Stage Door News
Toronto: fu-GEN Theatre presents “MH370” – an interactive audio installation inspired by the lost Malaysian Airline flight
Friday, May 28, 2021
Coordinating remotely with over 40 outstanding artists during the pandemic, fu-GEN Theatre is proud to present the durational, immersive and interactive audio installation MH370. Comprising over 1100 intricately connected pieces, this audio installation is unlike anything fu-GEN has attempted before. The 7 hour and 40 minute project runs around the clock from May 31st to June 15th, allowing listeners to choose their own audio journey among the 227 passengers on board.
The installation is inspired by real events; Malaysia Airlines flight 370 went missing on March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. It had 227 passengers and 12 crew on board. The project reimagines the journey of MH370 as a sort of liminal space and proposes that a disappearing plane is– symbolically – a lot like the diasporic experience. There is a vanishing that takes place when people move between cultures, a subtraction or a loss of mass. It’s the pursuit of this metaphor that is the central engine of MH370: an audio installation on travel, migration and what disappears between places.
Among the cohort of writers are the multiple award-winning playwrights Jeff Ho (Jon Kaplan Legacy Award; Iphigenia and the Furies (On Taurian Land)), Derek Chan (Jessie Award; Chicken Girl, yellow objects), Eva Barrie (Dora award-winner; Agency) and David Yee (acquiesce, carried away on the crest of a wave). The project includes a cast of outstanding actors such as Andrea Bang from CBC’s hit show Kim’s Convenience, Dora nominated Natasha Mumba (Acts of Faith, School Girls: The African Mean Girls Play), and NOW Toronto’s 2019 Breakthrough Artist Eponine Lee.
“With the circumstances of the pandemic dictating our modes of creation, we wanted a project thatwas intended to be consumed digitally and at home... while maintaining the unique theatricality that has become emblematic of our experimental work,” says fu-GEN’s Artistic Director David Yee.“ MH370 provided us with the opportunity to work with a landmark number of artists from across the country in a way that felt vital and urgent, leveraging the platforms we have available to create together while being, by necessity, apart. This project has been a constant negotiation of new ways to create and deliver artistic content, developing new technology that centers the art and the audience experience, consistently innovating and evolving our artistic practice.”
MH370 is a digital feat that balances theatricality, intimacy and technology, challenging and pushing the boundaries by questioning how theatre persists during a global pandemic. With immersive audio soundscapes and a deceptively simple online apparatus, MH370 examines the experience of loss and erasure as people move between states; whether it be culture, geography, or navigating personal relationships. Audio content is constantly in flux, the same passenger will have different content depending on when you listen during the 7 hour and 40 minute flight time. As each listener will make their own personal choices of who to follow and when, each person’s experience of this installation is exceptionally unique and almost impossible to repeat, invoking the ephemerality of theatre... or a vanishing plane.
WRITTEN BY: Eva Barrie, Derek Chan, Jeff Ho, April Leung, Coleen MacPherson, Yago Mesquita, Rachel Mutombo, Christina Orjalo, Sepehr Reybod, Jennifer Villaverde, David Yee
FEATURING: Arlen Aguayo-Stewart, Andrea Bang, Myles Botten, Jasmine Chen, Adrian Choong, Emma Ferreira, Vienna Hehir, Cynthia Jimenez-Hicks, Cameron Kneteman, Eponine Lee, Richard Lee, April Leung, Milton Lim, Michael Man, Marina Moreira, Natasha Mumba, Christina Orjalo, Marissa Orjalo, Sepehr Reybod, Jobina Sitoh, Jovanni Sy, Johnny Wu, Lindsay Wu, Conor Wylie, Raugi Yu, Mo Zeighami
WEB APP DEVELOPMENT: Anton SukhovatkinSOUND DESIGN: Michelle Bensimon
SOUND ENGINEERING: Anthony Abbatangelo
ART DIRECTION AND GRAPHIC DESIGN: Eric Michael (Super Always) SOUND TECHNICIAN AND ASSISTANT ENGINEER: Thaddeus Pun
fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company provides an artistic home to Asian Canadian theatre artists and believes in diversity of practice; using non-traditional space, time, and methodology in the telling of Asian Canadian experiences. fu-GEN has tackled numerous experimental creations over the last several years, including FEARLESS, No Foreigners, Online: Joy Edit, and sex tape project. MH370 is one of fu-GEN’s most ambitious experimental projects to date.
TICKETS: Free to the public. Please visit mh370.online to access fu-GEN’s MH370 audio installation.
The installation runs from May 31st to June 15th, 2021. For the best audio experience, please use headphones.