The University of Hawai’i at Mānoa’s Department of Theatre and Dance opens its 2009-2010 season with a Late Night Theatre production entitled "Nocturnal Wanderer" written by Gao Xingjian. This philosophic work, described by the playwright as "a nightmare in three short acts," is directed by Ronald Gilliam. "Nocturnal Wanderer" will be performed Sept. 12, 18 and 19 at 11 p.m. and Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. in the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre.
"Nocturnal Wanderer" originally written in 1993 as "Yeyoushen", is one of Gao Xingjian’s abstract plays that explores human existence and the afterlife. The audience experiences the majority of the play through the subconscious of Sleepwalker, who encounters various individuals that test both his faith and his desire to resist ungodly temptation. "Nocturnal Wanderer" engages and compels the audience to reflect upon the journey of Sleepwalker though a unique convention used in many of Gao’s plays where the main character never speaks in first person. The production also incorporates multimedia, an original soundscape, and numerous magic tricks.
"Gao’s work challenges the director to depart from realism while emphasizing the importance of the written text," says Gilliam. "Gao’s text also inspires the director to create striking abstract images," he added. Gilliam is currently pursuing his PhD in Asian Theatre at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
Gilliam is not new to the work of Gao Xingjian. While attending Butler University in 2003, he directed the full-length version of "Between Life and Death," which also questioned human existence and death. In addition, Gilliam has directed numerous productions in Indianapolis, New York, Washington D.C. and Hong Kong. He collaborated with the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in the production of two Samuel Beckett plays for television, "Quad" and "Nacht und Traume." His most recent production, "A.," an original work loosely based on the "Antigone" myth, was performed in Indianapolis and New York City.
"Nocturnal Wanderer" is the first of four Late Night Theatre productions scheduled for the 2009-2010 season. Next up is "Exposed," a double bill of theatre and dance scheduled for Nov. 14 – 21.
Tickets for "Nocturnal Wanderer" go on sale one hour before show time each night of the production at the door of the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre. Ticket prices are $10 general admission, $8 UH faculty/staff, students, seniors, and military, and $5 UHM students with a validated Fall 2009 student ID. Latecomers will not be admitted once the performance has begun. For more information, including disability access, call the Kennedy Theatre Box Office at 956-7655 or visit www.hawaii.edu/kennedy.
WHAT: Nocturnal Wanderer
PRESENTED BY: UHM Department of Theatre and Dance
WHEN: Sept. 12, 18, 19 at 11 p.m.
Sept. 13 at 8 p.m.
WHERE: UHM's Earle Ernst Lab Theatre
TICKET PRICES: $10 general admission, $8 UH faculty/staff, seniors, and military, students, $5 UHM
students with a current validated student ID