MITF AUTUMN ARTS INTERVIEWS: Ran Xia

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DE PROFUNDIS by Ran Xia. This is the story for the mermaid who longed for sound, an inventor who loved a costume designer, a mysterious seashell collector, and a pair of young lovers in front of an enchanted mirror, looking at things they’re not ready to let go. (Drama)

Performance Schedule: Wed 11/16, 6:00pm; Fri 11/18, 8:30pm; Sat 11/19, 3:45pm; Sun 11/20, 1:30pm

 

 

DE PROFUNDIS by Ran Xia. This is the story for the mermaid who longed for sound, an inventor who loved a costume designer, a mysterious seashell collector, and a pair of young lovers in front of an enchanted mirror, looking at things they’re not ready to let go. (Drama)

Performance Schedule: Wed 11/16, 6:00pm; Fri 11/18, 8:30pm; Sat 11/19, 3:45pm; Sun 11/20, 1:30pm

We hear a lot about inspiration – or Muse – that drives an artist. What inspires you?

Ordinary people inspire me the most. I like to bring classical texts as well as interdisciplinary elements into my creations, but the root of everything is always people I interact with on a daily basis. I’d like to consider my works relevant to the current society, or at least I aspired to make it that way. My friends, as well as ordinary people I don’t know, does impossible things and push human boundaries every day. I don’t think I need anything beyond that to keep creating.

Tell us about why you wrote this 

I first encountered Antonio Meucci’s story during Guggenheim Museum’s Stillspotting NYC projects. We did a walking tour along the esplanade of Staten Island and learned about Meucci’s inventions as well as the legend of his mermaid wife. Other inspirations for the play include Lord Alfred Tennyson’s poem De Profundis, Miguelanxo Prado’s animated film of the same title, Psalm 130 (129), as well as several poems by Federico Garcia Lorca. Mostly the story streamed from the fascinating sound of you would hear on an island and the whispers you can sort of hear when you’re on a ship going from one shore to another.

This story has historical as well as surrealistic elements but at its core it’s still extremely personal. It’s about the love story between Antonio Meucci and his wife Esterre. However, the love story is merely a scope. The story is told from the point of view of a mermaid, who represents each of the female characters in the play, all of whom in one way or another had to go through an excruciating process to define her identity.

The message I want to send with the play is a personal one. It is my bellowing testament to take that first step into the unknown, however scary that might be. I believe that to be something important and relevant to everyone, especially people of our age.

What do you want most in your chosen profession? It’s OK to say “fame” or “wealth.”

Everyone wants fame and wealth to some extent. I would be lying if I claimed they were never on the agenda. However, the more important part is at the end of the day, I’d like to see some evidence that my work has influenced someone, even if just one person. Maybe they changed their mind, or made a bold choice because of what I wrote, or what I decided to put on stage. That would be the most rewarding of them all.

Sally Field and Paul Newman both said of their profession… “it’s all I can do.” Is this all you can do?

Absolutely.

Along those lines, if you couldn’t so this, what would you do?

I honestly cannot imagine doing anything else as a lifetime career.

I’d probably be an investigative journalist. That’s always been in the back of my mind. Or an oceanographer, or an astronaut.

How do you want [legit] history to remember you?

As someone who brought to the world some beautiful stories. As someone who was curious, bold, and most importantly, kind.

Last words? 

Thanks for having me.

 

autumn-2016-mitf

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