Art Radar Asia interviews FCP artist couple, Tun Win Aung and Wah Nu – find out more in the Impact of FCP 2013!
Theatre of the disturbed is an independent performance ensemble based in Yangon, Myanmar. It was founded in 2005 by Burmese theatre/performance artist Nyan Lin Htet and French musician/ humanitarian worker Lorène Tamain with the intention of promoting contemporary theatre and performance practice and intercultural exchange in Myanmar.
The name “Theatre of the Disturbed” has a two-fold meaning. In one sense, it is the theatre of a group of people sensitive of and disturbed by the situations surrounding them. In another sense, the name represents a group of artists and cultural workers exploring creative expressions through different performative activities and tactics that might be considered bizarre, out of convention, crazy and yet avant-garde according to the norms of the local community. Also the core concept of Theatre of the Disturbed is more of a platform than a group with fixed members so the group’s activities can be more process-oriented, collaborative, experimental and open-formed.
One of the aims of the group is to extend the extremely limited boundary of artistic expressions within the Burmese/Myanmar community mainly through various performative actions encompassing a wide range of activities including performance art, text-based and non-text-based theatre, experimental dance, monologue, docudrama, and other related body/action/time based practices. In this sense, Theatre of the Disturbed is pioneering contemporary theatre & performance practices in Burma/Myanmar.
Since its inception, Theatre of the disturbed has been actively involved in local and international art scenes. From 2005 to 2009, the group presented 10 theatrical performances based on the dramatic works by local and international playwrights in Myanmar. Starting from 2007, the group regularly invited practicing artists from the international community to conduct workshops and seminars about contemporary theatre and performance practice in Myanmar.
Theatre of the disturbed is the only performance ensemble in Myanmar to have premiered the performance interpretation of dramatic writings by Samuel Beckett (Waiting for Godot, Not I, and Oh, Happy Days in 2005; and Rockaby in 2008) and Eugene Ionesco (Rhinoceros in 2007). In 2009, the first Myanmar theatrical adaptation of Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis was premiered by Theatre of the disturbed. More recently, in 2012, Theatre of the disturbed created a loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, premiered at the French Institute.
Most remarkably, Theatre of the disturbed successfully organized the first edition of its “iUi- iUi# 01: International Festival of Contemporary Theatre and Performance Art” in February 2008 in Yangon, Myanmar with the support of Alliance Française de Rangoun and Arts Network Asia and with the partial support from Asian Cultural Council (ACC). The second edition, “iUi # 02: International Festival of Contemporary Theatre” was also successfully organized by Theatre of the disturbed with the support from Alliance Française de Rangoun and Goethe Institut in February 2010 in Yangon, Myanmar. Based on the experiences from the previous editions of the project “iUi”, a new edition “iUi # 2.5: International Festival of Contemporary Theatre and Performance” took place in February 2012, designed to be more engaging and more artistically challenging during the process of capacity-building within the local art community.