- Chinese Name: 優人神鼓山上劇場
- Located At: Taipei City (Northern Taiwan)
- Year of Establishment: 1988
- Did You Know That …?
- Located in the middle of a mountain, the theater was off-grid in earlier days. However, it has provided an environment for U-Theatre troupe members to explore the lifestyle of incorporating nature with the human form.
- English Address: Zhanghu Trail, Wenshan District, Taipei City, 116, Taiwan (ROC)
- Contact Number: +886-925-152-876
- Website: http://www.utheatre.org.tw/
The Mountain Theater of U-Theatre is home to the international renowned performance group U-Theatre. Over the past decades, U-Theatre has trained in a quiet natural surrounding, developing unique productions that took inspiration from life and nature. In 2008, the venue was registered as a cultural landscape by the Taipei City Government for its cultural significance in exploring the interrelations between human and nature.
Established by U-Theatre founder Liu Ruo-yu (劉若瑀), who trained under the innovative Polish theater director Jerzy Grotowski in a mountainous area of Los Angeles, the mountain theater has served as a base for U-Theatre to practice meditation and the philosophies acquired from Grotowski.
Occupying more than 1000 square feet at Laochuanshan, the theater is Taiwan’s only outdoor theater located in the mountains. Overlooking Taipei Basin, the venue is located away from the city’s hustle and bustle, enabling troupe members to integrate meditation and martial arts with drums.
The mountain theater is divided into two parts, one of which is a wooden room constructed by troupe members for training and the other one is an outdoor stage that is open to the public.
Following the rule of “meditation first, drumming later,” the troupe members go up to their mountain base to train their abilities of inner awareness on a daily basis, and practice to try and meet the goal of combining art and the spirit of Tao to enhance life quality through their art.
As mountains are a major source of inspiration for U-Theatre’s creations, the mountain where the theater is based is viewed as the troupe’s “holy” mountain. Throughout the whole year, the troupe members contemplate on their lives and try to find inner peace by staying at the mountain venue. Then they seek to share that sense of serenity with the public through their performances.
The tranquility and purity of the mountain theater has made it the best venue for U-Theatre to practice its philosophy. It now also offers workshops for the public to experience U-Theatre’s training methods that encompass meditation, Tai Chi, and drums. Visitors are also encouraged to interact with nature and share their life experiences with other travelers.
For more than two decades, the mountain theater has accumulated years of energy, footsteps, and hardships from U-Theatre. It stands witness to how the troupe persisted in pursuing its lifestyle and vision to gradually become an internationally acclaimed performance group today.