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Dixon Place Presents EXILE 5.42 Tonight


In early 2015 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, 6 prisoners took hostage of the warden, successfully winning the attention from the public, after the convicted former president was granted compassionate release. The 6 prisoners did not attempt to escape, but rather chose another path leading to tragedy, after making their statements to society. Taiwanese director and playwright, and current Associate Artistic Director of The Living Theatre, Dennis Yueh-Yeh Li, after his adaptation of Peter Weiss's "The New Trial" at Theater for the New City, through "Exile 5.42" will take a closer look at the incident, pointing out the struggles of the incarcerated and examining the penological system. This new project "Exile 5.42" will be presented by Dixon Place tonight, March 3rd, at 7:30pm as a work-in-progress project.

A year after the incident, "Exile 5.42" is devised to commemorate and most importantly to challenge the existing boundary and the juridical institution through theatrical art, further envisioning ways of reconstructing the system itself. These 6 prisoners, dealing with the day-to-day injustice, constantly reflected on their personal life in/out of prison and their verdict, decided to take hostage of the warden before one of the prisoners was to be executed, hoping to win the attention from the public and refocus it to the injustice in prison. However, what these 6 prisoners have pointed out does not solely occur in Taiwan, but is universal applying to the penological system in America and around the world. "Exile 5.42" therefore aims to find a new equilibrium of power relations with a hope of facilitating the vision of a better penological system.

Continuing the legacy and aesthetics of the Living Theatre, "Exile 5.42" is an experimental political theatre project. Its politicality lies in and denotes the coercion to the performers and the audience to return to the very belief in humanity, which, living in such crooked power-relation complex, we have abandoned. Several theatrical experiments will focus on the constructive identity and the language. Performers will switch identities to allow different voices on the penological issues, and to further create the necessary alienation effect. "Exile 5.42" will also be presented predominantly in Chinese (Mandarin and Taiwanese dialect), and supplemented by English language to pay tribute to the incident and further to challenge the sensational hierarchy in theatre.

The ensemble of "Exile 5.42" includes Leah Bachar, Chun Cho, Wanning Jen, Clare Chien-Lun Lee, and Chih-Heng Liao.

Date & Time: March 3rd, 7:30pm

Dixon Place 161a Chrystie Street, New York, NY 10002

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