Hakka theatrical production ‘Rain Horse’ amazes audience across Taiwan

Hakka Affairs Council (HAC) Minister Yiong Con-ziin attended the premiere of the Hakka theatrical production Rain Horse with President Chen Bang-jen (陳邦畛) of the Hakka Public Communication Foundation (HPCF), Director Benjamin Tchang (張壯謀) of Hakka TV Station, and writer Hsiao Yeh (小野) at the Main Plaza of National Theater and Concert Hall in Taipei on March 12.

Performed by the Paper Windmill Theatre (紙風車劇團), the stage show in collaboration with HAC is an adaptation of Hsiao Yehs picture book of the same title. Rain Horse is a newly created Hakka fairy tale integrated with the Hakka language and songs for children.

According to Hsiao Yeh, the author of “Rain Horse,” although his parents are of Hakka descent, he had little understanding of the ethnic culture. But he gradually realized that he already put Hakka elements in the literary work, including the ethnic group’s coexistence with disasters and its search for historical roots.

Having undergone event cancellations during the COVID-19 pandemic and the tragic fire at the group’s studio, the troupe presents this amazing performance after one year of hard work. For instance, the design of the giant blue horse statue, which is a seven-ton prop of the theater, has been revised for hundreds of times. Additionally, taught by language instructor Hsieh Hsiao-ling (謝小玲), the shows cast, most of who are non-Hakka, exerted themselves to learn the Hakka language for the play.

On March 13, a live broadcast of the theatrical production was available at 19:30 on the Facebook pages of HAC, the Paper Windmill Theatre, and Hakka TV as well as the YouTube channel of Hakka TV, allowing the audience across Taiwan to watch this amazing show.

The eye-catching statue will be exhibited at National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei from March 25 through 28. Detailed information can be found on the troupe’s Facebook page and “Rain Horse” official website https://bts.paperwindmill.com.tw/pwmbts/rainhorse-18330.