A topping-off ceremony was held on July 22 to celebrate the preliminary completion of the Xiqu Center of Taiwan after the project started more than two years ago. Located in Taipei City’s Shilin District, the facility’s Chinese name refers to the traditional performance genre of Chinese drama and musical theater.
Inspired by the “one table and two chairs” setting in Peking opera, the center will have a 1,055-seat performance hall and a 300-seat experimental theater, and a music library. In addition, it will function as a facility for professional performances, opera data storage, and program production. Designed by Taiwanese architect Kris Yao’s Artech, the center is expected to be completed in August 2015 and officially open in 2016.
Following the center’s launch, the National Center for Traditional Arts (NCFTA) under the Ministry of Culture will then work to integrate resources from all the fields in Chinese theater by using Yilan, Taipei, and Kaohsiung as bases, Deputy Culture Minister Lee Ying-ping said at the July 22 ceremony.
The Xiqu Center will also become Taiwan’s first professional theater to offer residencies, and space has already been carved out for the Guoguang Opera Company, the National Chinese Orchestra, and the Taiwan Music Institute. The facility will ultimately serve as a creative platform for program production, and integrate production with market testing and copyright trade for the entire performance industry.
To introduce traditional Chinese theater to more audiences, the NCFTA has organized a program that includes over 100 performances, forums, workshops, and flash mobs around Greater Taipei. The events will run until the completion of the Xiqu Center in 2015.