Rebekah Sangeetha Dorai is a young Indian actor with her whole career ahead of her. But the path forward is uncertain. She gets excited reading casting notices until she reaches the part that states: ‘Chinese or Pan-Asian preferred.’ She’s been told, ‘You’re pretty for an Indian.’ She tries on different accents and gets better service if she sounds American or British.
How many actors are there like her on stage? Are there industry experts who know how to light her skin or do her make-up? Is acting a way for Sangeetha to get closer to the truth… or is it just a form of escapism? Which is more difficult for her: playing a Cantonese-speaking Lady Macbeth, or her own mother?
Inspired by Konstantin Stanislavski’s second handbook on acting, Building A Character is a frank and intimate dialogue between actor and audience. Written by poet-playwright Ruth Tang and directed by Teo Mei Ann, this is a brave and incisive work about trauma, time travel and transformation.
IMDA Rating: Advisory (Some Mature Content)