Fiction in the Real: The Docufiction Theatre of TTD and HoD

When and Where

Saturday, October 09, 2021 6:00 pm to Sunday, October 10, 2021 8:15 pm


Yizhou Zhang (University of Toronto) and Siting Yang (Columbia University) are an artistic duo from China who explore radical aesthetical expressions of individual discontent, resistance, and digression in the oppressive system of everyday life. Their plays, TTD and HoD, reinterpret western canons through immediate sociopolitical concerns and interweave fiction with documentary materials and real-life events, hence the neologism: docufiction theatre. 

* This event is intended for students, faculties, and friends of the University of Toronto's CDTPS and the Columbia University's Theatre MFA program.

Loosely adapted from Gunter Grass’ The Tin Drum, TTD follows the adventures of Oskar, the boy who refuses to grow up at the age of 3, in a city between Germany and Poland during World War Two. Beneath the facade of Grass’ novel, there exists a subterranean storyline about surviving systemic discrimination, mass surveillance, and the state of exception today. We ask: What do we trade with power for protection? Who are we protected from? And where is an individual’s place in the age of surveillance and spectacles? A fusion of virtual play reading, children’s books, and film, TTD will be livestreamed on Oct 9 at 6 PM, followed by a 30 min talkback.  

HoD tells stories of Chinese investments in Africa under the government's Belt and Road Initiative, loosely adapted from Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Weaving verbatim interviews, authentic documents and real events with fiction, HoD explores a series of questions on the racial aspect of economics, geopolitics, and cultural cognitions: What do colonialism and imperialism look like in our time? And how do they function in today’s global politics/economy? The multimedia reading of HoD will be livestreamed on Oct 10 at 6 PM, followed by a 30 min talkback.


Oct 9, 6-8:15 PM, TTD (runtime 1h 45min + 30min talk)
Oct. 10, 6-8:15 PM, HoD (runtime 1h 45min + 30min talk)