An interview with the forces behind Taxi Radio.
Taxi Radio is a play by Nophand “Aon” Boonyai of Fullfat Theatre that vocalizes the fractured daily lives of Bangkokians, delving into social, spiritual and political problems. Four stories are told simultaneously, by actors Konthorn “Hong Tae” Taecholarn, Ornanong “Golf” Thaisriwong, Pradit “Tua” Prasartthong and Pattarasuda “Bua” Anuman Rajadhon.
How did you come up with this story?
Aon: One of the Fullfat members was writing a short story about taxis, which I developed into a play with a focus on Bangkok.
How long did it take you to work on it?
Aon: Two months—one to work on the scripts and plot and another on production.
What kind of message are you trying to send across?
Aon: The play represents the voice of everyone in society, whether they speak out or not. Fullfat’s plays focus on social issues and aim to be accessible to people of all classes. When we started, we had no theater to perform in, so we performed in places like Warehouse 30. Our audience is very varied, proving that plays don’t always have to be super artsy and niche.
Was it difficult to start out with?
Aon: Working on a play without a theater is difficult because the location can be unpredictable, like no air conditioning, nowhere to rehearse, no sound system, no proper light design—but eventually we made it work. BACC was a great location, as the audience could explore other art before they came to see our play.
How did you all get into the theater?
Tua: I’ve always been involved in plays since I was in primary school.
Hong Tae: I studied architecture at Chula—I went there because I wanted to act, really. I didn’t enjoy studying too much so I wanted to do some fun activities on the side and I found theater.
Golf: When I was waiting for my university entrance results, I went to acting camps to keep me occupied and I found that I liked it. Then when I got into university, I got involved in plays and became a member of B Floor theater.
Bua: When I went to school in England I acted in plays, so when I came back I set up Nuni production house. We work on all sorts of things.
How can we popularize theater in Thailand?
Aon: We can make plays more accessible, and easier for anyone to understand.
Hong Tae: We also need more talents to be involved—right now, the directors are also producers and we don’t even know how to promote our plays properly. The audiences are always the same faces.
Are there going to be any more rounds for Taxi Radio?
Aon: I’d like it to be in schools, so kids can learn more about theater, though I’m still thinking how to make that happen.
Any other cool projects coming?
Aon: I’m working on this project called “Blur Lines.” It’s a collaboration with five new-gen talents. There’s no plot—they all have the freedom to express themselves however they want, using theater as a communication device to explore their identities and send their own messages about growing up in this society. It should be out around April or May.
Taxi Radio touches on politics quite a bit, are you ever worried that it will be banned?
Aon: No, but if it gets banned that would mean that someone is listening to us and that we are doing something right.