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Playing with technology

By Xing Wen | China Daily | Updated: 2019-09-18 08:30

Imbalance, a play by the Joli Vyann ensemble from the UK.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Thought-provoking stage productions abound at the second installment of Inside-Out Theater's Tech-Art Festival, Xing Wen reports.

To a backdrop of pulsating sounds, actors arrive onstage with beams of torchlight piercing the pitch-blackness. From just the wordless cast's body language and the myriad flashing lights in a plethora of different colors, surprisingly, it's easy for the audience to comprehend the experimental play's storyline.

The play, Light, is an original production of Ad Infinitum, an ensemble from Bristol in the United Kingdom.

Inspired by the former US National Security Agency operative Edward Snowden's shocking revelations about the Prism surveillance program, the drama troupe uses innovative storytelling and experimental styles to conjure the image of a dystopian future, where a totalitarian regime monitors the thoughts of its citizens through high-tech implants. It's designed to provoke the audience into thinking about the consequences that can stem from the misapplication of science and technology.

Recently, the play was staged at the Inside-Out Theater in Beijing's Haidian district as a part of the venue's second Tech-Art Festival, which ran from Sept 5 to 15.

During the 10-day event, audiences watched domestic and foreign theater works, all focusing on how people's daily lives have been, and will be, influenced by the development of science and technology, especially the rapid growth of digital media.

The event enabled attendees to join silent disco parties, dance workshops, a physical theater master class or various salons where playwrights, directors and data engineers shared their reflections on the connection between science and art.

Located close to Zhongguancun Science Park, the theater launched the festival in a bid to explore the practicality of cooperating with high-tech service providers to create more science-themed art.

"By associating with such a trending topic, the festival also helps to expand our reach among younger generations," says Man Ding, artistic director of the theater.

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