When I first came to Shenzhen in 1995, the idea was to find a group of people who were willing to be interviewed, fill spiral notebooks with handwritten notes, and return to Rice to write-up said notes in 1996, or at the very latest, 1997 and then writing my way into an academic position. That didn’t happen. Instead, I stayed in Shenzhen until 1998, finished the dissertation in 1999, held a post-doc for one year, and then began the transition from trying to secure a tenure-track offer at a US university to figuring out what an American ex-pat might do in Shenzhen, which was itself transitioning from being a manufacturing hub into an innovation city. Continue reading
Playwright and screenwriter, Israel Horowitz is visiting Shenzhen in conjunction with the Fat Bird premiere of his play, Line, which has been performed at the 13th Street Repertory since 1974. We’re excited!
On Saturday, Israel will be giving a free talk about over fifty years creating for the stage and screen. Venue: OCAT B Gallery; Time: 15:00. If you’re in Shenzhen, don’t miss this chance to meet a theater great!
The play will be performed in Chinese on April 5 through April 8, 2016. Venue: Nanshan Cultural Center, small theater. Tickets can be purchased through WeChat or at the door.
For the third year, Group+ has ranked its top-30 online communities, which is interesting as it is part of a model of disseminating information about not-for-profit, non-governmental organizing. Over 1,500 groups use Group+, a Shenzhen-based online platform to organize real time “community” events. Fat Bird ranked 3rd, even above the Shenzhen Reading Federation (#5) and Green Mango (#13), which have much broader audiences than does experimental theater. What do these rankings tell us about the possibilities of imagining outside the state in Shenzhen specifically and China more generally? Continue reading
So “Oysters and Champagne” the Shajing version opened this weekend and it was quite beautiful:
Meanwhile, Handshake 302’s installation, “n=distortion” also opened at the SZ-HK Biennale:
This rhythm of Shenzhen culture can overwhelm. Suddenly, there are installations, performances, and salons everywhere. We are inundated, but frankly often too tired to enjoy the deluge.
However, as a Cantonese proverb says, “Water is wealth.”
So, yesterday afternoon we read “Crossroads” onstage at the Mizzou Jesse Wrench Memorial Auditorium. Despite snow days and ice and broken cars, the show went on and Fat Bird had a great time. “Crossroads” is an early play by Yang Qian that looks a the moral confusion and disfunction that have shaped and been shaped by Shenzhen boomtimes. Impressions, below:
Fat Bird has been in Columbia MO, running a theatre workshop at Mizzou. Today at 4 pm we will have a staged reading of “Crossroads” by Yang Qian, directed by Song Jie and performed by Mizzou students. Happiness all around. Updates forthcoming.
For those interested in the 2013 edition of the biennale, here’s the website. Alas, many of the pictures are distorted, but upside? Fat Bird’s Urban Village Fetish / Baishizhou is featured today!