Inside Out: A Tale of Allure and Enchantment is a production spearheaded by master puppeteer and national treasure Chen Xi-huang and Wang Chia-ming, director of the theater troupe Shakespeare's Wild Sisters. Inside Out, which premiered at TIFA in 2013 and was a nominee at the 13th Taishin Arts Awards, retells classic tales that are considered an indelible part of Taiwan's cultural fabric today.
The production infuses the beauty of traditional Taiwanese puppetry, performed by the Shan and Hong Puppet Theater troupes, with the sensibilities of modern theater. Wang recasts well-known classical Chinese stories, making a present-day laundromat as the setting. Ordinary life there is blended into the fantasy world of Taiwanese puppetry: laundromat customers and employees come and go, while puppets emerge from behind hanging clothes, with stories of ghosts, deities, and magic. The black box theater setting creates a sense of intimacy and emotion, and plays with conventional notions of physical and virtual space. Actors are seen alongside puppeteers, who, along with musicians armed with gongs, drums and string instruments, are placed closer to the audience than in a traditional performance.