the 9 Fridas
by Kaite O'Reilly, Directed by Phillip Zarrilli
In 2013 Keng Yi-Wei, Artistic Director of The Taipei Festival, invited Phillip Zarrilli to be a Guest Director for the 2014 Festival—‘Ways of Looking’. Paired with Mobius Strip Theatre in Taipei for the Festival, Zarrilli chose to direct the world premiere of Kaite O’Reilly’s the 9 Fridas—a performance script originally commissioned by Sherman Cymru (Cardiff). The 2014 premiere was performed in Mandarin translation with an integrated (disabled/non-disabled) cast of nine actors—six in the onstage ensemble and three appearing in pre-recorded videos interspersed throughout the performance. Mobius Strip produced the visually stunning premiere in association with Hong Kong Repertory Theatre with premiere performances at Well-Spring Theatre during September, 2014. Hong Kong Rep then invited the production to be remounted and performance as part of the 2016 Hong Kong Rep International Black Box Festival (October).
[Having toured in to the Hong Kong International Black Box Festival, the 9 Fridas might be available for further touring worldwide. Please contact Phillip Zarrilli, or Mobius Strip Theatre, Taipei. A video of the full production is available on-line...please see below. Note that the opening of the video is takes place as the audience is still entering, and as the autos enter the playing space. The sound track is a radio 'arts programme' where a panel of art critics and social commentators are sharing very different view of Frida Khalo's art work.]
‘the 9 Fridas’ is a mosaic, a collage of impressions and stories reflecting the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907 – 1954) and the fictional journey of ‘F’ through the 9 Hells of the Mayan Underworld. ‘F’ is accompanied by a chorus of figures who, like her, are and are not Frida Kahlo, but whose stories echo actual events from Kahlo’s life: The betrayed wife, the political activist, the teenager severely disabled in a road accident, the fashion icon, the struggling artist…
In/around rehearsals, and as part of the 2014 Taipei Festival, Zarrilli conducted an intensive open workshop in his pre-performative psychophysical training for Taiwanese actors, and Bookman Press released the Mandarin translation of Zarrilli’s award-winning book about the training process, Psychophysical Acting.