Media Coverage

Theatre Greenhorn Portrays an “Hero” in the Vietnam War

Seok disobeys the interpreter and risked his life to protect the Viet Cong spy, hoping the interpreter could give the spy a chance to live. Image provided by Bath-In-Light Experimental Theater

The “Backstage Professionals’ Training Program” started in March of this year and offered courses such as body development, drama, and vocals to train nearly 60 amateur performers. The original musical “Hero” is based on a true story which happened during the Vietnam War, and will premiere on the sixth of this month at the National Taiwan University of Arts Performance Hall.

In the musical, Miss Lin, who majored in English at the National Central University (NCU), plays the cold-blooded and brutal South Vietnamese interpreter. "Come here!" the interpreter yelled. She grabs the collar of the communist spy, drags him to the center of the stage and holds a pistol to the spy’s head. Lin said that this role is very different from her cheerful personality. In the beginning, she found the process of analyzing and understanding the character to be very painful. It wasn’t until the director told her, “Think of yourself as an emptied glass bottle and let the character come inside of you,” that she finally realized the cynical anger the interpreter felt because of the death, destruction and devastation the war had brought to his family. Lin said, “When I am performing, I am not acting (the part of the interpreter), but I become him.”


Mr. Yu, a student of the Department of Foreign Languages and the star of the musical, sang “Hero” with a gradual progression of high notes. He had never participated in musicals before, but joined this training project to challenge himself. He said that he not only trained to increase his lung capacity by running for two kilometers every day, but also learned how to project from his diaphragm. He also learned how to go beyond his usual vocal range by lowering his center when singing so that he can sing higher notes with an orotund voice.


Mr. Gong, the Marketing Executive of Bath-In-Light Experimental Theater, said, “In the past couple of years, more young students have joined the theatre. Therefore, we started the training program in the hopes of drawing out the newcomers individualities.” He pointed out that Bath-in-light used to perform in small performance halls of around 200 people. However, after the launch of the training program, Bath-in-light is now capable of giving large performances for around 900 audiences.


Around 20 experienced lecturers and professionals who have been trained abroad are trainers for this program. The program covers both theoretical and practical courses. Participants find the tuition fee affordable and entrance requirements reasonable. The organizing committee expressed that the training program will continue. In the future, it will tour in rural areas and hold other performances that showcase its achievements.


“Hero” describes Seok in the fire-ravaged battlefield, who witnesses the corpses littered across the land and the cruelty of slaughter. Audience Wen-jou Chen was full of praises, “They (the actors) were very good. They acted very well. I could feel the extremities of war.” One of the participating student actors added that before, when he played video games, he would turn himself into a hero who kills all the monsters. However, through the musical he realized that slaughter and quarrels cannot resolve problems. The true hero is someone who can enable people to be harmonious and enable this world to be more beautiful and full of love.


Referenced: from NCCU Online News