Writing In The Thick Of Now: A Devising Performance Workshop by Manuela Infante

72-13, Engagement, TheatreWorks, Uncategorized

TheatreWorks Writers’ Lab invites lauded Chilean playwright and director, Manuela Infante, to Singapore to conduct a devising performance workshop.

Whether you have an idea brewing, or a work-in-progress, this interdisciplinary workshop will take you to the next step! This workshop is open to writers, directors, performers, and designers interested in developing their work collaboratively.

Infante will focus on devising and writing by drawing materials from what is created in the rehearsal room with performers. By applying her methodology towards your creative process, you will explore theories of non-anthropocentric theatre, in which other forces such as light, sound, words, and other non-human entities find time and space to participate in the forging of the work.

Participants will write on the spot, in the rehearsal space, and after the rehearsal, breaking the conventional approach of writing where “the words come first”.

In this workshop, the body, the space, and improvisation stand at the forefront, thus removing the human author from the centre of creation.

Infante was last seen in Singapore presenting, Vegetative State as part of the Singapore International Festival of Arts in 2017. She regards her plays as essays in a corpus of broader currents of thoughts that stems from theoretical writings, science, and cultural studies, characterising her work as a kind of ‘irresponsible philosophy’.


“Irresponsible in the sense that we strive from stealing from theory to make work, and not having to inscribe myself responsibly/responsively back into the academic corpus. My work is about letting ideas acquire a material life of their own, watching them find their way into the material world, into our bodies and our relations, and thus into time.” – Manuela Infante

Infante is widely celebrated for feminist re-envisioning of famous historical figures, combining slapstick humour and prose.

Her works have toured around the world and have been widely applauded by critics and audiences. From 2001 to 2016, she was part of Teatro de Chile, one of the most highly regarded young theatre groups in Chile. Infante’s repertoire of works includes Fin (2008), co-produced and premiered at the festival of Modena, Italy, and What’s He Building in There? (2011), created in residency at The Watermill Center, and premiering and shown in several spaces in New York. In 2012, she directed On the Beach,curated by Robert Wilson and premiered at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York; as well as Don’t Feed the Humans, premiered in Hebbel am Uffer in Berlin, Germany. Infante was also selected as Artistic Director of the XVI Playwright Selection 2014, organized by the Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes.

This is your chance to develop your own work with guidance by Manuela Infante; one of the most prolific and interesting voices in contemporary theatre in Chile and Latin America.

Structure of the Workshop:

Session 1
• Introduction to non-humanist approach and devising methodology
• Discussion of reading materials

Session 2
• Project presentation and discussion
• Designing a methodology for your project

Session 3 – 6
• Working on a methodology for your project

Dates:  26 Nov, 28 Nov, 30 Nov, 1 Dec, 3 Dec, & 5 Dec 2018

Mon – Fri: 7.30pm – 10.30pm
Sat: 2.30pm – 6.30pm

Venue: 72-13, Home of TheatreWorks

Registration Fees

Registration Fee: $800 (for a group of up to 5 participants. Each group can comprise of writers, performers, directors and designers)

Observership is available at $20 per session.


About Manuela Infante

Born in 1980 Manuela Infante is a Chilean theatre playwright, director, script writer and musician. Infante holds a BA in Arts from the University of Chile and a MA in Cultural Analysis from the University of Amsterdam. With her group Teatro de Chile (2002-2016) she wrote and directed numerous works with the support of the Chilean Funds for the Arts. Four of her plays have been published and translated into English and Italian. Her work has toured internationally to the U.S., Argentina, Brazil, Perú, Mexico, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Holland, Switzerland, Singapore and Korea. She has produced work with Hebbel am Uffer, Festival de Modena, The Watermill Center, FIBA and FITAM. In 2015 she was the first woman to be appointed director of The National Festival for Dramaturgy (Muestra Nacional) in Chile.


Script Analysis Workshop: The Reunification Of The Two Koreas

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This month, TheatreWorks Writers’ Lab focuses on the playwright of our upcoming production Joël Pommerat, one of the most exciting voices in French Theatre today and a ‘superb artisan’ as described by the legendary Peter Brooke.

The Reunification Of The Two Koreas was originally written in French by Pommerat in 2013. Translated into English by playwright and dramaturg Marc Goldberg, TheatreWorks will present its English premiere in Singapore this November.

Pommerat takes a distinctive approach to playwriting. As an author-director, Pommerat believes there is no hierarchy: the staging and the script are elaborated at the same time during rehearsals. He refers to himself as a “show writer”, and continues writing through working with actors, as much as when working on the scenography, lighting and sound.

Using The Reunification Of The Two Koreas script as the focus, Goldberg, who has over 20 years of experience in writing and directing for the theatre, will guide participants in deciphering Pommerat’s apporach of being a ‘story writer’.

Pommerat’s plays are deeply anchored in modern life and he regards the theatre as “a place in which to interrogate and experience humanity. Goldberg is joined by award-winning actress and arts educator Noorlinah Mohamed, who will share an actor’s perspective in interpreting Pommerat’s scripts that revolve around the complexities of the human experience.

Goldberg and Noorlinah will lead participants in examining Pommerat’s script and its relationship with the audience, the characteristics and role of the story, how characters are built, the use of language in the play, and what you can learn from Pommerat’s scripts.

Participants will look at Pommerat’s creative process, get key insights on how it can be utilised in their own creative work and its suitability in a Singapore context.

This workshop is recommended for playwrights, directors and actors to gain a deeper understanding of character, intentions, calls to action, and the construction of an outstanding play.

Outline of the workshop:
• Discover Joël Pommerat, a “show writer”
• Examining the relationship between script and audience: Ambiguity, meaning and purpose.
• Character building: What should playwrights have in mind when creating characters?
• The type of language Pommerat uses
• An actor’s approach towards the script

Participants will be required to read the script of The Reunification Of The Two Koreas beforehand.

Script Analysis Workshop: The Reunification of the Two Koreas
Date: 27 October 2018
Time: 2.30pm – 10.30pm
Venue: 72-13, Home of TheatreWorks, Mohamed Sultan Road Singapore 239007

Registration Fees (Workshop Only):
$100 (Standard)
$60 (Student)

Bundle Performance + Workshop:
$140 (Standard)
$80 (Student)

Please send an email to writerslab@theatreworks.org.sg to register. If you have already purchased your ticket, please include a copy of your ticket for verification when emailing us.

Synopsis: The Reunification Of The Two Koreas
The Reunification Of The Two Koreas by Joël Pommerat is a patchwork of multiple short scenes revolving around an unuttered question: what are human relationships made of?

A woman wants a divorce because there was never any love between her and her husband. On her wedding day a bride discovers her fiancé had an affair with each of her four sisters. Two best friends get into a savage fight because one of them recalls their first encounter. A prostitute bargains down her services to hook a client.

What are those bonds that lead us to love, hate, help, betray, care, flee, fight, abuse or lie? Each scene explores situations where a relationship is challenged, drawing us into a maze where appeased relations between humans seem as primal, desirable and quixotic as the reunification of the two Koreas.


Marc Goldberg
Marc Goldberg has been involved in French theatre for over twenty years before moving to Singapore in 2013.

He has staged about 30 shows with a penchant for medieval and contemporary drama, including A Woman of Mystery by John Cassavetes with Molières award wining actress Myriam Boyer, The Baby by Marie Darrieussecq with pop singer Lio, and Two Singapore Monodramas performed in France and Singapore during the Singapore Festival in France.

He is also a produced and published playwright (for instance La Colonne de Frickstein was published by Editions Les Cynges, Les Rendez-Vous was performed over 100 times, Scents of Josephine was staged in Singapore at the Drama Centre by Samzy Jo); and translator (his translation of Women of Troy by Ravenhill was published by Les Solitaires Intempestifs and staged by Jean-Pierre Vincent, his translation of Le Clown du Rocher by Catherine Lefeuvre was performed at Gardens by the Bay).

Noorlinah Mohamed
Noorlinah is an award-winning actress, a teaching artist and creator of public engagement projects in Singapore. Since 1988, she has performed and taught in Singapore, Asia, Europe and the U.S. Noorlinah is a recipient of the JCCI Cultural Award (2008) and the Women’s Weekly Women of our Time Award (2005) for her contributions to the arts. She obtained her PhD in Arts Education from the University of Warwick in 2013 and was Director of The O.P.E.N., a pre-festival of ideas and public engagement initiative of the Singapore International Festival of Arts (2014-2017).


TheatreWorks presents: ‘The Reunification of the Two Koreas’

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In one month’s time, TheatreWorks proudly presents The Reunification Of The Two Koreas! The second play of our BECAUSE I LOVE YOU Season.

The Reunification Of The Two Koreas by Joël Pommerat is a patchwork of twenty short scenes revolving around an unuttered question: what are human relationships made of?

A woman wants a divorce because there was never any love between her and her husband, on her wedding day a bride discovers her fiancé had an affair with each of her four sisters, a mother is stunned when she learns her husband is happy with their son joining the army and risking his life at war, two best friends get into a savage fight because one of them recalls their first encounter, a prostitute bargains down her services to hook a client-

What are those bonds that lead us to love, hate, help, betray, care, flee, fight, abuse or lie? Each scene explores situations where a relationship is challenged, drawing us into a maze where appeased relations between humans seem as primal, desirable and quixotic as the reunification of the two Koreas.

The Reunification Of The Two Koreas is a co-production between TheatreWorks and Centre Dramatique National de Tours (CDNT). It is directed by Jacques Vincey, Artistic Director of CDNT, translated into English by Marc Goldberg, and performed by Cynthia Lee Macquarrie, Ebi Shankara, Karen Tan, Janice Koh, Pavan J Singh, Tan Shou Chen, Timothy Nga, Umi Kalthum Ismail and Zelda Tatiana Ng.

Event Information:
Thu, 1 – Sun, 11 Nov 2018
Wed – Fri: 8pm
Sat: 3pm & 8pm
Sun: 3pm Venue: 72-13, Mohmamed Sultan Road, Singapore 239007

Duration:          2 hours 30 minutes (with intermission)
Rating : Advisory 16 (Some Mature Content and Coarse Language)

Purchase your tickets on SISTIC today!

TheatreWorks presents its 2018 Season, BECAUSE I LOVE YOU, with two plays – 13.13.13 by Shen Tan and The Reunification Of The Two Koreas by Joël Pommerat.

More information available at www.becauseiloveyou.sg

24-Hour Playwriting Competition at Haw Par Villa

Engagement, TheatreWorks, Uncategorized

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.

Writing from the Heart Playwriting Workshop: From Dreams to Drama

Engagement, TheatreWorks, Uncategorized

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

Dramatised Reading 2018 by TheatreWorks Writers’ Lab

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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

Register here to receive an invitation

Writing Site Specifically by TheatreWorks Writers’ Lab

Engagement, TheatreWorks, Uncategorized

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:


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:


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

72-13, TheatreWorks, Uncategorized

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 2018

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The Curators Academy is concerned with the curation of performance but intends to move beyond the skills of curation, unlike conventional training programmes in European 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.

The Academy is concerned with bringing aspiring curators together in South East Asia. We will work regionally with Goethe Institute to locate these aspiring curators. These will primarily be independent artists and producers with strong networks but the Academy will strive to develop them into curators. The academy can also develop programmers of institutions but it is focused on independent curation. Institutional programmers will have to propose and develop a curatorial project outside of their institutions unless they can convince their institutions to be part of their enabling network.

It is the Academy’s belief that the programmers buy, artists make and curators nurture porous contexts, conversations, continuities through interrogating archives, legacies and bridging potentialities.