I’m so happy to be back in Bangkok for the Bangkok Theatre Festival for the second year.

You might have read about my rave of the Festival in The Straits Times.

Last year I spent a few days here but I decided this year that I would spend a bit more time AND try to do something for the festival. One idea was to bring MEDEA to Bangkok but as an independent it was a challenge juggling creating and producing so I had to miss a crucial grant/fund development deadline and focus instead on creating the work. What’s more, not all the actors were available too. So I applied instead to do an acting workshop.

The workshop was great! I had the opportunity to explore the idea of presence, and share the earlier part of the workshop process for the final phase of MEDEA (which was based on Paul Binnerts’ and Nancy Garbor’s work in real-time acting) with a new group of theatre makers in Thailand. And since I had been doing Suzuki’s actor training method with Nine Year’s Theatre for the past year, I worked in the slow walk and the idea of a focus/image/fiction. What was most meaningful was the second part of the workshop, which used telling and re-telling of the personal stories to explore the idea of the actor as storyteller. If I could have a super-power, I would like it to be the ability to understand any language (and to teleport) because I encourage the participants to use the language most familiar and personal to them i.e. Thai.

Language is always a bit of a challenge when coming to the BTF. I admit I was a bit lost with some of the pieces that required a bit more understanding of text to get a deeper sense of the text. But if you open your senses to elements beyond text, you can still enjoy theatre. Like this epic comedy of two bros Ding Neo and Ding Neung:

Or this eerie dance theatre piece called Piece of Soul:

I’ve pretty much watched at least one theatre show per night. It has been awesome. One more day tomorrow!

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