2 - 20 Aug 2006
Drama Centre and Stamford Arts Centre, Singapore
It’s bold, new, exciting, entertaining, funny and moving, and it’s about YOU!
W!LD RICE proudly presents the first Singapore Theatre Festival - a biennial showcase of new Singapore plays and theatre-making.
For 3 exhilarating weeks, the nation's most exciting theatre companies and artists come together to present a season of new plays, by our local playwrights - established and new. With 8 new productions and 5 World Premieres staged in the August when Singapore celebrates it’s independence and Nationhood, these plays will have you talking and thinking about theatre, Singapore and the world.
The plays featured span a wide range of exciting and dare we say, relevant ideas. The curtain raiser for the festival is Alfian Sa’at’s new black family comedy HOMESICK which asks: what does it mean to belong to a family and country. You will have reason to laugh on National Day, when Eleanor Wong’s THE CAMPAIGN TO CONFER THE PUBLIC SERVICE STAR ON JBJ lifts the lid on the limits of political expression in our post election New Singapore. Paul Rae’s NATIONAL LANGUAGE CLASS, will have you thinking about the variety and the politics of the languages we speak and newcomer Wong Chen Seong’s sizzling SALSA SALSA SALSA! will have you thinking about the bonds between friends, and living and dying in Singapore.
For the rousing festival finale, the widely acclaimed SECOND LINK, featuring the work of more than 50 writers will be presented for its final performances before touring to Kuala Lumpur on Merdeka Day weekend. This exuberant physical theatre performance, featuring 10 wonderful performers from 2 countries, will bring laughter and fresh points of view even as they perform our stories and idiosyncracies and invite you to make up your own tale of our 2 cities!
Aside from the plays featured in the festival, you can really get into the festival spirit by checking out the various exciting festival activities!
One of the highlights is a series of free public talks - The Art and Life Sessions, featuring panelists Braema Mathi, Dawn Kua, Dick Lee, Sylvia Lim, Tan Tarn How, Eleanor Wong and Alfian Sa’at. So join in, express your views and have a listen to some of Singapore’s most interesting thinkers, activists, movers and shakers! Other events include Forum Theatre workshops and a performance, and Feedback Fridays, where audiences are invited to stay back after Friday shows to chat about the play they have just watched with the playwright, director and other audience members.
The SINGAPORE THEATRE FESTIVAL '06 will set you thinking and give you new ideas and refreshing insights about what it means to be living, loving and aspiring in our modern City State. You will hear your stories and see yourself - LIVE - on stage. Be a witness and a participant in this momentous and unforgettable theatrical event.
LIFE: Stayers and Quitters: Beyond Easy Assumptions
5 August, 5.30pm
The "Stayers and Quitters" debate has stirred our souls since 2001 when the then PM Goh Chok Tong described two types of Singaporeans - 'all weather' and 'fair weather'. What does it mean to have left Singapore, or stayed on? And what of the migrant workers and expatriates who call Singapore home? What does it mean to belong to a country?
Moderator: Eleanor Wong (Playwright, Lawyer)
Points of View: Braema Mathi (President, Transient Workers Count Too), Alfian Sa'at (Playwright), Ken Kwek (Journalist), Kwok Kian Woon (Sociologist)
LIFE: Strays and Critters: The Culling Fields
ART: The Silence of the Kittens
6 August, 5.30pm
Furry friends or pernicious pests? We had our own era of The Culling Fields in 2003, where senseless phobia overtook logical procedure and a mass cull was ordered. Is there space for vermin in Singapore? How are undesirables dealt with? How "open and inclusive" are we as a society?
Moderator: Paul Rae (Director, Playwright)
Points of View: Ovidia Yu (Playwright), Dawn Kua (Cat Welfare Society), Lucky Davis (Artist, Activist, Critic)
LIFE: New Singapore, Old Constraints?
ART: The Campaign to Confer the Public Service Star on JBJ
12 August, 5.30pm
Could the Campaign to Confer the Public Service Star on JBJ in fact become reality in today's Singapore? How do we view the Opposition, or alternative views? How do we value or acknowledge them? Can we?
Moderator: Alfian Sa'at (Playwright)
Points of View: Sylvia Lim (Worker's Party Chairman, NCMP), Gayle Goh (Citizen Commentator), Eleanor Wong (Playwright, Lawyer), Tan Tarn How (Playwright, Social Commentator)
ART and LIFE: "Singapore Theatre Now"
20 August, 2pm
What is Singapore Theatre? What are the concerns of theatre artists? What are the challenges and new directions? How does the audience feature in the equation? An exciting panel, comprising practitioners and critics will discuss the state of Singapore theatre today.
Moderator: Ivan Heng (Artistic Director, W!LD RICE)
Points of View: Dick Lee (Cultural Medallion Winner), Paul Rae (Artistic Director, spell#7), Dr KK Seet (Academic, Critic), Haresh Sharma (Resident Playwright, The Necessary Stage), Jeffrey Tan (Associate Artistic Director, TheatreWorks), Audrey Wong (Co-Artistic Director, Substation)