Touched By An Angel: Rosemary Chng

Ivan Heng with Rosemary Chng, one of W!LD RICE's guardian Angels!

Rosemary Chng has attended our shows for well over a decade, and has contributed to W!LD RICE in ways big and small for years. Just this week, she spent all day cooking up a delicious Chinese New Year feast for the entire W!LD RICE team. Our tummies – and hearts! – are full of gratitude!

Rosemary shares with us her memories of W!LD RICE and her reasons for supporting homegrown theatre.

Tell us a little bit about how W!LD RICE came onto your radar. Do you remember the first W!LD RICE show you ever watched?

I got to know about W!LD RICE more than 10 years ago – I read in the newspaper about Ivan’s return from the UK and his subsequent setting up of this new theatre company.

Actually, the news made me sit up because Ivan and I were hostel friends in NUS, and I enjoy ‘stalking’ him!

A delicious Chinese New Year banquet for Team W!LD RICE,
courtesy of Rosemary and her husband, Dexter Chia!

What aspects of W!LD RICE’s shows appeal to you?

I especially appreciate the platform it provides local budding and established talents/artists, be they actors, writers, directors, producers or even make-up artists, lighting experts and costume-makers, young or old, to showcase their talents and to stretch their limits. Otherwise, how can one expect local talent to grow and blossom?

I also like its bold take on pushing the envelope, taking up and tackling difficult or potentially ’embarrassing’ local socio-political issues, in a balanced and non-judgmental way.

Your support has helped us put some really incredible shows. Do you have a sentimental favourite amongst them?

My all-time favourite is Cindere-LAH!. It was the first pantomime I attended, back in 2003, and I was happy to have been able to to work with [W!LD RICE Executive Director] Tony Trickett to book two full shows and use the event as a fundraiser for the National Cancer Centre. It was such a heartfelt and meaningful time working with W!LD RICE then, as we had the Jubilee Hall filled with families and children who were affected in some way or other by cancer, all coming together to have such great fun during the Christmas season. At those shows, there were streamers, clappers and balloons. The children, from 3 to 80 years young, were so happy and we all had such fun! Unforgettable. I still remember Hossan Leong and Sheikh Haikel playing the evil stepsisters and singing ‘Feed the lohans!’ – that was when rearing lohan fish was all the rage.

My other favorite is The House of Bernarda Alba! All I can say is ‘Wow!’ Those power women of our local arts scene and the sets and costumes… Love, love, love it!

Rosemary, Dexter and her sons Aaron, Jonathan and Samuel (L-R) at the Monkey Goes West gala premiere!

What prompted you to come on board with W!LD RICE as an Angel?

I have always been a strong supporter of my friends’ causes.

I also believe that ticket prices to the theatre need to be kept affordable, so that as many people as possible can enjoy it. Without support from the philanthropic society and government grants, it will be very tough for any theatre group to grow – much less sustain itself.

How important are theatre and the arts to you personally?

Very important. Because the arts is an integral part of human experience – we need it to complete all aspects of our lives.

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