Q: What is the “100% City” series, and what is 100% Hong Kong?
A: "100% City" is an on-going series of work by artist collective Rimini Protokoll from Germany. The series invites 100 citizens, selected to represent local demographics, to perform on stage. To date, the production has been staged around the world in 35 cities.
100% Hong Kong is a collaboration between Rimini Protokoll, local theatre group On&On and West Kowloon.
Q: What were the criteria for selecting the 100 citizens taking part in Hong Kong?
A: After discussion with statistics academics, the production team refined five conditions that reflect Hong Kong identity: gender, type of housing, place of residence, age and ethnicity. According to the census, if there were only 100 people in Hong Kong, the demographic would look something like this:
Type of Housing
|Public rental housing||29 people|
Subsidised home ownership housing
Privately permanent housing
|Temporary housing||1 people|
Place of Residence
|Hong Kong Island||17 people|
|New Territories||52 people|
|0-19 yrs||16 people|
|20-39 yrs||27 people|
|40-59 yrs||32 people|
|60 yrs and above||25 people|
Q: How are these 100 people contacted?
A: The first participant we contact is often a government official from the local statistics body or someone with knowledge of the generation of official numbers. In the Hong Kong edition, this participant is an academic with expert insight into Hong Kong demographics.
After we interview the first person, we ask this him/her for a suggestion for the next participant. We continue this process until we have 100. Statistically, this method is called snowball sampling. During the process, we make sure all participants meet the demographic make-up mentioned above. Additional criteria are also applied to generate a cast that best mirrors the diversity of the population.
Q: What kind of questions are asked in the interviews? Are the responses used for writing the script?
A: To understand each interviewee’s background, we ask about their daily lives, and their reflections and expectations of the city they live in. The “100% City” series does not have a script or dialogue per se. Instead, the creative team analyse the concerns of the people interviewed and formulate a series of questions for the 100 participants to answer on stage.
For the Hong Kong edition, the 100 “actors” will participate in a 10-day workshop with the team in late November, working together to shape the performance.
The essence of the work is the design of these questions, which accumulate rhythm and intensity during the performance. The identity of each city takes shape through the answers.
Q: So the 100 selected citizens are part of the creative process too?
A: Yes. Not only do they participate in the performance, the lives and stories of each individual enrich the content, making each production a truly local piece. The Hong Kong edition is shaped by the people of Hong Kong.
Q: It sounds exciting, but it’s hard to imagine what the audience experience will be like.
A: Imagine a social experiment with a game-like setting. Every decision made during the performance is personal, individual and unscripted. The 100 “actors” are not impersonating someone else, they are representing themselves. On the other hand, each of them represents 74,800 Hong Kong citizens that, statistically, could perform in their place. For you, as the audience, how do the decisions made by these 100 citizens differ from, or match, your own reflections?
Q: Is there footage of what we can expect to see?
A: You can check out videos of other productions in the “100% City” series on the Rimini Protokoll website.