

On alternating Fridays, starting September 17th,  PPR will perform a series of play readings, with a different play fortnightly at Two Three Comedy Club.

Featuring some of Taiwan’s finest theatre actors, directors, and playwrights, the staged readings are thoroughly-rehearsed, full-length plays, albeit without elaborate sets and costumes.

The plays performed include well-known published plays, and scripts penned by PPR resident playwright and Co-Founder, James Lewis Huss.

poster showing schedule of staged readings by Post Pandemic Renaissance Theatre Company in Taipei City and livestreamed globally

The 2021 fall season play schedule includes readings of After Miss Julie by Patrick Marber, The Scottish Lady by James Lewis Huss, Oleanna by
David Mamet, Edgar Allan Poe: Selected Readings, and William Shakespeare’s Robin V by James Lewis Huss.

Audiences will be able to enjoy plays and monologues in person at the Taipei City venues, or from the comfort of their digital devices anywhere in the world via livestream broadcast.

Book tickets in advance for monologue slams or play readings here.

The Vision

Both the play reading and monologue formats will provide opportunities for local audiences to not only gain exposure to English via indelible English word art, but will also provide opportunities to participate in performances, and other experiential activities under the guidance of accomplished coaches and mentors from the world of theater arts.

Glen, with more than 30 year’s experience on stage and screen as an actor, director, and producer, and currently featured in the epic historical docudrama television mini-series Seqalu: Formosa 1867, spoke of a long-term vision for the project that mirrors the government’s own “Vision 2030: Blueprint for Developing Taiwan into a Bilingual Nation”

Combining his decades of experience  in theater with 20 years working on improving English language skills in the corporate sector, Glen says “our blueprint for Taiwan’s Vision 2030 is the surest path to realizing that dream, as theatre and actor training is the quickest and most effective way to gain English exposure via speech contests, active listening and more.”

Stewart Glen as Doctor Manson in the historical docudrama series Seqalu: Formosa 1867.

For people wanting to improve their English language skills beyond what can be offered by the traditional “cram and test” culture, Glen also conducts The Actor Workout for ESL.

“Learn English the way actors learn Shakespeare,” continues Glen. “And no, I don’t mean to imply you have to study Shakespeare, although, with this training program, that could be the inevitable end.

Actors don’t memorize their lines the way ESL students memorize vocabulary – by cramming. We use techniques that make the lines part of our muscle memory. This is how English is and must be mastered.

Cramming is a short term solution. You need to ask yourself, do I merely want to pass a test, or do I want to make English a major part of my skill set? If you prefer the latter, then The Actor Workout for ESL is your only path forward.”

Post Pandemic Renaissance Theatre Company poster.
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