Experimental Theatre Experimental Theatre Experimental Theatre

Experimental Theatre

Founded in 1982, is a Hong Kong based international experimental theatre company. Zuni has produced more than 200 original productions of alternative theatre and multimedia performances, and has been active in video, sound experimentation and installation arts, as well as in the area of arts education, arts criticism, cultural policy research and international cultural exchange.

  • Zuni’s theatre has always stayed on the cutting edge of media technology in presenting the interactive relationship between multi-media and theatre, as well as in probing the possibilities of form and content in’theatre space’ through experimentation and exploration. Zuni has been most inspiring in developing the aesthetics of theatre in Chinese society, with its experimental and subversive nature, and this could be seen in the interactive experiments in the narrative (or rather non-narrative), form and space in its early works. The same spirit could be found in the multi-media design in lights, images, sounds and spaces as in the attempts in the area of cross-media performances, to cross-boundary political and civil area, and to cross-region international cultural exchanges. The topics covered stretch from popular culture to social taboos, from the traditional to the contemporary.

  • Read Sing Eileen Chang (2020)

    Reinterpret Classics

    Adapted Chinese and foreign literature, and historical and religious philosophical classics, Zuni invites art talents to interpret the world’s classics through new angles. Important works included Eighteen Springs and Red Rose, White Rose, multimedia music theatres based on novels of same title by the famous writer Eileen Chang and cooperated with Chinese National Theatre and Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre; the history theatre 1587, A Year of No Significance adapted from the book by the historian Ray Huang (Programme in The Hong Kong Week 2012 in Taiwan and Wuzhen Theatre Festival 2014) ; a digital opera Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci based on Jonathan Spence’s book; and life insight theatre Hua-Yen Sūtra series based on Buddhist classics; The Architecture of the City (DFA Design for Asia Awards 2018 – Silver Award and Silver A’Design Award in Performing Arts, Style and Scenery Design)

  • The Interrupted Geng Zi Dream (2020)

    Reinvent Tradition

    With the aim of advocating the preservation and development of intangible cultural heritage of the Asia-Pacific, a number of traditional Chinese opera artists were invited to collaborate and to experiment on the synthesis of traditional Chinese opera, and contemporary arts. Major works include Experimental Theatre series Stage Sisters, Sigmund Freud in Search of Chinese Matter and Mind, Tears of Barren Hill (the Music Theatre NOW award by the UNESCO); brand new Kunqu works A Tale of the Forbidden City – A Memorial to The Palace, Tang Xianzu’s Dream on Dreams; and cross-cultural exchange experiment One Belt One Road Experimental Theatre The Interrupted Dream: Chinois Dream at Château de Versailles, Heavenly Palace of Monkey Business. In 2020, The Interrupted Gengzi Dream was selected as a Featured Work of IATC (HK) Critics Awards 2020.

  • Rotten Big Ass (2019)

    Theatre and Media Technology

    In recent years, the experiments on live interaction between sound and light, digital images and texts, music and stage installation, has become one of the major creative directions, of the company. Major productions include Four Grand Inventions in Festival of Vision-Hong Kong in Berlin; Multi-media Architecture- Music Theatre series Looking for Mies (the DFA Merit Award); experimenting the extinct sounds Blind Musician Dou Wun, Rotten Big Ass in Z Innovation Lab 2019 which garnered the Red Dot Award in 2020 under Brand & Communication Design Section; and Bach is Heart Sutra (2020) which received DFA Design for Asia Awards 2021 – Merit Award.

  • Plan HK Better! (2018)

    Social Theatre

    Zuni believes that theatre should be a means for reflection. Zuni successfully grasps the pulse of the era by responding and discussing social and cultural issues through performances. Major productions include Operation Theater on the future of Hong Kong and the identity of Hong Kong people in 1980s ; Opium War – Four Letters to Deng Xiaoping that caused discussions about censorship, creative freedom and theatre management policies; Deep Structure Of Chinese (Hong Kong) Culture the first male naked theatre in Hong Kong; Zuni Movements in response to June Fourth Incident; and Two Or Three Things You Want To Know About Hong Kong discussing Hong Kong before 1997.

    In 2003, Zuni produced the East Wing West Wing series the first ever political comedy theatre series in Hong Kong, and also developed the Social Theatre series and the Liberal Studies Theatre. Major productions include The Agent, The Ultimate Review on HK TV, Remembrance of Karaoke Past. In 2018, Zuni developed the participatory policy forum theatre Plan HK Better! Series to invite the public to participate and jointly solve the problem of planning in Hong Kong.

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