2021 In Review: Our Artistic Director, Ivan Heng, Reflects on a Wild Year

Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you and your loved ones in good health and spirits. In this season of reflection and gratitude, we’ve made a short video expressing our heartfelt thanks for your support.

2021 has been our most challenging year to date. From rolling with the ever-changing rules and restrictions that have required us to postpone and even cancel shows, to government subsidies coming to an end, it has been a gut-wrenching rollercoaster ride.  

Together with our theatre artists, production and tech crew, Team Wild Rice has done everything in our power to bring joy and light into our audiences’ lives, at a time when we all need it more than ever. And we are proud of what we have managed to achieve against all odds.

We are profoundly moved and grateful to have been able to produce and present 20 shows since we reopened our theatre in November 2020. We’ve kept our full-time staff of 29 employed, while creating more than 500 jobs for freelance theatre professionals. We’ve managed to keep every single space in our theatre complex humming with life and possibility.

At the same time, Wild Rice’s Youth and Education division has pushed through impossible conditions to keep inspiring and empowering future generations of theatre-makers. Theatre frees the imagination and opens hearts. Witnessing its impact on children and youth from the ages of 5 to 25 has given us a renewed sense of purpose and hope. 

We are so thankful that we were able to welcome more than 23,000 audience members into our home in Funan to experience the magic of theatre, live, at a time when so many theatres around the world have gone dark. Your laughter and tears, your cheers and standing ovations, tell us we are doing the right thing.

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for helping us to keep the lights in our theatre, and the fire in our hearts, burning bright. Every step of the way has been hard, but it has been worth it. You have kept us going, and we can’t wait to see you in our theatre again soon.

On behalf of all at Wild Rice, here’s wishing you and your loved ones a happy and healthy New Year. May 2022 be filled with wonder and joy, and may your hopes and dreams come true.

My best, as always,

Ivan Heng
Founding Artistic Director, Wild Rice
Cultural Medallion 2013

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