The masses show themselves in the middle of nowhere. They could be a few people standing together, five, ten or twelve. There is no expectation among them. Suddenly they grow to a massive number as if all roads end at this point, transporting all pedestrians here. They are in the metro. They are in public parks. They stand in front of the shelves in supermarkets. Not speaking, anonymous, they are the majority. Documentary theatre “The Masses” is an encounter with this subject that transposes a theatre production into reflection on life: going back and re-experiencing the masses that are experts on living daily life. They are the ones written in history by others rather than themselves. By investing power in these ordinary people and giving them the stage, the theatre has successfully descended into the jungle of skyscrapers that allows the masses to surge from all directions.
In 2013, I participated in the research for the masses, a co-production by Paper Tiger Theatre Studio Beijing and the Munich Kammerspiele. On Oct 17th, “Totally Happy” by TianGebing was shown to the public as a performance in progress at the Paper Tiger’s studio space. That night, Tian sent me a WeChat message: “Do not detach yourself from the masses.” In the beginning of 2014, I was commissioned to make a piece of theatre by the Tianjin Mass Art Centre. On Jan 13th, I had Tian's support to start a documentary theatre called The Masses. He said he was totally happy. On Jan 21st, the rehearsals of “The Masses” started. We had ordinary people from different fields of life: housewives, teachers, office workers, and art students. On Jan 28th, a text was formed with daily-life documents. Li Jian revised his PPT document again and again. On Feb 5th, some of us went to KTV for a video recording which was not used in the final performance. On Feb 10th, I went abroad briefly. My assistant director and others in the company started to play a board game called “Betrayal at House on the Hill”. On Feb 17th, I brought presents. On Feb 19th, Feng Na made Tangyuan, a traditional Chinese rice ball soup. On Feb 20th, Feng Na made Tangyuan and potato salad. On Feb 21st, “The Masses” debuted in Tianjin Mass Art Centre. Fireworks were introduced into the performance.
導演：孫曉星 文本/表演：王春蘭，馮娜，於家悅，蔣國興，李鑒，李明璿，王玉潔，劉超 音樂：閆玉龍
Director: Sun Xiaoxing Texts/Performers: Wang Chunlan, Feng Na, Yu Jiayue, Jiang Guoxing, Li Jian, Li Mingxuan, Wang Yujie, Liu Chao Music: Yan Yulong
Previous performances: 2014, Tianjin Mass Art Centre, Tianjin. 2014, The 5th Beijing Nanluoguxiang Performing Arts Festival “Social Scene”, Penghao Theatre, Beijing. 2014, Youth Creative Theatre Festival 2014, Micro Theatre 1933 Old Millfun, Shanghai. 2014, Beijing Fringe Festival 2014, 9 Theatre, Beijing.