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The Peony Pavilion, by Tang Xianzu, Directed by Jeffrey Sichel at the Center for the Arts Theater, Wesleyan University, 2013

Visual Research:

The relationship between natural textures and the body, as well as the idea of dream-like reality, was important for this play; particularly, the sense of the in-betweeness of the real and the unreal. Therefore, the idea of mirroring reality was reflected in the set design.

Object Research:

The objects for this production were spare and minimalist in nature, focusing on specific traditional-craft materials, such as paper, wood and fabric. The objects were designed with an awareness of contemporary notions of cultural appropriation and considerations of the exchange between east/west theatrical practices and traditions.

Set Ideas:

The insertion of calligraphy during the performance informed the height and levels of the set and sitting areas, which were close to the ground, thereby transforming the stage into a surface for writing, as well as an organic and natural landscape. The sitting mounds had fabric coverings that enveloped them and the whole stage, thereby becoming an audience/performer-shared space.

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