Author Archives: TheatreWorksSg

24-Hour Playwriting Competition at Haw Par Villa

Do you have an idea for a play brewing in your mind?

TheatreWorks’ ever-popular 24-Hour Playwriting Competition returns and challenges you to write a play within 24 hours!

In its 21st edition, we will challenge our participants to make this year’s iconic venue a foundation of their new plays.

This year’s 24-Hour Playwriting Competition will be held at the sprawling grounds of Haw Par Villa, a place filled with ancient Chinese mythology, folklore and history!

Immerse yourself in this Asian cultural park, the last of its kind in the world. Built in 1937, Singapore’s largest outdoor art gallery is the brainchild of Aw Boon Haw, the millionaire philanthropist and marketing extraordinaire who gifted us Tiger Balm.

Look out for Chinese classics such as Journey to the West and Madame White Snake and brave through the gruesome depictions of the 10 Courts of Hell. Discover all the wonders at Haw Par Villa during the 24-Hour Playwriting Competition!

The 24-Hour Playwriting Competition is a platform for TheatreWorks Writers’ Lab to discover potential playwrights. One of the winners will have his/her play developed into a full production by theatre professionals. This production will be taken on a performance tour to the South East District in the first quarter of 2019.

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Writing from the Heart Playwriting Workshop: From Dreams to Drama

TheatreWorks invites Tony Perez back to Singapore to conduct our annual Writing from the Heart Playwriting Workshop.

Have you ever dreamt of writing your own play or found your mind wandering off and envisioning stories? If so, join us at this year’s Writing from the Heart Playwriting Workshop: From Dreams to Drama.

Tony Perez – playwright, novelist and visual artist – will combine his repertoire of skills to guide you on a journey into your subconscious. Learn about writing your own play by using your own dreams as a source of inspiration. You will participate in practical exercises, utilise dream analysis and interpretation, and apply these techniques towards playwriting.

Come with an open mind and be ready to take emotional risks! From creative visualisation, hypnosis and regression exercises, your goal is to unlock your subconscious and use it in your writing.

After the workshop, you will have the opportunity to undergo a year-long mentorship programme to be led by Tony Perez. This includes writing a play and receiving dramaturgical guidance from Tony Perez. Upon completion of the mentorship, the plays will be read to the public in a dramatised reading.

Emerging playwright Shen Tan, who participated in the workshop in 2015 and went through the mentorship programme with Tony Perez, will have her play 13.13.13 presented this July as part of TheatreWorks’ 2018 season. Playwright Helmi Yusof, first wrote his play My Mother Buys Condoms at the workshop in 2014 and it went on to be staged professionally in 2016. This year, two emerging playwrights Clara Chow and Pamela Tham from the 2016 workshops will have their works presented in a Dramatised Reading on 7 July. TheatreWorks is proud to have nurtured and supported these playwrights through our Writers’ Lab programmes.

Join us for this year’s workshop and you could be the next successful playwright!

Date: 2 – 6 July & 9 & 10 July 2018
Venue: 72-13, Home of TheatreWorks
Time: 7.30pm – 10.30pm

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Dramatised Reading 2018 by TheatreWorks Writers’ Lab

Fresh from ‘graduating’ from the Writing from the Heart Mentorship programme, a year-long mentorship with renowned playwright Tony Perez, emerging playwrights Clara Chow and Pamela Tham will have their original new works presented in a dramatised reading at 72-13.

Funny and vulnerable, these new works of heartfelt stories will stop you in your tracks, and have you reflect on the choices you’ve made in life. Words have power, and a voice can make a difference. These emerging playwrights will work with professional directors and actors who will help bring their words to life.

TheatreWorks is dedicated to nurturing and developing new writing for the theatre. Our script development process focuses on exploration and creative dialogue, away from the pressures of performance outcomes. It is not intended that writers will produce a performance-ready script by the end of a workshop. The primary motivations are to create a responsive community, to generate a feedback loop with our audiences who contribute to the growth of new scripts and to cultivate vital, confident playwrights.

We invite you to join us in listening and responding to these new works as Clara Chow and Pamela Tham take the next step in their playwriting journey

Details for the Dramatised Readings
Date & Time: 7 July 2018, 2pm to 10pm
Venue : 72-13, Mohd Sultan Road, Singapore 239007

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Writing Site Specifically by TheatreWorks Writers’ Lab

Curious to how a place can inspire your writing? TheatreWorks Writers’ Lab presents Writing Site Specifically, a four-hour workshop at this year’s venue of TheatreWorks 24-Hour Playwriting Competition – Haw Par Villa.

First built in 1937 by the Aw brothers as a venue for the teaching of traditional Chinese values, the park is filled with over 1000 statues and 150 giant dioramas depicting ancient Chinese legends and history. Experience the Ten Courts of Hell and feast your eyes on creatures of all shapes and sizes around the park.

Observing, listening and describing a site enable one to connect to it. In this four-hour workshop,Tony Perez will guide participants through hands-on writing exercises. Participants will have the opportunity to explore allowing the site to feed their imagination and encourage their artistic expression through writing.

Join this workshop and experience first hand how you can incorporate various stimuli, however fantastic and unexpected, into your writing. Soak up the most from your experience at Haw Par Villa, a treasure trove of art, culture, philosophy, and religion. Apply these techniques towards your playwriting! 

Date: 1 July 2018, Sunday
Venue: Haw Par Villa, 262 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 118628
Time: 2.30pm – 6.30pm
Registration Fees: $20

Limited to 25 participants.

Please email us at writerslab@theatreworks.org.sg to register.

 Workshop Structure:

Psychological Equipment:

  • Truth and Personal Mythology
  • Suspending Judgment
  • The Writing Room

Craft Reminders:

  • Premise
  • Point of Attack
  • Giving Texture to Dialogue via the Defense Mechanisms
  • Delving Deeper into Characterization
  • Deconstruction
  • Eros and Thanatos

Incorporating Stimuli in Written Work:

  • Associations
  • Using Sounds as Stimuli
  • Establishing Patterns

 


Writing Site Specifically is part of TheatreWorks Writers’ Lab Month. Read more about our other programmes here:

 

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TheatreWorks Celebrates the Writers’ Lab Month!

This July, TheatreWorks celebrates its Writers’ Lab with a dynamic line-up of programmes.

Why? Simply because we believe in championing new Singapore works!

Since its conception in 1990 by Ong Keng Sen, the Writers’ Lab has been pioneering in encouraging and developing Singapore playwriting with its varied programmes. This year is no exception! As we celebrate the achievements of our Writers’ Lab alumni, we continue to equip new participants with skills for them to take the next step in their playwriting journeys. With four exciting programmes, both writers and audiences can get involved in sharing their voices.

Expand your repertoire of skills: Two writing workshops will be available – Writing Site Specifically, a four-hour workshop held at Haw Par Villa, and Writing from the Heart: From Dreams to Drama, a comprehensive seven-day playwriting workshop. Guided by one of the region’s best, renowned Filipino playwright Tony Perez, will take participants through a literacy journey with his unique approach to playwriting.

Sharing of new voices: Three new works by emerging playwrights will be presented in one day. Make Sure and Birth Daysby Clara Chow, and Waiting for Marimekko by Pamela Tham, both alumni of the 2015 Writing from the Heart workshop. These two playwrights will share their new works in a reading, and following each reading, audiences will be invited to share their thoughts and comments which will contribute to the continued development of the scripts.

Unearth the playwright in you: TheatreWorks Writers’ Lab concludes its month-long programmes with our longest running writing event – the ever-popular 24-Hour Playwriting Competition. This year, it will be held at the sprawling grounds of Haw Par Villa. Filled with ancient Chinese mythology, folklore and history, this site is bound to stir the participants’ imagination as they work on their scripts.

The Writers’ Lab Month programmes:

 

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Find out more ‘Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge’ with its range of Engagement Programmes!

Join us for an array of events of talks and performances that will take you on a journey through the geographical, historical, cultural and artistic symbols that exist in our current exhibition, Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge by Zai Kuning.

Last week we had a talk by Professor John N. Miksic who gave an insightful talk that touched on Singapore’s pre-colonial history in the larger Asian context, focusing on three specific mountains in Palembang (Sumatra), Singapore, and Melaka, which were epicentres that unified the Malay maritime culture.

This week, join us for a talk by Professor T.K. Sabapathy as he shares the significances of a stone inscription found in the vicinity of Bukit Seguntung in Palembang, that names Dapunta Hyang as a ruler who embarked upon a voyage or pilgrimage to gain merit and spiritual power. The contents of this inscription, the figure of Dapunta Hyang and ships or vessels are vital and dynamic wellsprings for Zai Kuning’s current work. T.K. Sabapathy discusses this inscription and its impact in the making of Zai Kuning’s Dapunta Hyang: The Transmission of Knowledge.

Symbolic Content in Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge
Public Lecture by Professor T.K. Sabapathy
26 April 2018, 7.30pm

Click here to register for this public lecture today!

T.K. Sabapathy has researched and published extensively on modern art and artists in Southeast Asia; his work inaugurates pathways for developing art histories of the modern in this region. He is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore where he teaches the history of art.


Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge
72-13 Mohamed Sultan Road
12 April – 13 May 2018
12pm to 7pm
Tuesdays to Sundays

Opening hours are extended to 10pm on 26 April, 4 & 5 May 2018.


The presentation of Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge is part of TheatreWorks’ aim to present innovative contemporary experiences and artistic expressions that offer Singapore audiences alternatives. Its home, 72-13 is an incubator for artistic experiments by both artists and creatives, while being a consistent conduit for dialogues between disciplines and cultures.

Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge docking at 72-13 this April!

A 17 metre-long ship traverses the hall, suspended. As if emerging from the sea floor, it unloads hundreds of books sealed in beeswax. This is the imagined vessel steered by the first Malay king, Dapunta Hyang Sri Jayanasa of the 7th-century Srivijayan Empire.

Haunting, mysterious, full of magic and beauty is Zai Kuning’s vessel of the Srivijayan Empire, an artistic re-imagination of the voyage of Dapunta Hyang Sri Jayanasa who is believed to be the first ruler of the Malay Kingdom in the 7th Century. A masterpiece that has journeyed through Hong Kong, Paris and most recently to the 57th Venice Biennale, DAPUNTA HYANG: TRANSMISSION OF KNOWLEDGE is a culmination of an ongoing body of work that investigates Malay history and culture through the lesser-known narratives of the orang laut (sea people). It has successfully brought Malay cultural history and Singapore’s relationship to the larger Riau Archipelago onto the international stage.

In the homecoming of this highly-acclaimed work to be presented at 72-13, Singapore audiences will experience a multi-disciplinary exhibition that traces a 19-year long journey that has taken Zai Kuning to encounter the orang laut (sea people), mak yong (ancient Malay opera), and the lost world of the Malay maritime kingdom. This journey started with a residency by TheatreWorks (Singapore) in 2001. Surrounding the exhibition in Singapore will be live performances by Zai Kuning and collaborating musicians, talks by experts, and the screening of a new film that captures Zai Kuning’s extraordinary sojourn in search of our regional history.

Through the synthesis of forgotten histories and a living tradition on the verge of disappearance, Zai Kuning communicates the urgent need to resurface questions on how knowledge has been transmitted, manipulated and directed across time and space to inform us of our present reality.

Presented by TheatreWorks (Singapore) and 72-13, with support from National Arts Council (of Singapore) and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

Dapunta Hyang: Transmission of Knowledge
72-13 Mohamed Sultan Road
12 April – 13 May 2018
12pm to 7pm
Tuesdays to Sundays

For more information about this exhibition and its programmes, please visit the website here!

TheatreWorks presents THE GOOD FARMER, a winning play of 2017’s 24-Hour Playwriting Competition

 in partnership with  presents

THE GOOD FARMER

Written by Christopher Chee | Directed by Grace Kalaiselvi

TheatreWorks’ Performance Tour is back in March this year! We bring to the community The Good Farmer, a winning play from TheatreWorks’ well-established 24-Hour Playwriting Competition in 2017.

Touring since 2009, the Performance Tour has featured social issues that resonate with audiences in the heartlands. In the past years, we have dealt with issues such as mental health, mixed marriages and their prejudices, and inter-generational relationships, to name a few. With The Good Farmer, TheatreWorks continues its commitment to raise awareness of human and social issues through the arts and to provide an open and inviting platform for the discussion of these topics.

The Good Farmer explores sibling rivalry and favouritism in the family. Tensions arise when twin brothers Jacob and Joseph are placed into different streams after Primary Four, and Jacob begins to feel that their father favours his twin, Joseph.

Playwright Christopher shares, “The Good Farmer is partly inspired by my experience growing up as an elder sibling, as well as by conversations with relatives and friends about their opinions of being treated or treating themselves according to the order of their birth. The position of the elder sibling is rather paradoxical; you are expected to perform better than your younger siblings despite your parents’ lack of parenting experience and the lack of older siblings to learn from. As an older sibling you are expected to be taller, wiser, stronger and more responsible just on the basis of age”.

It’s inevitable that siblings are compared to one another, but where do you draw the line? Is sibling rivalry considered healthy competition? What if that’s mixed together with favouritism? Will Dad ever admit that he has a favourite?

The Good Farmer brings up questions about family, relationships and attitudes that many people choose not to answer…

As part of the performances, post-show discussions after each performance will be held. We hope that the performance becomes a catalyst for audiences to reflect and discuss the issues brought up during the play.

Synopsis
Jacob Teo and Joseph Teo, identical twins but born minutes apart. Jacob on 30th June and Joseph on 1st July.Out of convenience, their birthdays were celebrated on the same day each year on 1st July… starting from when they were 11, the year they were separated into EM1 and EM2, all the way till adulthood.

One child excelled in his studies while the other struggled to keep up.  Average Jacob Teo versus Public Service Commission scholar Joseph Teo.

Was it favouritism or inferiority complex that made them different? And what happens when one child goes missing? The Good Farmer, brings up questions that many people choose not to answer.

For more information, please visit:
https://thegoodfarmer2018.wordpress.com
Free Admission: Reserve your tickets at

Performance Details:

Marine Parade Community Centre, Theatrette
8 Mar, Thu, 8pm
9 Mar, Fri, 8pm
10 Mar, Sat, 3pm & 8pm

Mountbatten Community Centre, Performance Centre
15 Mar, Thu, 8pm
16 Mar, Fri, 8pm
17 Mar, Sat, 3pm & 8pm

SingPost Centre, Theatrette
23 Mar, Fri, 3pm & 8pm
24 Mar, Sat, 3pm & 8pm

 

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Heman Chong on The Art in Writing by the Swiss Institute New York

For six nights in November 2017, artist Heman Chong’s new work for TheatreWorks – Because, the Night will inhabit 72-13.

A non-profit, second-hand bookshop with 50 books culled from a series of informal conversations with friends and strangers on Facebook. A space built for people who can’t sleep at night, a temporary home for insomniacs, the bookshop is open between 10pm to 4am.

Because, The Night extends and follows a thread in Chong’s work that he has woven since 1997. His concerns about the production and distribution of knowledge has brought him to produce exhibitions, conferences, books; playing roles outside of the artist— as curator, writer and of course, the bookseller. The bookshop is a confluence of many things. It is at once a depository of ideas, but at the same time, a social space in which individuals exchange ways of reading and seeing ideas.

Watch this Video by the Swiss Institute New York of artist, Heman Chong, on his ideas on The Art in Writing.

Bookshop for night owls – A feature by The Straits Times

Thank you to Olivia Ho and The Straits Times for featuring TheatreWorks upcoming programme, Because, The Night a second-hand bookshop for insomniacs curated by Heman Chong!

We already have 24-hour gyms, so why not a bookshop that opens late at night so people who love to read can have access to books?” – Heman Chong

 

1. BTN - Bookshop for night owls 7 Nov 2017

Click to enlarge

 

Link to The Straits Times Article: http://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/arts/bookshop-for-night-owls 


Because, The Night
9 – 11 & 16 – 18 November 2017
72-13, Mohamed Sultan Road Singapore 239007

Opening hours: 10pm – 4am (Last Admission: 3.15am)
Free Admission