Intiman’s CAUGHT: Beyond the Theatre

Poster for Intiman Theater's Caught by Christopher ChenImagine yourself at an art exhibition viewing the installation of an internationally known artist. This is how the play CAUGHT begins, a compelling work for those who relish unconventional narratives and conceptual art.  The audience is a part, not apart, from the action of a “labyrinthine exploration of truth, art, social justice and cultural appropriation, where nothing is as it first appears.”

You’re here to hear the artist, Lin Bo, give a gallery talk. He is enjoying wide exposure and his work has come to greater prominence because of an article published about him in the New Yorker. Having been imprisoned in China for a single work of art, Lin Bo is telling his side of the story. If you think this sounds sort of like Ai Weiwei, You’re headed in the right direction. Bo’s character was partially based on the dissident artist’s life.

The cast and director of Intiman Theatre's CAUGHT: (from left to right) Narea Kang, Jonelle Jordan, Justin Huertas, director Desdemona Chiang, and Bradford Farwell. Photo by Naomi Ishisaka for Intiman Theatre.
The cast and director of Intiman Theatre’s CAUGHT: (from left to right) Narea Kang, Jonelle Jordan, Justin Huertas, director Desdemona Chiang, and Bradford Farwell. Photo by Naomi Ishisaka for Intiman Theatre.

Lin Bo talks about contemporary art and artists in China. He describes how in China, One Million Artists face censorship and suppression. Scenes of Tiananmen Square, Mao, the Cultural Revolution, uproar and protest spill from his mouth.

Now, imagine yourself caught inside of an ever-changing narrative of multiple viewpoints circling around The Truth and Other Lies. This play, does exactly that, it takes the audience not down but through the “rabbit hole” of perception.In a swirl of artful lies, dramatic deceptions and truth-telling, there is an upending of long-held beliefs, confusion and debates about who has the right to make claim to the truth or truths that lie between pages of books and teeth.

Whether you’re from the East or West, somewhere in that rabbit hole, you’ll meet conceptual artist Wang Min, known for creating works inspired by controversy, similar to the one that surrounded former Seattle resident Mike Daisey about Amazon and labor conditions in China.   An installation Min has constructed brings attention to the differences in perception between East and West. Defending her work, Min exclaims that “One of my main points of interest has always been America’s relationship to truth, particularly in relation to other countries.”

Christopher Chen says, “My hope is that the audience comes away both discombobulated and inspired. That is, I hope they leave with a sense that they have more permission to question things than when they came in. The play is ultimately advocating for an alert and questioning state of mind when dealing with social issues.”

Get caught up in CAUGHT! See the Intiman Theatre production at 12th Avenue Arts from March 7 to March 30 2019. In addition to the titles above, librarians at Seattle Public Library created a resource list of books, ebooks, streaming videos and DVDs to enhance your experience of the show.

~ Posted by Chris




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