Tempus Theatre Celebrates Asian Heritage Month
May 1 - 23, 2009
Tickets: $25 plus service charges at www.ticketstonight.ca or 604-684-2787
Tempus Theatre, one of Vancouver’s most exciting new theatrical voices, presents the Western Canadian premiere of 36 VIEWS by award-winning Japanese American playwright Naomi Iizuka, in an innovative multi-disciplinary production directed by Anthony F. Ingram and starring Keith Martin Gordey Annabel Kershaw, Michael Kopsa, Lissa Neptuno, Bert Steinmanis and Valerie Sing Turner. Part romance, part mystery and part con game, the play casts a enthralling spell of poetic language, evocative sounds and beautiful images, even as it asks compelling and timely questions about cultural authenticity, the value of art in society, and the quest for truth in art and in human relationships.
Appropriately for a production running during Asian Heritage Month, 36 VIEWS is a contemporary play set in a modern, metropolitan city that incorporates elements of traditional Japanese Kabuki and Noh theatre, as well as references to Japanese literature, music and visual art (including The Tale of Genji, the Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon and the works of Japanese master artists) … references that are fraught with fascinating ambiguity. “When you live in a country like Canada and a city like Vancouver,” says Ingram (Tempus Theatre’s artistic director), “and you’ve got all these cultural identities struggling to fit themselves in or define themselves against a predominantly northern European cultural influence … what is the difference between bastardizing a cultural touchstone and borrowing it to create a new cultural language?”
36 VIEWS moves effortlessly between that bigger picture and a more intimate, more personal one. In the playwright’s words, “it’s a play about how difficult it is to arrive at some fixed, unchanging truth about a human being, or a work of art, or a love affair. What we thought was the truth changes. Our perceptions shift, and it’s complicated. People are complicated. Why they make certain choices is at times contradictory, and I wanted to build a play that captured in its actual form all those contradictions.”
Plot synopsis: An art dealer and an art historian discover what appears to be an ancient manuscript, a priceless Japanese pillow book created by a medieval courtesan. As they try to prove its authenticity, their search becomes an erotic game of greed, love, and sleight-of-hand. In a series of 36 interlocking scenes, Naomi Iizuka’s play explores the relationship between the imaginary and the real, and the lines and spaces that separate feelings and words, objects and images of objects, antiques and reproductions, and a person’s heritage and physical features. Culture and commodity, fetish and forgery, and personal and professional revenge are all exposed in 36 VIEWS.
Design Team: 36 VIEWS will feature lighting by Darren Boquist, set by Todd Parker, sound by Ronin Wong, projections by Corwin Ferguson and costumes by Nina Prelog. It is co-produced by Tempus founders Anna Hagan, Anthony F. Ingram, Bert Steinmanis and Valerie Sing Turner, with Maria Denholme as Associate Producer.