2019 Taiwan Theatre Expo: The first theatre expo in Taiwan that bridges theatre-makers of all fields

Apr 3, 2019

From March 1 to 3, 2019, the first-ever Taiwan Theatre Expo was held at Taipei National University of the Arts by the Taiwan Association of Theatre Technology (TATT) and Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA).

Photo Credit: Taiwan Association of Theatre Technology (TATT)

The event served as a hot spot where theatre makers in different professions and different career stages could converse with one another. Equipment suppliers and theatre practitioners shared their thoughts on technology. Rookies talked to experienced professionals about the challenges they face and their ideas in mind.

During the three-day event, hundreds of theatre people gathered at the Performing Arts Center in TNUA. It reminded many participants of another unforgettable event held on the beautiful campus, the World Stage Design, which was also organized by TATT in the summer of 2017.

The scale of the Taiwan Theatre Expo was relatively small, with 10 exhibitors of lighting, video, sound and stage products, and this was the strength of the expo. “The small scale brings intimacy, and this is the most precious characteristic of this event,” said Samuel Wang, head of the Performing Arts Center of TNUA, in his opening speech on March 1. “This is also an important occasion for all theatre-makers in Taiwan to meet up.”

“This is the first time in Taiwan that the theatre equipment and technology draw the attention of many and are placed at the center of the stage.” Pei-Neng Liu, president of Taiwan Association of Theatre Technology, said in his opening speech. The statement resonated with the arrangement of the expo floor. The experimental theatre of TNUA was transformed into such unique exhibition space that visitors would not notice they were walking inside of a theatre.

Photo Credit: Taiwan Association of Theatre Technology (TATT)

In three days, nine presentations were given in the Dance Theatre by technicians and exhibitors. The topics in discussion included: safety in theatre, new design possibilities with new lighting equipment, technical solutions for specific theatrical needs, introducing a new theatre lighting technician certification, and learning and networking.

Safety in Theatre
In A New Generation of the Implementation and Inspection of Stage Machinery, Sam Wang, director of Shi-Chi Entertainment Technology Co., Ltd., talked about how SIL3 regulations work on the implementation and execution of automatic control systems in theatre. Shi-Chi was commissioned to renovate the automatic control system of the National Theatre in Taipei, together with German company SBS Bühnentechnik GmbH.  

In The Light Source Technology and the Application and Development of Clay Packy & ADB LED, Chen-Lung Yu and Eric Yu from ACROPRO Inc. introduced the K-Eye, B-Eye and AXCOR Profile lighting series.

ACROPRO Inc. cooperated with the Godot Theatre on lighting, LED and video engineering in Kiss Me Nana, a musical. Lighting designer Chuan-Fu Liu demonstrated how he created the design, as well as the lighting that goes well with music, lyrics and stage directions. The framing system of AXCOR Profile enables the lighting designer to create dynamic “salsa-like” movements with light. Finally, ACROPRO Inc. dedicated a 5-minute impressive lighting show.

Technical Solutions for Specific Theatrical Needs
In Customized Stage Machinery and Technical Design Education in TNUA, Eugene Chin-Yuan Yang, founder of Cubical Motivation System., Ltd. (CMS) and an assistant professor in TNUA, shared his journey on technical design. To design customized stage machinery, it requires comprehensive knowledge of technology and the bold creativity for challenging what seems to be impossible. From theatre productions to pop concerts, Yang and his team continuously explore the possible solutions.

Fang-Yu Sung, presenter of Introduction to Synchronizing Lighting, Audio and Video with Timecode, started digging into timecode technology while he was trying to synchronize the music, set, lighting and LED motor movements for EDI, a dance production of the Body Expression Dance Theatre. In the presentation, Sung set up the system to demonstrate how to perfectly synchronize all the elements to create a smooth performance.  

Introducing a New Theatre Lighting Technician Certification
The TATT team has spent three years advocating the importance of a national certificate for theatre technicians. At the end of 2018, the Theatre Lighting Technician Certification developed by TATT was finally authorized by the Ministry of Labor in Taiwan. It is the first national certification in the field of theatre, and the first exam will be held in June 2019.

Learning and Networking
During the three-day exposition, hundreds of theatre designers, technicians, educators, students, art administrators, and administrators of performing art centers gathered together. The exposition enabled the attendees to learn about the latest innovations in theatre and the live performance industry at once.

Designers might thus discover future possibilities using the latest equipment in productions. Technicians could exchange ideas about more flexible technical solutions. Students could combine the knowledge they learned in school with the current practices in industry. Especially for the attendees who are also artists, the technology they’ve learned might lead to the next work based on a specific technical design.

The exposition was also beneficial to the attendees who are at the peripheral of the performing arts industry, such as event management, visual art, spatial planning, and exhibition design. They might thus find new solutions for their daily work through the knowledge and technology shared at this event. It is also worth promoting the Theatre Expo out of the theatre industry, so as to gain more presence for theatre in Taiwan.

The participants all gave positive feedbacks. They wished the expo and the presentations could be held annually or biennially, regularly meeting the needs of exchange of knowledge and networking
Photo Credit: Taiwan Association of Theatre Technology (TATT)

The 10 exhibitors in attendance were: