Magazine, July 2003
a high note at Rooftop Theatre with the LoShang Theatre
Courtney Donovan Smith
It was not the
response they were expecting: For three nights running,
the tiny Rooftop Theatre packed in over 50 hot, sweating
people while people were being turned away in droves at
the door. "We really didn't know if anyone would interested,"
said LoShang Theatre Company co-founder Louise Knight. It
turns out hundreds were.
the performers ranging from professionals to complete amateurs,
the range and quality of talents varied but at no point
ceased to be entertaining. The show kicked off with local
flutist Eigen's poignant and suprisingly powerful evocation
of an ex-lover's smile. Of the four short plays, "Universal
Language" stands out as perhaps the most clever piece
I've seen in awhile--a humourous take on a scam artist's
attempt to sell language classes in a language that doesn't
actually exist. The only original play of the four, "The
Donkey Rode the Pig", was probably the most effective
for the very cross-cultural audience. With little spoken
language actors appealed the entire audience with hilariously
outrageous comedic acting and handfuls of peanuts. Another
bridge builder was Asha's poetry, recited alternately in
Chinese and English.
two short films written, directed and acted in by a locally-based
film club and were surprisingly good, one quite funny and
the other thought provoking. The one dance piece, the comedic
classic "they're naked and they do dance" got
more than a few giggles from the audience.
Solo performer David Seymour brought his unique Tom Waits-inspired
music and there was even a story teller to round out the
program. The performers were a mix of Taiwanese and foreigners
and, according to co-founder Brook Hall, this cross-cultural
artistic expression is a goal of the LoShang Theatre Company.
theatre itself is a labour of love, with the space donated
by Nell, the owner of the jewelry shop below. A handful
of people donated their money and their time over six months
to lay out the floor, put in lighting, sew cushions and
prepare the space. Happily, they have now installed a much-needed
LoShang Theatre company is open to all, local and foreign,
who want to participate and from the show I saw it looked
like a lot of fun. Additionally, the theatre itself is available
for a variety of functions. For more information about either,
There: From SOGO II, head south on JingChung road about
two blocks and turn left. The Rooftop Theatre is located
above Nell's Jewelry Store, directly across from La Bodega
and is visible from JingChung road.
6, JingChung (ChingCheng) 2nd St.