CAUGHT Begins 10/1 at Artists Rep
Artists Repertory Theatre presents Caught, a show centered around Chinese dissident artist Lin Bo that combines visual art and live theatre installations. Caught is presented in partnership with The Chújú Gallery/SF and The Geezer Gallery, and features dozens of collaborators including playwright Christopher Chen. The production runs October 1 through October 29, 2017 on Artists Rep's newly configured Morrison Stage.
Ripped from today's headlines and breaking the theatrical mold, artist Lin Bo's work, Qín (Caught), presents a sly philosophical puzzle that investigates the murky intersections of fact and fiction in the crafting of art and news. The show features Lin, a dissident visual, performance and conceptual artist whose piece, Shìw?i (Rally) led to his arrest and two-year detention by the Chinese government in 2012. After his release, Lin moved to San Francisco and launched a traveling exhibition of his work to Vancouver BC, Tacoma, Portland, Las Vegas and Minneapolis. In each city, Lin is partnering with theatre companies rather than traditional gallery spaces; in Portland, Artists Rep is hosting the exhibit.
The Artists Rep exhibition includes his current work, as well as a new theatrical piece, Qín (Caught), a lively exploration of the American obsession with story and narrative as markers for authenticity. Lin will be introducing the work at each performance, and discussing his harrowing experiences in detention under the Chinese authorities. Recently profiled by The New Yorker Magazine, he is writing a book about his journey as a dissident artist in an authoritarian culture, which will be published following this tour. In Portland, Lin is collaborating with artists: playwright Christopher Chen, Dmae Roberts, Chris Harder, Sara Hennessy, Greg Watanabe, Horatio Law, Megan Wilkerson, Sarah Gahagan, Jennifer Lin, Rodolfo Ortega, Luan Schooler, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Samson Syharath and Shawn Lee to recreate this piece for Portland viewers.
"Caught unfolds with a unique theatrical style like nothing I have ever seen," said Shawn Lee, Caught director at the play's first rehearsal. "Our interactive rollercoaster of a production is pArt Theatre, part art installation, and is sure to keep audiences questioning everything they are seeing. Whatever preconceived ideas we have about what theatre is and should be, Christopher Chen's piece is sure to shake them up. Prepare to be surprised."
The static elements of Lin Bo's work may be viewed throughout October in the Morrison Lobby at Artists Rep, Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 6pm. The visual art exhibit will open one hour prior to the show - early arrival is suggested. An audio tour of the exhibit, narrated by Resident Artist Susannah Mars, will be available for download.
Artists Rep's production of Caught is intended to be a theatrical puzzle that will unfold for audiences when they attend. The play grapples with today's lightening rod issues about truth in media. From fake news and manipulation of truth to public gullibility, and from cultural appropriation to race-influenced perceptions, this production of Caught takes the playwright's intentions to the furthest edge.
Artists Rep will need the collaboration of the media for the production to succeed in its attempt to lead the audience on their own journey to discovering what is true on their own.
Efforts on the direction of our production are with approval from the playwright, Christopher Chen, and the cooperation of all the artists involved on the project. All contributors will be noted in the show's playbill that will be given to audiences members following each show. Audience members will be asked to "keep the secret" as they leave.
Among many contemporary topics, this show addresses truth and deception in the media, as well as the fine line between intention and manipulation. This is not a new development, but today's "fake news" culture makes this piece particularly relevant now. Some recent related examples include:
· Mike Daisy's interview on "The Agony and The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs"on NPR's This American Life with Ira Glass
"Caught takes an unusual approach to craft the audience experience," said Dámaso Rodríguez, Artists Rep Artistic Director. "We acknowledge this makes it tricky for press to not report on the spoilers and maintain objective truth. We ask that reporters use their best judgment in describing this performance and with the intention of letting audiences experience it for themselves."
Attached is the performance synopsis. Artists Rep requests that media members use this solely as research.