BANGKOK — Sun, sand, sea and sex are what some might expect when traveling to the Land of Smiles. Behind the infamous prostitution industry are hidden the lives and dreams of workers, all of which a director reflected through documentary theater.
It’s been five month since a New York based theater director Jesca Prudencio has been in Thailand after she earned Julie Taymor’s World Theater Fellowship to explore theater scenes abroad for a year.
Prudencio chose Thailand as her first destination, not only because she’s a good friend of members of the outstanding physical theater B-Floor, but also because of her interest in the objectification of the body.
“Everyone knows there are so many prostitutes in Thailand,” said Prudencio in an interview Wednesday evening. “I’m actually a westerner, unfortunately, that’s a judgment that people have on Bangkok.”
Aiming to humanize the infamous stigma through theater, the director collaborated with B-Floor Theater to produce a performance called “Fan: stories from the brothels of Bangkok” for which she and her team did a three-week research on sex workers in several infamous venues such as Boy Town in Silom, Patpong, Nana, Soi Cowboy and Pattaya.
“They have no shame in doing this, in being prostitutes,” she said in an interview with two Boy Town’s “money boys” – a term used to describe sex workers. “Because they can make money to pay their bills and they could also possibly find a husband to take them away.”
That dream is also shared by their female counterparts and that was why the director named her play “Fan” as it refers