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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 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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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.

The Curators Academy – Call for Application!

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TheatreWorks (Singapore), in partnership with the Goethe-Institut Singapore, is calling for participants to be part of the first edition of The CURATORS ACADEMY conceived & led by ONG Keng Sen, the Artistic Director of TheatreWorks (Singapore) and Founding Festival Director of Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA), 2014 to 2017.

The CURATORS ACADEMY invites interested individuals from South East Asia to apply for a place in the Academy. The duration of the Academy is from 24 to 28 January 2018 in Singapore. English will be the language of communication.

The CURATORS ACADEMY is concerned with the curation of performance but intends to move beyond the skills of curation, unlike conventional training programmes in universities.

Its emphasis is on developing a context when there is little or none, for ‘growing’ performance, which engages and interrogates the politics of the local, the site. The first recognition of the Academy is that very often, curators need to cultivate a scene of processes between their public intellectuals, artists, audiences and civil society, to construct a scene and its own specifics.

This initiative is for aspiring curators in South East Asia. These will primarily be independent artists and producers with strong networks but the Academy will strive to provide a platform for exchange to develop various curatorial perspectives and considerations with them. The Academy is open to programmers affiliated with institutions; the focus remains on the development of independent curation.

It is the CURATORS ACADEMY’s belief that the curators nurture porous contexts, conversations, continuities through interrogating archives/legacies and bridging potentialities.

The participants will be engaging in dialogue with trainers who will include ONG Keng Sen, curators from Germany as well as curators from other parts of the world. The trainers will bring specific perspectives based on their research and practice.

The CURATORS ACADEMY invites individuals who have / who are:

  • An independent aspiring curator from South East Asia, who comes from the background of making art or producing art;
  • curious;
  •  a ready network; and
  • a desire to activate their networks to enable and transform their contexts and their communities. This includes enabling and transforming institutions they interact with, either from outside the institution(s) or sometimes in collaboration with the institution(s).


Your application must include:

  • A brief description of your curatorial experience if any,
  • your current artistic and production practice,
  • A brief description of your current network(s)
  • Curriculum Vitae (up-to-date)
  • Portfolio of the recent projects / works (max. 10MB total)
  • how you intend to enable and transform your local contexts, communities or institutions, if given an opportunity.

Applications shall be submitted via email to the following email address:

Application deadline: 27 November 2017, 23:55 hours (Singapore time)

Please also keep in mind that only digital material is accepted and all documents shall be sent in the same email. TheatreWorks (Singapore) can respond to email inquiries except regarding the status of individual applications.

Successful applicants shall be informed in due course.

The CURATORS ACADEMY shall provide the selected participant a return economy class air-ticket from his/her city of residence to Singapore, per diem and hotel accommodation for the duration of the Academy from 23 January (day of arrival) to 28 January 2018. The day of departure from Singapore is 29 January 2018

We are expanding our team!

TheatreWorks is calling for applications for the following positions. Interested applicants should send in their cover letter and CV, indicating your expected salary, to Mervyn QUEK at by 19 Nov 2017.

Shorlisted candidates will be notified by 1 Dec 2017.

1) Production Coordinator

The Production Coordinator will be responsible for operational and production related arrangements of all contracted productions. This includes:

  • Contracting and coordinating various aspects of the productions including preparing, monitoring and maintaining production budgets, purchasing and rental of equipment
  • Scheduling of meetings, rehearsals, technical rehearsals and performances
  • Arrangement of hotel accommodations, booking of (touring company) air travel, facilitation of contracts and visas for artists and production personnel;Hiring and supervising technical staff
  • Assisting in the general maintenance of the company’s rehearsal and performance spaces, as well as all equipment;
  • All other duties as assigned with regards to the preparation, operation and production of the company’s Singapore and touring productions.


  • Meticulous and a multi-tasker and able to work within tight timelines
  • Strong interest in the arts is a MUST
  • Strong administrative, communication and inter-personal skills are a MUST
  • Proficiency in MS Office and preferably familiar with software such as Autocad
  • Minimum 2 years working experience in a similar position and minimum Diploma Holder from a recognised educational institution

Remuneration will commensurate with candidates’ work experience


2) Partnership Executive

The Partnership Executive will lead the developing and implementing of TheatreWorks’ partnership initiatives with various stakeholders.


  • To grow Company’s Partnership portfolio and revenue streams including corporate sponsorships and fundraisers
  • To grow Company’s reach to potential audiences while deepening relationships with current audiences
  • To maintain and deepen relationships with existing partners, donors and stakeholders


  • Creative and imaginative
  • Strong interest in the arts is a MUST
  • Strong administrative, communication and inter-personal skills are a MUST
  • Proficiency in MS Office and preferably familiar with software such as Photoshop, Illustrator;
  • Minimum 2 years working experience in a similar position and minimum Diploma Holder from a recognised educational institution

Remuneration will commensurate with candidates’ work experience


3) Engagement Executive

The Engagement Executive will be responsible for reaching out to the Company’s community of artists, audiences, patrons and other stakeholders.

  • To assist the Managing Director in matters relating to the Company’s Engagement and Outreach programmes and activities which includes strategising and creating programmes / activities that will increase the Company’s engagement with its community of artists, audiences, patrons and other stakeholders.  The overall aim is to increase the Company’s reach and profile, leading to the enlargement of the Company’s support base that includes audiences and stakeholders.
  • To create content for the Company’s websites and to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of these websites.
  • To promote the Company’s connections and information flow with its defined ‘community’ as listed above.
  • To assist in the conceptualising and developing methods and ideas to publicise the company’s programmes including productions, exhibitions, presentations and screenings.
  • To work with and supervise appointed project staff, with the aim to co-ordinate and manage the above programmes in the most efficient manner.


  • Conceive and Implement Publicity Strategies
  • Conceptualise and develop methods and ideas to publicise the company’s programmes including productions, exhibitions, presentations and screenings
    Strategise and manage the usage of online and offline media such as EDMs, social media, print and broadcast media
  • Liaise with design houses on briefs and concepts for publicising company’s programmes
  • Liaise with designers / printers for the production of publicity collaterals
    Management of Publicity and Media Platforms
  • Organise, manage and maintain press and media relations for the company
    Organise, manage and maintain company’s mailing list


  • Creative and imaginative
  • Strong interest in the arts is a MUST
  • Strong administrative, communication and inter-personal skills are a MUST
  • Proficiency in MS Office and preferably familiar with software such as Photoshop, Illustrator;
  • Minimum 2 years working experience in a similar position and minimum Diploma Holder from a recognised educational institution

Remuneration will commensurate with candidates’ work experience

The Prize Presentation of the 24-Hour Playwriting Competition!

Our judges for the 24-Hour Playwriting Competition are hard at work reading all the submitted scripts, and will soon come to a decision on the winners!

The Prize Presentation of the Competition will be on Saturday, 4th November 2017, and we invite everyone to join us as we announce the winners!

Date: Saturday, 4 November 2017
Time: 4.00pm to 6.00pm
Venue: 72-13, Mohamed Sultan Road Singapore 239007

4.00pm Arrival of Guests
4.30pm Arrival of Guest-of-Honour
4.35pm Welcome Address
4.40pm Comments from the Judges
4.50pm  Reading of Excerpts of Winning Scripts
5.20pm Prize Presentation
5.30pm Tea Reception
6.00pm End of Programme

Please RSVP your attendance to Ezzat at by Wednesday 1 November 2017.


Open call – Join us for a film seminar!

Notes on roads, trips,
and other possible slips and falls. 

A film seminar by Heman Chong This film seminar compliments Heman’s exhibition ‘Because, The Night’ that will occur for 6 nights in November at 72-13. The themes within the film seminar will overlap with the bookshop, touching on inequality, racism, homophobia, overpopulation, forced migration, exploitation of labor, overconsumption, climate change and many other issues affecting modern society.

When something or someone is trying to get from Point A to Point B, we have the possible beginnings of a road movie. I have been watching and re-watching a selection of about 150 films that I have collected since 2003. They have always inspired me; satisfying and igniting my wanderlust at the same time.

I have always wanted to make a film seminar for artists, filmmakers and writers who are interested to think about, around and inside all sorts of different journeys. So, here we are. We’ll sit and watch 9 different films, in their entirety, over 3 days and form an informal discussion around what we are seeing.

The films will only be revealed at the time of the screening. Something that we need to agree upon is whatever we talk about in those 3 days, while we’re watching those films; the material we generated will be collectively available to each of us in the film seminar as raw material to develop a story involving a road trip, shared amongst the participants of this film seminar.

We are looking at a small group of individuals to join us on this journey. Please be willing to commit 3 full days between 10 am to 6 pm each day between 20-22 October 2017 to be present at 72-13. There is no charge to attend this seminar. Please send an email to with this attached form fully filled out. Type ‘Because, The Night (Film seminar)’ in the Subject. We’ll let you know if you’re in or you’re out as soon as we can.

  1. Full name:
  2. Occupation:
  3. Website (if any):
  4. Age:
  5. Top ten favourite films:
  6. Top ten favourite novels:
  7. Top ten visual art works:
  8. Describe the things you’re obsessed about: