Extended philosophic issue by reflecting on technology and humanity
Script development and stage design
Online Session
June 16th, 2015

《Solo Date》is the latest monodrama of Tsai Pao-chang, co-artistic director of Tainaner Ensemble in 2015, he attempts to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI), Siri, into theater. In hopes to inspire a different interpretation of the performance through Chinese and Western mentality as well as technical direction in new media, QA Ring has paired Joe Polifroni, AI Speaking language expert, to be the mentor of 《Solo Date》. International consultants Kevin Cunningham and Mikael Fock will also take part in discussions and direction.

In this discussion, Tsai Pao-chang, shared his further concepts about the upcoming monodrama “Solo Date”, and he tried to take humanity and spirituality into focus. Aside from that, the set designer Yu-Han Huang and the multimedia technician/ artist  Chih-Hao Ko shared their ideas about the stage design and technical matters.

Part 1: Extended philosophic issue by reflecting on technology and humanity.

1.As a pious buddhist, Tsai probes that when a machine that starts to imitate human’s behaviours, will the belief in God show forth more personality of a machine?

2.The reason why Tsai tried to bring up the concept of God is to highlight the the fact that people always turn to higher spirits or God for help when face crisis.

Suggestions from international mentor and consultants:

Joe Polifroni probed into the subject from different angles. As an atheist, he indicated that it’s instinct or spiritual for people to seek for help from higher spirits, and it’s not necessarily relative to some certain God.

Kevin Cunningham suggested that the concept of God might be a bit of didactic, that might limit audience’s understanding of the play. Therefore, he proposed that Tsai should be more cautious while dealing with the concept, especially “the understanding of God” hold different notions in Eastern and Western religious context.

Part 2: Set design and tech design

1.The set designer Yu-Han Huang tries to create a science-fictional vibe by using a huge water tank with rusty texture on the surface as the main element of the stage, and the surface of the walls are movable with transition, which invites audience to look into the box.

2.In terms of set design, Tsai suggested that the wall of the water tank can be made of certain screen with specific texture, and he hopes that the stage (water tank) can be rotatable.

3.The multimedia technician/ artist Chih-Hao Ko undertakes to prototype the model of the stage with a useful part to fix the structure, and test different material to project on.

Suggestions from international mentor and consultants:

Kevin Cunningham suggested that the set designer Huang should take the weight of glass into consider, and  transparent plastic may be easier to be installed by tension rigging. As for the screen, he mentioned the tech artist should make a list of critical effects and element, it would be more efficient.

Artist & Mentor
Kevin Cunningham
Joe Polifroni
Tsai, Pao-chang
Ko, Blaire
Huang, Yu-han
Stage Designer

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