2020 Taipei Children’s Arts Festival: New Kids in Town

Taipei Children’s Arts Festival (TCAF) is going to welcome its 21st anniversary this summer. Themed “New Kids in Town,” 2020 TCAF strives to present “the most creative” art event for all from July 17 to August 9!
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and the policies on epidemic prevention, overseas performing arts groups are unable to attend this year’s arts festival. Nonetheless, the number of the participant Taiwanese arts groups has increased from 14 to 30, meaning that there’re going to be 34 performances, 165 sessions and activities, including ticketing shows, free community performances, and the presentation of Fun Fair and LAB for 3 consecutive weekends. From theatre and dance, music, circus, puppetry, stunts to traditional theatre, TCAF will give our kids the most vigorous and creative summertime. Online purchase of tickets will start at 12:00 p.m., June 19 via the NTCH Ticketing online system.
Deputy commissioner of Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government Chen Yu-Shin indicated that with the idea of “New Kids,” this year’s arts festival breaks the age limit, inviting people of all ages, starting from a new-born infant, to access art and participate in this grand event. Owing to the variety of activities this year, TCAF plans to enter various communities in Taipei and broaden the citizens’ views through art and creativity. Director of Taipei Performing Arts Center (TPAC) Austin Wang added that in addition to breaking the age limit, “New Kids” also suggests how TPAC supports the local artists to start from scratch and incubate the birth of new artwork. Li Yuan, president of Taipei Culture Foundation reminded that this year’s TCAF is born during the outbreak of COVID-19. Human activities were forced to pause to prevent the epidemic. The pace of the human world has slowed down for quite a while. This allows people to re-consider their relationship with the surrounding environment, and that might generate new insight as the concept of “New Kids” implies.
At the press conference, performing artists Wu Zheng-Ying and Dai Yu-Ren (Taiwan Street Arts and Culture Development Association) of this year transformed daily routines into an intriguing performance, showing the fun that people might miss in everyday lives. The special interactive performance brought by Po You Set led the attending journalists and audience to participate in the acting of traditional theatre.
Theatre Time: Expand Infinite Imagination
With various forms and materials in performing arts, TCAF intends to demonstrate the diverse characteristics of Taiwanese performing artists. Co-created by winner of 2019 Children’s Play Writing Contest Wu Yen-Ting and director of CO-COISM Hung Chien-Han, Dear Deer is themed at the emotional interaction and mutual understanding in the parent-child relationship. At a portable and interactive theatre, Dear Deer invites parents and children to experience different situations separately and creates surprises and joy for each other to meet. The show will be held at Wellspring Theater from July 17 to July 19.
Co-created by Dark Eyes Performance Lab, HORSE and MIT Saxophone Ensemble, Demo of the Wind combines theatre, music and dance, hoping to capture the shapes of wind through art and to interact with wind through games. Kids are believed to take pleasure in this whole-new artistic experience. As one of the artists, Ganesha is only 4 years old. She invites the audience to feel the essence of performance through her perception, presentation, cooperation and rejection during the performance. The audience can attend the show at Wellspring Theater on July 25 and July 26.
Po You Set integrates the elements in Eastern and Western theatre and presents The Adventure of Our Little Heroes. Adapted from Chinese chapter-novel Outlaws of the March and Beijing opera script The Three Sieges of Zhu Village, The Adventure of Our Little Heroes will lead the audience to become part of the performance through immersive theatre, guiding the little heroes to walk in the specially-designed theatre space and experience the fun of traditional theatre. The Adventure of Our Little Heroes will be presented at Guangfu Auditorium, Taipei Zhongshan Hall from August 7 to 9.
Fun Fair: Experience Diverse Creativity
Based at Taipei Zhongshan Hall Square, from July 18 to August 2, Fun Fair is going to present 3 different theme performances free of charge in 3 consecutive weekends. This presentation brings together various projects executed by TPAC, including the selections in Circus Factory, TPAC Musical Training Project, Asia Discovers Asia Meeting for Contemporary Performance (ADAM) and Children’s Play Writing Contest. Artists from various fields are invited to join the fair and blend art into games and everyday lives.
On July 18 and July 19, “Enjoy the Difference” aims at the pursuit of equality and recognizes the uniqueness of individuals through musical presentations. Fun Fair invites Taiwan’s first cross-disability percussion band Polar Light Percussion Group and the first visually-impaired a cappella The Bleinders to present The Fantastical Voyage of Polar Light and The Bleinders’ Song in succession.
Themed “WOW! Let’s Move!,” on July 25 and July 26, Fun Fair invites everyone to discover surprises in daily lives. Wu Zheng-Ying and Dai Yu-Ren, artists from Taiwan Street Arts and Culture Development Association, will share the fun they explore when living under the same roof in Baha Gah! !. Borrowing ideas from classic martial-art films in the 80s, Wu Cheng-Tse and Lu Tien-Yu present funny and hilarious A~OH~. Multi-X Theatre Company mixes the elements in mask art, solo show, physical comedy and contemporary clown show to show how an ordinary man gains the courage to move on in a difficult situation through Big Head Play Around. In combination of stunts, juggling and clown show, Formosa Circus Art’s Pandora’s Box leads the audience to a funny and comical adventure.
“Musical Swings!” is the theme on August 1 and August 2. C MUSICAL invites female musical singers to convey a mother’s gentle and persistent quality as well as her love and expectation toward her children in Dear Little One. The concert A Journey with Granny – Adventure in the Kingdom of Black Shadow brought by Puncture Creative is unfolded by a storyteller that leads the audience to begin an adventure in the Kingdom of Black Shadow. Integrating a cappella and theatre, A Capella Ensemble launches an interesting musical journey in Aca’s Adventure of Children Songs.
In addition, to cope with the impact brought by COVID-19, TCAF especially commissioned C MUSICAL to produce Wash your Hands. For 3 consecutive weekends, this special performance reminds parents and children to wash hands frequently through music, dance and body movements.
LAB: Explore the Possibilities of Art
LAB is the first art event in this year’s TCAP, and is sole-sponsored by Bank SinoPac. As the concept of LAB implies, this project extends the duration of artistic creation for new-generation artists. The artists may finish the artwork step by step through various stages of presentation. Such mechanism that stresses long-term development is good for theatre consultants and producers to fully exert their creativity. This year, LAB presents The Way Back by The Double Theatre and Who Stole My Words? by Puncture Creative. Don’t miss the shows at 2020 TCAF.
Art in Communities: Feel Art Closely
To realize the concept that “Life is Art,” TCAF plans 11 performances, a total of 88 free outdoor sessions in 3 consecutive week days for parents and children to discover art in everyday lives.
From July 21 to 23, TCAF presents The Adventure of Sinbad by HuFive Quintet, Let’s Make a Fuss! By Mr. Yes Clown Troupe, Crab Crossing by PLAY Theatre and Mulan’s Peerless Kung Fu by Taiwan Jing Kun Opera Troupe of National Taiwan College of Performing Arts From July 27 to 30, there’ll be 3 performances: Super Improv. OyakoDON! Let’s DON! By The New One Theatre, The Missing Mouse Princess and the Enchanted Forest by Sunhope Taiwanese Opera Troupe and Family Harmony by The Blazing Duo. The last four shows are STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES by Sun Son Theatre, The Adventure of Puppets by Puppet Beings Theatre, Percussion and Environmental Protection by Taipei Percussion and Ballet of Candy House by Capital Ballet Taipei, all held from August 3 to 6.
2020 TCAF invites parents and children to participate in this grand art festival, exert infinite imagination as “New Kids,” and experience the boundless fun in art!