Taking Flight with Nanami Sweeney

  • Shawne Wang
  • 3 December 2019
Triple threat Nanami Sweeney reveals what playing Jane in Peter Pan in Serangoon Gardens means to her, and what she’s learnt from being a part of WILD RICE’s First Stage programme!

Name: Nanami Sweeney

Age: 14

First Stage Credits: The Emperor’s New Clothes (2015), Monkey Goes West (2016), Jane (and more!) in Peter Pan in Serangoon Gardens (2019)

Favourite Musicals: School of Rock, Mean Girls, Dear Evan Hansen, Hamilton

Time to Dance: I’ve been dancing for ten years! I started out with ballet classes, like every other little girl. But it was hip-hop that really hooked me. My mum signed me up for a hip-hop class when I was four years old. I remember how terrified I was. But, when I took the class, I absolutely loved it. I’ve been dancing ever since. I do hip-hop, jazz and ballet now!

Nanami and Chloe Choo (left) met as First Stage Kids. Earlier this year, they performed a duet at the 2019 WILD RICE Ball – and they’re sharing the role of Jane in Peter Pan in Serangoon Gardens!

Taking The Stage: As a kid, I was always dancing and singing. And I love performing. Musical theatre combines all of that, which is the dream for me… and that’s why I love it so much! I started doing musical theatre classes when I was seven, and I’ve been taking singing lessons from the age of ten. I’ve performed in several musicals with Centre Stage, a private arts school but working with WILD RICE has been amazing, because it’s given me the opportunity to perform in professional productions on the Singapore stage.

Born To Be Wild: I’ve learnt so much from working with WILD RICE, especially about the importance of telling a story – I’m not acting just because I really love doing it. I’m acting to tell a story, a story that everyone, on stage and off, is working together to tell. I learned that from Ivan Heng, our director for Peter Pan in Serangoon Gardens, who is so passionate about what he does. He makes me want to work harder, do better and give it my all. And I always feel so included and at home when I’m in a WILD RICE show – everyone is so nice to one another!

Jane meets Peter Pan (Pam Oei) and Ting Tong Bell (Andrew Marko)

Playing Jane: I’ve always loved the Peter Pan story. I own the Disney movie and have watched it multiple times, and I played Tinkerbell in my grade-school production of Peter Pan Junior. So it’s such an honour for me to play Jane, Wendy’s daughter, in Peter Pan in Serangoon Gardens. It’s not a big role, like Peter Pan is. But it really matters as part of the story we’re telling. I’m so thankful that God has given me the opportunity to play this role.

Flight of Fancy: We actually fly in the show, and the first time I did it in rehearsals, it was a spectacular feeling. I was literally flying and on top of the world. We had to practise for hours, but it was still really magical for me. My cheeks started to hurt, because I couldn’t stop smiling! And it’s just as magical whenever I’m actually performing on stage with Auntie Pam as Peter Pan. Every time we take flight, with all the lights and the music and the audience all around us, it just makes me so happy. I almost want to cry with joy, because I feel so blessed that I get to do this!

Catch Nanami as Jane in Peter Pan in Serangoon Gardens from now until 10 December!

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