“He reads himself like an open book, and does nothing to retain the pages, which fly away in the windy wake of his life.”
It’s highlighted, underlined, and next to it says “for director’s note” in big purple letters. I follow my instructions from the past. This must be the closest we’ve got to time travel.
I stare out the window while I think about what to write here. It’s just short of three weeks before the show and every time I rehearse, something new comes up, some connection or meaning that I hadn’t thought of before. So how could I write only about one thing? I then look through my notes from the start of the project until now and stumble across words from Andre Breton’s Surreal Manifesto:
This project started because 74 people shared their stories. This show is for those people. The people who left their story floating on my screen like a virtual ghost. And for everyone else too. For everyone who is reading this and has no clue of what I’m going on about. Because I’ve taken the stories and teared them apart, mixed them together, filled in the blanks. So…they’re everyone’s now.
Cast & Crew
Writer/Artistic Director/Performer Valeria Riquelme
Rehearsal Director/Mentor Darren Scully
Producer Anne Drouet
Original Sountrack Dylan Halbroth
Rehearsal Advisor/Sound Design Mathea Sobejana
Visual Designers Valeria Riquelme, Sophia Chan
Technical Manager Kit Chow
Lights Pierre Ephgrave
Stage Crew Sophia Chan, Kai Marcel Scholz
Marketing Team Filip Zachrisson, Cecily Houghton , Tiffany Shin and Juliana Riquelme
Front of House Sonya Langley
Exhibition Artist Eva Langley
Inspired by the show's script, this collection of pieces aims to convey the sentiment of being lost in memory, time and information. The use of jam-packed compositions and high-contrast imagery feeds the audience with seemingly endless sensory stimuli, much like the input we receive from technology today.
As in the production, the theme of memory and the fragmentation of certain memories is a strong influence in the exhibition and is shown through the use of imagery relating to childhood and the past versions of oneself. In combination with this imagery, random objects of varied sizes are woven into the compositions, showing the surreal ways in which memory can be flawed.
As the stories the production is based on are set here in Hong Kong, many of the pieces were also inspired by the geometric shapes and lines found both in the urban parts of the city, as well as within the nature.
This production was possible thanks to the support of the ISTA Performing Arts Academy and Hong Kong Academy. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to produce my show with the backing of these two institutions that I greatly admire. Within the academies, there are also specific people to whom I would like to express my gratitude:
I don’t exactly remember where or when it was that Darren Scully suggested turning my 8 minute IB project into a full length performance. What I do remember is that from that moment on, he understood my ideas with inexplicable precision, even when I was speaking to figure out what I wanted to say. So thank you, Darren, for following my streams of consciousness, for giving me food for thought and, most of all, for believing in me in such a way that made me feel like everything was possible.
I would also like to thank Anne Drouet, who, like Darren, has the admirable quality of always dreaming big. Thank you Anne for teaching me to “remember the vision”, to trust, and to not go around “like a headless chicken”. Mottos to live by, right? Thank you also for orchestrating the rehearsal with Dinos Aristidou, to whom I also owe my appreciation for gifting me with his invaluable feedback.
Thank you to Dylan Halbroth, who took the risk of writing music all the way from Berlin and who’s sounds took the show to a whole different level. Thank you as well to Mathea Sobejana, my special rehearsal companion/friend/sound designer (the list goes on) who, together with Gabriela Lara and Eva Langley dedicated unbelievable amount of time and effort to the project.
Furthermore, the technical support from Kit Chow and his team both before and during the production was indispensable. How did I make those structures? Kit. How did I move them at random hours? Kit. Who runs all your tech? Kit. Kit, Kit, Kit.
Finally, and this proves that the term “one woman show” is no more than a lie, the production would’ve never been possible without the help from Filip Zachrisson, Cecily Houghton, Juliana Riquelme, Tiffany Shin, Sophia Chan, Kai Marcel, Ate May, Sonya Langley, Lynne McCall, Benson Chang and, of course, the ever present support from my parents and siblings who by now must know my lines better than I do.
Valeria Riquelme is a recent Hong Kong Academy graduate and an ISTA alumna with aspirations to continue her studies in Taiwan and set up her own theatre company. Her interests range from post-dramatic theatre to video design and writing.
Dylan Halbroth is a multi-instrumentalist and producer who was raised in Hong Kong. Known for playing bass with the alternative rock band Asyndeton, he is currently studying audio engineering in Berlin as well as working on his sound which is a blend of electronica and electric guitar. His interests include music performance, production, and studio recordings.
Eva Langley is a Hong Kong Academy graduate currently on a gap year. After completing the higher level visual arts course as part of the IBDP program, she continues to make multi-media art during her free time. Her pieces range from large-scale digital collages to high-contrast monochrome illustrations and detailed paintings.
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