Where is Mackie?

Engaged in deceit; To wheel and deal.
There is only one truth; The Curtain for a He-Says, She-Says Is Up.

When the trend for traditional Asian theaters to adapt Shakespeare’s works into the modern theater was popular, Yi-Shin Taiwanese Opera Troupe refused to follow suit. Instead, it adapted the “Three Pennies Opera” by Bertolt Brecht into Taiwanese “O-pei-la” that combined the essence of the East and West dramatic elements. “Where is Mackie” is consistent with Bertolt Brecht’s recognition of the Chinese traditional theater. As a result, Yi-Shin has created a new world with its bold and innovative spirit.

The director of “Where Is Mackie,” Mr. Liu Shou-yao kept the character “Narrator” Bertolt Brecht used a lot and shifted the storyline in a leaping and no-scene style. To highlight the features of Taiwanese “O-pei-la, “ western instruments are added, replacing Chinese traditional theater tunes with modern melodies. The fancy costumes and style of the stage and the lines in Taiwanese that are very close to everyday life exhibit the charms of energetic ordinary people.

The story starts at the Lantern Festival. Dragon City was full of happiness because of the holiday. The Emperor arrived in the city and issued an imperial order to fire the master of Dragon City for bending the law to serve his considerations. On the other hand, the head of the bandits, Mo Hao-ran, was rewarded for his contributions to the city. It turned out that to please the Emperor, the master of the city exhausted all his resources to hide the wealth gap and create a false peaceful image. At the same time, the daughter of the Bagger’s Store, Qian Yi-yi, married Mo Hao-ran without getting her parents’ prior permission. Boss Qian was so furious when he found that his daughter married without his permission. He pulled all the strings he could to make sure that the local officials punished Mo seriously. What was hidden behind the imperial order issued on the Lantern Festival? Everyone had their version of the truth. Does it take us closer or further away from the truth?

Thanks to the invitation of Mr. Geng Yi-wei, “Where is Mackie” is the opening performance at the 14th Taipei Arts Festival. It was then nominated for the 11th Taishin Arts Award and performed at the Silk Road International Arts Festival in Chuanzhou, China in 2016. In 2020, its remake was brought to the stage again and received positive responses from the audience. Two months later, with the invitation from Taiwan Creative Content Agency, it was performed in the TCCF- One Night for Taiwan Traditional Theatre.

National Culture and Arts Foundation

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