The Practice Lab will soon present 11•Gao Xingjian Devised, a performance led by Lab Director Liu Xiaoyi and devised by all Lab participants. Let us have a lighthearted chat about the piece’s creative process through 11 Q&A and 11 pictures.
（图1：演员在进行即兴表演 Picture 1: Actors in the process of improvisation）
Who is Gao Xingjian? Gao Xingjian is a playwright and author of Chinese-French nationality. He was born in China in 1940, and ventured to Europe in the 1980s. He became the first-ever Chinese author to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature in the year 2000. Notable books by Gao Xingjian include Soul Mountain, One Man’s Bible, etc, and his plays include The Other Shore, Escape, Between Life and Death, etc.
（图2：演员在进行即兴表演 Picture 2: Actors in the process of improvisation）
What does “Devised” mean? During the creative process, the director would hand out certain texts and topics to actors, who would then create and perform pieces via improvisation based on their own understanding.
（图3：演员在进行即兴表演 Picture 3: Actors in the process of improvisation）
3.我需要读过高行健的作品才看得懂吗？Do I need to have read Gao Xingjian’s books beforehand in order to understand this production? 《11.即兴高行健》从高行健的文字出发，进行分析和解构。最终的作品，是以高行健的文字为灵感的再创作，有自己的意象和含义。如果你了解高行健，那么你可能有多一个层面的理解。如果你不认识高行健，这个作品自身是全新的，是完整的。
11 • Gao Xingjian Devised takes the texts by Gao Xingjian as its foundation for further analysis and deconstruction. The final piece is a creative work inspired by such texts, and it embodies its own imagery and meaning. If you have an understanding of Gao Xingjian, you might have another layer of understanding. If you are not familiar with Gao Xingjian, this piece can also be seen as a stand-alone and brand-new production.
（图4：演员在进行即兴表演 Picture 4: Actors in the process of improvisation）
What does 11 symbolise? During the Kuo Pao Kun Festival 2012, in commemoration of the 10-year passing of Kuo Pao Kun, Liu Xiaoyi led different groups of actors to create the works 11•Kuo Pao Kun Devised and 11•Kuo Pao Kun Devised, again. Liu Xiaoyi feels that the number 10 represents a sense of completion and conclusion, and 11 signifies that of a refreshed beginning – one which ventures forward based on the foundation of a solid 10.
（图5：演员在进行即兴表演 Picture 5: Actors in the process of improvisation）
Why is the piece called 11 then?11•Gao Xingjian Devised continues to embody the spirit of collaborative creative work, site-specific context and the deconstruction of classic texts.
（图6：演员们在热身 Picture 6: Actors in the middle of warm-up activities）
What is collaborative creative work?For most plays, the director would delegate roles to actors based upon a script, and subsequently go into rehearsals to put together the production. However, 11 involves the efforts of all actors – each of them create characters, settings, scenes and go through numerous sharing and discussion sessions, which are then re-organised by the director into the final piece of work.
（图7：演员们在讨论 Picture 7: Actors in the middle of a discussion session）
How has this production been put together via collaborative creative work? As the final performance by The Practice Lab, this production is the culmination of the efforts of the 2 playwrights and 9 actors through a year-long Lab workshop. All participants were required to read the works of Gao Xingjian, further develop pieces from his texts, and create improvisations, all of which led to an accumulation of vast materials. Including the director, there are 12 participants in total who have been working together to complete this final creation.
（图8：导演在整理创作素材 Picture 8: The director in the midst of organising creative materials）
What is “site-specific theatre”? “Site-specific” art is a piece that has been created especially for a certain venue and context. Artists would have considered the venue as an important element in the creative and planning process. Part of the 100-year-old structure of the Stamford Arts Centre forms the site-specific basis of this production.
（图9：演员在进行即兴表演 Picture 9: Actors in the process of improvisation）
9.“实践实验室”是怎么运作的？What is The Practice Lab all about? 如果你觉得传单上的介绍有点复杂，那么总的来说，实验室有三个重点——1.实验性作品。2.集体创作。3.长期训练。它将通过一系列的活动，来培养演员、编剧、甚至观众等等。
If you feel that our introduction on the flyer is a tad complicated, well, in summary, The Practice Lab has three main elements – 1. Experimental works. 2. Collaborative creative work. 3. Long-term training. Through a series of activities, we aim to nurture and develop actors, playwrights, even the audience, and more.
（图10：演员们在排练 Picture 10: Actors in rehearsals）
Why do we need “Poor Theatre”? Poor Theatre exists everywhere. In such a theatre, the people involved need to create even more vivid possibilities and imagination in order to circumvent the lack of resources. We feel that it is not necessarily a bad thing to be situated in a harsh creative environment, with low-cost productions. Works that are formulated in such a context would have their own unique energy and flavour, and possess an integrity that is different from that of commercialised pieces – which is of critical importance to us these days.
（图11：演员在进行即兴表演 Picture 11: Actors in the process of improvisation）
Having read so much, how do I book my seats? Call 6337 2525 to book your seats now!