Cooling-Off Day

Man Singapore Theatre Festival
10 – 14 Aug 2011

Drama Centre Theatre, Singapore

Why do you vote? What issues influence you at the ballot box? What does citizenship mean to you?

In the electrifying months leading up to the watershed 2011 General Elections, and in the tumultuous months after, playwright Alfian Sa’at interviewed Singaporeans to discover their responses to these searching questions. Boldly putting aside concerns about secrecy, the interviewees opened their hearts to share what they honestly felt and what they truly believe.

Covering a wide social and political spectrum, the candid interviews capture the GE experience through the voices of individual Singaporeans – from election candidates to pro-establishment civil servants; from taxi-drivers to teachers; from diehard opposition supporters to young people casting their virgin votes. From the transcripts of these real-life interviews emerges a script that chronicles the momentous event that not only rocked the boat, but created startling ripples that are still being felt even now.

The private clashes behind the public debates… the personal convictions behind the party politics… even that unforgettable moment as they finally stood alone in the polling booth with pen in hand, poised to make their mark. These interviews – some hopeful, some fearful, some hilariously frank, some achingly honest – form a portrait of Singapore confronting the real meaning of democracy and rediscovering their role in shaping the country’s future.

An ensemble of our most versatile actors, playing characters aged 17 to 70, takes on these Singaporean voices – in a playful and poignant piece of testimony theatre that proves how political views are not just the hot air of coffeeshop talk.


The Singapore Theatre Festival is a biennial festival committed to the development, production and promotion of contemporary Singaporean theatre. Working in collaboration with local theatre companies and artists, the festival aims to provide a creative, nurturing and optimistic environment where new plays can be developed and presented. The Festival takes place in the month of August, when Singapore celebrates National Day and it is in this context that theatre artists and the public are encouraged to engage in a conversation about theatre, Singapore and the world.

Jo Kukathas
Najib Soiman
Tan Kheng Hua
Neo Swee Lin
Peter Sau
Rodney Oliveiro

Playwright Alfian Sa’at
Directors Ivan Heng & Jo Kukathas
Lighting Designer Teo Kuang Han
Photo/Multimedia Curator Chris Yap
Hair Designer Ashley Lim
Production Manager Koh Bee Bee
Stage Manager Keira Lee



Patron Sponsor: Man Group
Season Sponsor & Official Cards: OCBC Bank
Corporate Sponsor: Frasers Hospitality
Official Make Up: M.A.C.
Official Photography: MILK Photographie
Official Magazine: 8 DAYS
Official Printer: Allegro
Official Privilege Card: PAssion Card
With Support From: Arts Fund