A diploma production by MA directing in Taipei National University of the Arts.

Script Patrick Marber
Directing Jing Wu
Scenography Yi-Ju Chou
Light Shawn Lee
Costume Ze-Yu Chen
Performing Tong Yeh & Johnny Chiang & Harry Ng & Cecilia Choi 

Premiere 17.06.2017. TNUA
Room T305

photo credit Hsia-Ning Wu

“Closer” has many acts, so the changing of scenes has been the challenge for the scenography and the director. The background setting created for “Closer” does not indicate any certain era, and it has a cold and urban tone. Using cubes with simple structures, we can create alternative combinations to construct different settings for individual scenes.

Designing the cubes requires much discretion. What size fits the best between the table and the high chair? What size is the most suitable for the cubes to be used in multiple different ways? Which sides of the cubes need to bear the pressure, and which sides need to be covered with soft mats? Which cubes go off the stage and which ones stay when changing the scene? These are questions that need to be carefully considered. Since the main background is white, we decided to let the cubes retain the warm color of wood.

The audience is on the two sides of the stage in the first half (Act 1 - 6), and they are all moved to one side in the second half. (Act 7 - 12)

The reason of using a two-sided stage is to mark the difference between the first and second half as well as to create the change of perspectives. The stage in the first half is rather narrow, but in the second half, its depth of field is stretched further, amplifying the audience’s field of vision as well as metaphorically transforming the standoff and entanglement between the characters into life experiences that bears different meanings.

In addition, recessed lights are set within the four white walls, producing changes in lighting to create differences in each scene. In the monument scene from the last act, all the cubes are moved to the furthest end of the stage. In the end of the act, Anna walks to the rear end of the upstage and disappears, reinforcing the profound image of this stage design. The other special thing is the black light and fish drawn by the fluorescent powder in the aquarium scene. They not only help add a touch of playfulness to the plot, but also create an underwater atmosphere that’s unique to this scene.