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:

Gender
Male 46 people
Female 54 people

Type of Housing
Public rental housing 29 people

Subsidised home ownership housing

16 people

Privately permanent housing

54 people
Temporary housing 1 people

Place of Residence
Hong Kong Island  17 people
Kowloon 31 people
New Territories 52 people

Age
0-19 yrs 16 people
20-39 yrs 27 people
40-59 yrs 32 people
60 yrs and above 25 people

Ethnicity
Chinese 92 people
Non-Chinese  8 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.