"Video design by Hsuan-Kuang Hsieh and sound design by Daniel Gower wildly distort the footage of Vereen. Those kicking legs melt into wavy magenta lines, then scattered pixels. The Reagans and their audience dissolve into tiny digital points of light...... Is this a dream we can wake up from?" - by Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle
"With his team of collaborators, Arceneaux scripts new dialogue and adds the show-stopping number “Nobody But Ronnie,”...... loops and remixes the gala’s TV footage, projecting it as the backdrop, so that Until, Until, Until… has something of a séance about it—Lawson channeling Vereen channeling Williams, surrounded by electric phantoms." - by Jennifer Krasinski, Art Forum
Edgar Arceneaux’s first live work, Until, Until, Until…, investigates the infamous 1981 performance of Broadway legend Ben Vereen, televised nationally as part of Ronald Reagan's inaugural celebration. Intended as an homage to vaudevillian Bert Williams—America’s first mainstream black entertainer—the final 5 minutes of the performance were censored for the television audience, causing Vereen’s biting commentary on the history of segregation and racist stereotypes in performance to be lost on viewers at home. Until, Until, Until… is based on the footage that never aired that night. Arceneaux’s commission, a mise-en-scène of the inaugural party, foregrounds the past, illuminating the enduring presence and impact of history in the present. The piece questions the truth of past narratives, and creates an opportunity to reconsider our collective understanding of historic events. The performance immerses the audience in the scenery of the presidential celebration, where the relationships between past and present, experience and memory, and fantasy and reality are blurred as they are filtered through time and the television screen.
Until... theater review by San Francisco Chronicle Theater Critic Lily Janiak
Until... Tour Trailer
Grace Needs A Mirror
2016, Highways Performance Art Space
Written and Performed by Joyce Lu Directed by Barry Shabaka Henley Video Projection by Hsuan-Kuang Hsieh Scenic Design by Carlo Maghirang Lighting Design by Wen-ling Liao Sound Design by Jesse Mandapat
What makes a person “insane” versus “normal”? What does it mean to be institutionalized? How much poison can you swallow and come out yourself? A professor is thrown from the halls of academe into a psychiatric hospital where she meets a host of characters who force her to confront karma from her past life as an opium lord in Shanghai. Grace Needs a Mirror explores how institutional violence marks bodies and psyches from one life to the next. Where’s the line between poison and a cure? The relationship between fear and liberation?
Allen Theatre, Pomona College
Director: Joyce Lu Set Design: James Taylor Video Projection Design: Hsuan-Kuang Lighting Design: Ellie Rabinowitz ostume Design: Dana R. Woods Sound Design: Jesse Mandaptat
When Spring Comes to Hills and Dales
2014, California Institute of the Art
Play Writer: In Hun Choi Director: Yong Suk Yoo Set: Mark Kanieff Costume: Lena Sands Lighting: Chu-Hsuan Chang Video Projection: Hsuan-Kuang Hsieh Sound: Jesse Mandapat
H & G, a public outcry
2016, Wild Art Group
Director: Allison M Keating Video and Puppet Design: Hsuan-Kuang
H&G, a public outcry is a hyperbolic performance placing the audience in the shoes of Hansel & Gretel, to wander through America's blooming new fear of extreme weather in a dreamlike, wild, and surprising journey. Poised in a poetic landscape, this powerful live-music performance is comprised of a distorted Suburbanite and other amplified characters, illuminated puppets, dark dancing shadows, and a lot of meat. Drawing from the third worst drought in US history and Hurricane Sandy, source material includes Hansel and Gretel, newspaper articles, American folk and rock songs, and text generated by John Michael Johnson.