Play Out: A Double Bill
NUS Stage with Peter Sau, Gerald Chew & Judy Ngo
Sat 22 & Sun 23 Mar | 8pm
Additional matinee performance on Sunday | 3pm $23, $19
Parenting in Singapore is often an untold, unsung, unappreciated story. As children, we often take for granted that our parents should know everything and blame them for their incessant meddling and shortcomings. We forget, that prior to our existence, they were never parents. We forget, that prior to us, they were children too.
These two heart-warming plays by Candlelight by Joanna Hioe and Wai? by Judy Au remind us the complexities and heart-ship that goes into parenting. Who we are today, is shaped by where we came from in the past. As our lives play out, let us remember that it is therefore easier to leave, than be left behind; that it is easier to grow up than to grow old.
Candlelight and Wai? were written as part of the scriptwriting class under Huzir Sulaiman. Candlelight tells a story of longing, love and legacy as the protagonist Jonathan struggles to reconstruct the memory of his grandfather through stories- both his and his grandfather’s. In his projections of insecurities, fears, hopes and dreams, we see Jonathan come of age. Despite the changes that have forcibly shaped his life, Jonathan and later his daughter, Jadene, eventually understands what it means to tell stories of personal histories.
Wai? presents the narrative of an old couple Qing and Fong, who learnt about the London Bombing from the news and tries in vain to call their son who was working in the UK. This eventually reveals the tenuous relationship that Fong has with her son, and Qing that escalates to questions about parenthood and the sacrifices of what it means to be a mother/wife for the sake of a family.
Candlelight, which is about to be published by Epigram books, went on to win an Honorable Mention in the 2011 international scriptwriting competition organised by Trinity College, will be receive full staging for the first time – giving Joanna the opportunity to have her heartwarming and brilliantly-written story told. Similarly, Wai? is a uniquely multi-lingual play that touches on Mandarin, Cantonese and English that draws upon Judy’s own experiences of her parents and concerns.
Joanna Hioe is a young woman with a taste for adventure. As an undergraduate at the National University of Singapore, she had the opportunity to explore new terrain for study and work in Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Suzhou, China; Santiago, Chile; and Bangkok, Thailand. The more she broadens her horizons, the more she finds that the contours of her world are defined by life’s rituals, which serve hold to the universe in place – celebrations of life, death, and longings for what is beyond the perishable. Candlelight celebrates all of these, remembering the ritual of storytelling on which Singapore was built. Candlelight has come a long way, from humble origins in a playwriting class under the tutelage of Huzir Sulaiman, to winning a runner-up title in the Trinity College London International Playwriting competition 2011. Most recently, it was staged as part of NUS Stage’s Chamber readings in January 2012. Joanna also co-founded Teater Dian, (“Candle Theatre”) which staged a Javanese-styled theatre experiment of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet in July 2011.
Judy Au discovered her love for acting in Secondary 1, and has been involved in several productions ever since. She most recently co-wrote and acted in City Night Songs, a joint production by Checkpoint Theatre and Centre for the Arts for NUS Arts Festival 2012. Wai? is her first play, written under the guidance of veteran playwright Huzir Sulaiman in 2013. Judy was also a vocalist in the NUS Jazz Band and a DJ in NUS Radio Pulze. She is currently a member of the improvisational comedy troupe, The Improv Company.
A masters candidate, researcher, events-organiser and budding theatre-maker. Claudia Wong (王颍琪) has combined theatre-related work into social science research that involves producing a youth-run community workshop “Theatre every Sunday” as part of her research. She had the honour of having her reesearch in theatre supported by the National Arts Council Research and Development Grant as well as the Graduate Research Support Scheme from National University of Singapore. This was later presented at the Institute of British Geographers International Conference 2013 under the Children and Young People Research Group. She was also the Assistant Director in Global Youth Congress International and facilitated and director various youth-led forums and conventions such as the Global Youth Forum 2012 and ASEAN Youth Convention 2012/2013 as part of her passion in the development of young people. This directorial experience will give her a unique opportunity to finally develop creatively and have a deeper understanding of the praxis of theatre beyond academia.
Goh Koon Hui (吴坤辉) is a fourth-year Theatre Studies and Literature major at NUS. In his spare time, he writes, dances, acts and coaches theatre. Having written poetry since his Junior College days, he has also gone into scriptwriting in his freshman year. Since starting out in 2010, Koon Hui has been involved in various productions with various other drama groups such as NUS Thespis (B. in 2012), NUS Stage (Mind Games in 2010, Play! in 2013, me, now in 2013) and NUS Theatre Studies Department (Apes and Moths in 2012 and Family in 2013). He recently debuted at Lit Up 2013 with an interdisciplinary work, Echo, organised by Word Forward Private Limited.
White Rabbit Red Rabbit is a very interesting play where actors have access to the script only 1 hour before the show and they can only be involved in the play once.
Ms Nora Samosir, Faculty at Theatre Studies will be performing on 22 Mar, 8pm performance. Paula Sim is an NUS alum from Theatre Studies and she will be performing on 23 Mar, 3pm.
CON$UMED is a theatrical collaboration where our NUS students had the chance to work with professionals such as Theatre Director Edith Podesta, Multimedia Designer Brian Gothong Tan and Lighting Designer Adrian Tan. This play promises to be candid, witty and provocative with a wide appeal to all. The NUS students come from a mixture of faculties including FASS.