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August 2015 || Issue No. 27

Checking into HOTEL

Dear friends and W!LD RICE Angels,

After more than a year of dreaming and scheming, we will throw open the doors of our HOTEL for the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) this Thursday. In creating this epic two-part odyssey through the history of Singapore, we have been on an incredible journey with our top-notch cast, crew and creative team. Together, we have grappled with big ideas and reflected on what it means to be human. Even as the Jubilee celebrations wind down and Singapore is once again heading to the polls, we have found it meaningful to explore the nuances of empire, power, race and language through the prism of one hotel room. What is it that makes us a nation? How is this relevant given that we, as Singaporeans, have been colonised by the British, occupied by the Japanese, absorbed into Malaysia and divorced from it to become an independent sovereign nation-state?

HOTEL is the most ambitious project W!LD RICE has undertaken in its 15-year history. To my knowledge, this four-and-a-half hour production is Singapore’s longest play to date. I am very grateful to my dear friend, Ong Keng Sen, for inviting us to be a part of SIFA 2015 and challenging us to embark on this risky and deeply satisfying endeavour.

In this issue, we invite you to uncover the inner workings of our HOTEL. Glen Goei, my partner-in-crime, and I talk about the genesis of this project, while our playwrights, Alfian Sa’at and Marcia Vanderstraaten, provide insight into the blood, sweat and research that went into crafting the 11 scenes in the show. We also chat with a pair of our ‘short-term guests’, Ben Cutler and Moo Siew Keh, who have come respectively from London and Malaysia to make their stage debuts in Singapore.

But that’s not all – even as we put the finishing touches on HOTEL, we are eagerly looking forward to young & W!LD’s upcoming production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, not to mention taking our acclaimed production of The Importance of Being Earnest on the road to Brisbane.

Enjoy W!LD TIMES, and see you at the theatre!

My best,

Hot Off The Press!

The Empire Strikes Back

A sprawling, multi-generational play that delves into the themes of empire, power and identity, HOTEL is also one of the most ambitious projects ever jointly undertaken by Ivan Heng and Glen Goei. We check in with them before the two-part epic makes its debut in SIFA 2015. Read more...

Power and the Politics of Language

Writers are acutely aware of the importance of words and the power of language. Alfian Sa’at, W!LD RICE’s Resident Playwright, chats with us about power and authority in HOTEL, and how a multiplicity of languages brings out these themes and ideas in W!LD RICE’s two-part epic.

The Stories That Make Us Who We Are

Everyone has a story. Marcia Vanderstraaten, W!LD RICE’s Associate Artist, chats with us about using history, improvisation and research to tell the stories of the many people who will be checking in and out of HOTEL. Read more...

Travelling Through

Check into a hotel, and you’ll meet people from all over the world. W!LD RICE’s HOTEL is no different! Ben Cutler and Moo Siew Keh, checking in from London and Malaysia respectively, will both be making their Singapore stage debuts with this production. They share with us the joys and challenges of performing in this epic of historical proportions. Read more...

In Other News...

young & W!LD:
Goh Koon Hui

Goh Koon Hui tackles the ultimate acting challenge in A Midsummer Night's Dream! Read more...

Dream a little dream with young & W!LD!

Our youth training division re-imagines Shakespeare's classic comedy!

Earnest-ly taking the stage in Brisbane!

W!LD RICE is going
down under - The Importance of Being Earnest plays at Brisbane Festival next month! Read more...

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