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赖声川:华语世界戏剧变迁亲历者

更新时间:2016-9-18 9:51:33 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Theater’s Evolving Role in mainland China and Taiwan
赖声川:华语世界戏剧变迁亲历者

Over the past few decades, Stan Lai has established a reputation as one of the most celebrated Chinese-language playwrights and directors. His works include more than 30 original plays, two feature films and four operas. Mr. Lai, who was born in the United States and is based in Taiwan, has written classics like “Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land” (1986), now an iconic play in contemporary Chinese theater, while still continuing to experiment with new forms, as seen in his eight-hour epic “A Dream Like a Dream” (2000), which has audiences sitting on swivel chairs in the center of the stage.

过去几十年来,赖声川已经成为华语世界最具声望的编剧和导演之一。他的作品包括30多部原创戏剧、两部电影、4部歌剧。生于美国的赖声川现居台湾,除了写下如今已成华语戏剧典范的《暗恋桃花源》(1986)这样的经典,他还在持续进行着新形式的实验,这在历时8小时的巨作《如梦之梦》中可以看到,该剧的观众需要坐在舞台中央的旋转观众区里。

He is a co-founder of the Performance Workshop in Taiwan and the Wuzhen Theater Festival in China. In 2015, he opened his first theater, Theater Above, a 699-seat venue in Shanghai. Most recently, he directed San Francisco Opera’s production of the Chinese classic “Dream of the Red Chamber,” which had its premiere last weekend. In a recent interview, Mr. Lai spoke about changes in the theater industry in mainland China and Taiwan and how his Buddhist beliefs influence his writing.

他与人合作在台湾创办了表演工作坊,在中国创办了乌镇戏剧节。2015年,他在上海创办了自己的第一家剧院——有699座的“上剧场”(Theater Above)。近日他执导了旧金山歌剧院(San Francisco Opera)排演的中国古典剧目《红楼梦》,该剧于上周末首演。在最近的一次访谈中,赖声川谈到了中国大陆和台湾戏剧产业的变化,以及他的佛教信仰对写作的影响。

When did you first start writing plays?

你是什么时候开始写戏的?

I started writing plays in 1983. As a new teacher in Taiwan just having received my Ph.D. from Berkeley, I found a great lack of teaching materials for my students, who didn’t read English. Since Taiwan had been under martial law for so long, there wasn’t a body of creative work — plays — and there were very few translated materials to fall back on as teaching material, so I decided to create my own.

我最早写戏是在1983年。当时我刚刚拿到在伯克利的博士学位,到台湾当教员,我发现没有多少资料可供学生使用,他们又不能读英文。当时台湾因为经过太长时间的戒严,没有成体系的创作——即剧作,也很少有可以用于教学的翻译资料,所以我决定自己创作。

What was the environment for theater in Taiwan like at the time?

当时台湾的戏剧氛围如何?

It was a time when there was no theater industry in Taiwan, so no professional anything — writers, directors, actors, designers, scene shops, etc. Not even a theater with a fully functioning fly system. So my way of creating new works also was my way of conducting actor training and general training in creating works for the theater, with the larger context being the lack of theater facilities or even a style of training or performing.

那时候台湾还没有戏剧产业,所以全部都不是专业的——编剧、导演、演员、设计、道具等等。甚至没有一个剧场配备可以正常运转的悬吊系统。因此我创作新剧的办法,和我主导演员训练以及戏剧创作一般训练的方法是一样的,大的背景是缺乏剧场设施,甚至没有一种训练或表演的风格。

The new works I was making reflected the fact that we were forming a new grammar of theater in the Chinese language, working in a vacuum with little or no points of reference from the past. My fourth play, “That Evening, We Performed Crosstalk” (1985), was a breakout work.

从我的新戏可以看到,我们正在用中文形成一种新的戏剧语法,这是从无到有的,几乎无法从过去得到多少参考。我的第四部戏《那一夜,我们说相声》(1985)是一个突破。

What was that play about?

那部戏讲的是什么?

That play dealt with the death of culture, “cross talk” in particular, and unexpectedly was a huge commercial success, at the same time reviving the dying traditional comic performing art called cross talk (xiangsheng). And so it set the mold for a new type of theater — commercially viable yet intellectually challenging. We were doing serious theater, engaging our audiences in deep and essential dialogue, and at the same time creating a new audience. That was the excitement of our early works. What we are witnessing in China today is not dissimilar.

它是在讲文化的死亡——具体说就是“相声”,没想到在商业上非常成功,当时给相声这门行将消亡的传统幽默表演艺术带来复兴。这样一来,它就给一种新型戏剧提供了模版——商业上可以成功,同时又具有智识上的挑战。我们当时在做严肃的戏剧,和我们的观众展开深刻而根本的交流,与此同时,我们也在建立一个新的观众群体。这是我们的早期作品让人兴奋的地方。和我们今天在中国看到的情形差不多。

How have your interests as a playwright changed since then?

那么你对写剧本的兴趣此后有没有变化?

My own personal evolution as a playwright went through an era of political change in Taiwan, where my work as many people see it contributed to the dialogue surrounding change. As I continued to evolve as a human being, I began to believe that politics is a smaller and lesser topic to deal with, much smaller than life itself, and the human forces shaping the external world are subservient to the forces shaping our inner world. Thus my shift in focus from the external to the internal, most notably in “A Dream Like a Dream.”

我个人作为一个编剧的变化过程,适逢台湾的一个政治变革期,在很多人看来,我的作品对围绕着变革展开的讨论是有帮助的。我自己作为一个人在不断成长,渐渐觉得政治话题越来越小,越来越不重要,比起生活本身是不足道的,人类塑造外部世界的力量,和塑造我们内心世界的力量相比,是次要的。所以我的转变主要是从外到内,最显著的是在《如梦之梦》这部戏上。

Talk a little bit about “A Dream Like a Dream.” What inspired you to write it?

我们来谈一谈《如梦之梦》吧。它的灵感来自于什么?

The idea came to me when I was traveling in India in Bodh Gaya. I’ve been a practicing Buddhist for over 40 years. In the past, I’ve been quite reluctant to put my Buddhist practice into my work, but it was a moment when I was inspired to do so. The whole eight-hour, very complicated story came to my mind in one piece, in one inspiration.

我是在印度菩提伽耶旅行的时候产生这个想法的。我修佛已经有40多年了。在过去,我非常不愿意把自己作为佛教徒的修行带到我的作品里,但在某一个瞬间,我受到启发,觉得应该这样做。这个历时8小时、非常复杂的故事,是在我头脑里一次性形成的,来自一个灵感。

How has politics affected the larger creative environment in Taiwan?

政治对台湾整体上的创作环境有何影响?

As politics and society in Taiwan evolved, the acute confrontational stance of the two opposing parties has created a fatigue and distaste toward politics in society in general, including the artistic community. The constant ongoing daily exchange of attacks and vicious views in the media often seems to make life much more theatrical than theater could ever be, and in fact even more absurd and entertaining as well. This uncontrolled media violence has negated the possibility of meaningful dialogue, and any artist who wishes to engage the issues runs the risk of being immediately labeled this or that.

在台湾,随着政治和社会逐步发展,两大对立政党激烈对抗的态势,导致社会总体上对政治持疲劳和反感的态度,包括艺术界。持续不断的相互攻击和媒体上的恶毒观点,常常让人觉得它们把生活变得远比戏剧更戏剧化,实际上也更荒唐,更具娱乐意味。这种失控的媒体暴力让进行有意义的对话的可能性成为了泡影,任何一个希望参与相关问题的艺术家,都面临着立即被贴上这样或那样的标签的风险。

There is no space for objective and rational discourse. That is why artists in Taiwan today naturally gravitate away from dealing with political issues. How they find their expression is a question of their own personal growth and path. I found mine in the deeper and larger domain that is called life itself.

没有客观和理性话语的空间。这就是为什么在如今的台湾,艺术家会自然而然地远离政治问题。如何找到自己的表达方式是他们自己的个人成长和道路问题。我是在一个更深刻、更广阔的领域找到自己的表达方式的,那就是生活本身。

What has been the biggest change in theater in mainland China over the last few decades?

大陆戏剧过去几十年最大的变化是什么?

Certainly the biggest changes have been the denationalization of theater and its increasing commercialization. So while it’s great that theater is growing at the pace it is, it is a little unfortunate that people there see theater as a lucrative business plan, as crazy as it sounds. I say crazy because in the U.S. it would never happen.

最大的变化当然是戏剧的去国有化和日渐增强的商业化。因此,尽管戏剧正在以目前的速度发展是好事,但有些遗憾的是,那里的人认为戏剧是一种极其有利可图的商业计划,尽管这听上去很疯狂。我说疯狂是因为在美国,永远不会出现这种情况。

As a result, theater is underappreciated as a true, integral part of the cultural growth of a society. That’s why things like the Wuzhen Theater Festival and my own theater in Shanghai mean so much to me. We are working to counter those trends where you see investors coming in and trying to create a Chinese type of Broadway musical everywhere all the time. Your motivation for doing something is so important in shaping that thing. And if your motivation is to make money, then it shapes it in a very odd way. Theater becomes a very patronizing thing, and you’ll see that a lot in China — copying and pasting things together that they think will sell.

因此,戏剧作为社会文化发展真切且必不可少的一部分,并未得到充分重视。这就是为什么像乌镇戏剧节和我在上海的剧场这样的事物对我来说意义重大。我们在努力抗衡一些潮流。在那些潮流中,你会看到不断有投资者进入这个领域,试图在所有地方和所有时间里创造一种中式百老汇音乐剧。如果要做一件事,动机对它的塑造非常重要。如果你的动机是赚钱,那么这个动机会以一种非常奇怪的方式来塑造戏剧。戏剧就变成了一种让人厌弃的东西,在中国这种情况很常见——把自认为能卖出去的东西复制粘贴,拼凑在一起。

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