The Progressive Reader’s Arts Events Guide for the Weekend of 20-22 November

Welcome to this week’s edition of the weekend events guide! For this edition, the special place of honor goes to the Bangkok Theatre Festival, which is running from this weekend to the next. 

Theater: Bangkok Theatre Festival

Where: Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre (BACC) and other venues

When: 21-29 November

Admission: Varies, some performances are free.

Now approaching its 20th anniversary, the Bangkok Theatre Festival is returning once again with an ambitious slate of 22 shows and events hosted mainly at the BACC, but also in other locations across the city such as D Photo Studio and Chulalongkorn University’s Sodsai Pantoomkomol Centre for Dramatic Arts. Some of the shows will be performed in conventional theater spaces, while others will be in a “minibox” space that allows audience members to be closer to the action on the stage. Audience members should have no difficulty finding at least one performance that involves a theme they are interested in. “OK Land” brings viewers to a country in which a pandemic-induced crisis forces people to ask whether individual sacrifices are the way out, or if big structural changes are needed. In “Before Takeoff,” a proud, democratically-minded airline that has been operating for 88 years (coincidentally also the age of Thailand’s “democracy”) faces tough questions on whether equality is truly viable and what the point of it all is anyway. “Red Tide Zombie” is a send-up of Thailand’s traditional patriarchal storytelling norms, giving a fresh twist to the tale of a young woman on a life-changing journey familiar to modern audiences. 

The festival’s website also helpfully identifies some performances that are “recommended for foreigners.” Certain experiences, such as mime-based shows and musical performances, should also easily cross linguistic barriers.   

For showtimes, admission prices, and further details, see: https://www.bangkoktheatrefest.com/

.

Exhibition: SCOTOMA

Where: Palette Artspace (near Thong Lor BTS station)

When: Now until 29 November

Admission: Free

The popular Thai saying “สร้างโลกสองใบ” (building two parallel worlds) began its life as a sarcastic description of the actions of unfaithful (nearly always male) celebrities who lead double lives, one with their partner and another with their mistress, until it all comes crashing down providing the public with the scandal of the day. The term has since become increasingly used to refer to the gaping divide between the haves and have-nots in Thai society.

The exhibition “SCOTOMA” gets at the same concept, albeit with the help of a more clinical term. A scotoma is a technical term referring to a defect in our visual field, in other words, blind spots. In this exhibition, Bangkok-based artists Zebracan and William Char focus on the blind spots of fairness in Thai society, inviting visitors to confront situations of injustices that have always been present in our society but that we ignore either by resignation or by coercion.

For further details, see: https://www.facebook.com/events/686879055268437/

Compiled by Kevin Patumwat

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