One Minute World Arts- Birthday Candles: A Cake, A Life

Birthday Candles: A Cake, A Life

Birthday Candles, actor-playwright #Noah Haidle’s new play, has just finished its run at the American Airlines Theater in Broadway. The 90-minute show depicts the century-long life story of Ernestine, its leading character, from rebellious youth to feeble oldster through the celebrations of her birthday, for which baking a golden butter cake – passed down by her mother as a family tradition – is like a ritual that must be performed. In the process, the audience gets to witness Ernestine’s ups and downs at her different life stages, as well as to reflect on what has changed and what has not in terms of life values between different generations.

In order to present Ernestine’s lengthy life within a rather short time, a fanciful offstage chime was used by the director of the play to signify Ernestine’s instant skips from one age to another - sometimes a year, and sometimes a decade; meanwhile, actors would also change their voices, facial expressions, make-ups, and clothes, so as to bring alive the characters they played. In the end of the story, Ernestine’s life journey inevitably finishes by circling back to the beginning, the birthday cake that symbolizes the taste of life. With ordinary characters expounding on the preciousness of life, Noah’s Birthday Candles aspires to convey the ceaseless cycle of deaths, births, love, and despair, on which human feelings and thoughts are solidly built.



演員兼劇作家#諾亞・海多(Noah Haidle)的新作《生日蠟燭》(Birthday Candles),甫於百老匯美國航空劇院(American Airlines Theater)落幕。這部長約90分鐘的戲劇作品,講述了女主角厄妮絲汀(Ernestine)橫跨一世紀的生命故事:從年少時立志叛逆、不從流俗,到年老時神情獃滯、行動遲緩;作者透過一個由母親傳承下來的黃金奶油生日蛋糕,讓觀眾在年復一年的慶生儀式中,看到女主角於不同階段的人生起伏,從而闡述生活中必然遭逢的悲歡離合,以及相異世代間價值觀的變與不變。