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Our friends at Thespis are looking for people for upcoming show, Conversation with a Dying Whale:
We are a small theatre outfit, Thespis, comprising both NUS students and alumni who are currently looking to build a production team for our upcoming production of Conversation with a Dying Whale by Kenneth Chong. This team will be the driving force behind the production as a whole and will be essential for the success of the production and all members will be critical in shaping the production into its final incarnation. As such, we are looking for passionate individuals with a strong interest in the theatre and the ability to commit their time and energy to the production.
Thespis has put up various productions over the years, most notably Re: Almost Left Behind, which was featured under Platform Campus for the Singapore Arts Festival 2011.
Positions available include:
· Producer – Co-Head of the production along with the Director. Is in charge of the more practical aspects of the production including funding, licensing and planning.
· Production Manager – Manages and coordinates the various branches of the production, channelling important information and funds to wherever they need to be.
· Marketing Manager – Manages and coordinates production collateral, ticketing, publicity and outreach. S/he is ultimately the crucial link between the show and its audience.
We hope to show at end August, with auditions beginning in May.
The rehearsal period will be for 3 months from June to August.
- This is by no means an exclusively NUS production, the only criteria are passion and commitment. Thespis has often worked with, and indeed enjoys working with, individuals outside of NUS from all different walks of life.
- We are also looking for individuals who are interested in contributing in other roles not outlined above.
- Unfortunately as we are a non-profit with no money, the only remuneration we are able to promise is the joy of the theatre.
- This is not an audition call, an audition call will be sent out at a later date.
- Please firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and if you wish to express your interest in joining us in this endeavour.
“From the moment I put a mask on and saw the mask’s power to transform other people, I was hooked.”
It is often said that passion is the driver of success. But what happens when we are ambivalent about where we are headed? Jacob Rajan, founder of Indian Ink, one of New Zealand’s most successful touring theatre companies, tells Urban Kulit about how he found his sweet spot.
Born to Indian immigrant parents, Rajan’s parents had intended for him to become a doctor. “When it became painfully apparent that I wasn’t bright enough to do medicine, my parents were still adamant that I do something useful,” says Rajan who ended up obtaining a degree in microbiology and a teaching diploma.
While in teachers’ college, Rajan started gravitating towards the drama department. It was around this time that he attended a mask workshop run by John Bolton. “From the moment I put a mask on and saw the mask’s power to transform other people, I was hooked,” explains Rajan. This marked the turning point in his career. A year later, he found himself auditioning for the New Zealand Drama School and was accepted.
“By this stage, I’d worn my parents down and, to their credit, they just wanted me to be happy. Of course there was still a fair amount of trepidation at seeing me trot off to drama school because it was such an unknown world,” says Rajan. “I think for my friends too, who knew me as a very shy kid, it was quite a leap but it all seems to have worked out in the end.”
To date, Indian Ink has won two Fringe First Awards from its two trips to Edinburgh. The company is also known for using laughter to open the audience to deeper themes. “It’s a philosophy we call ‘the serious laugh’: using laughter to open up your mouth and mind in order to slip something serious in,” he describes. “Laughter is a great way to warm up an audience to you and from there you can far more readily take them into deeper territory.” However, Rajan is quick to note that he doesn’t like exploring issues in his work. “That’s more for journalists,” he says. “I guess the themes I’m interested in are buried inside me and only come to surface when I find a subject I’m curious about.”
In Krishnan’s Dairy, a solo performance that debuted in 1997, Rajan was moved by the story of one of the immigrant shopkeepers he interviewed. He also loved the story of the building of the Taj Mahal. Thus, in the course of writing Krishnan’s Dairy, he wove these two stories together. “It was only after I’d completed the play and performed it several times that I discovered in reality it was a tribute to my own parents and played out the debate of growing in love versus falling in love,” he notes. “It’s a wonderful thing for your own work to surprise you and speak to you and in that way, I think you avoid work that is didactic and condescending.”
His family, his work in theatre, music, cinema, art, nature, and science are some of the things that feed Rajan’s soul. He is also inspired by other passionate people but playwrights are not among them. “To my shame, I really don’t read a lot of plays. I align myself with being a theatre maker rather than a playwright,” he says. “I’m also an actor and I tend to write plays that give me most of the lines! I work on the principal that if auditions were held for any of my plays then I should be at a serious advantage of getting the part.”
21-31 Mar 2012
Mon - Sat, 8.00pm
Sat (31 Mar), 4.00pm
DBS Arts Centre
Tickets available from Sistic
By Amy Tan
March is jam packed with productions. Here’s a comprehensive list:
The Illusionists (to 4 March), MBS
Wicked (to 22 Apr), MBS
Girl Talk (to 4 March), Jubilee Hall, Raffles Hotel
The TENG Ensemble, Su Abode (4 March)
Cooling Off Day (to 11 March), SOTA
Three Little Pigs (to 15 April), DBS Arts Centre
Mosaic Music Festival (9-18 March), Esplanade
Kuo Pao Kun Festival (check The Theatre Practice’s website)
Sonnets For An Old Century (only 3 March, 8pm), Palawan Beach, Sentosa
Sing to the Dawn (5-19 March), Drama Centre Theatre
Guru of Chai (6-17 March), DBS Arts Centre
NUS Arts Festival (9-25 March), Various
Krishnan’s Dairy (21-31 March), DBS Arts Centre
Drama Box Bus Stop (15-17 March), Goodman Arts Centre
The Masseur and the Thief (16-17 March), SOTA
BudsTheatre From Scratch (15-118 March), Drama Centre Black Box. Tickets from Buds Theatre.
The Three Big Bullies (mandarin, 21-24 March), SOTA
Lanterns Never Go Out, (22-25 March), Drama Centre Black Box. Tickets from Gatecrash.
Tickets available from Sistic unless otherwise stated.
“We do not treat our instruments according to its history and traditions, but to its diversity as a device that can create various sounds. As such, we hope to turn attention away from what is usually expected of Chinese musicians and just play music.” - Samuel Wong, Artistic Director
Chinese instrumental music is commonly viewed as boring and practised mainly by students as part of their co-curricular activity in schools. In fact, The TENG Ensemble had its beginnings in Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road)’s Chinese Orchestra where they became close friends.
“Often times when we told people that we are Chinese musicians, we were immediately stereotyped or categorised as being uninteresting as compared to western music, and in some cases, we were even asked if we play at funerals,” says Samuel Wong, artistic director, The TENG Ensemble.
Taking the Chinese art form beyond its cultural boundaries, The TENG Ensemble combines its experiences outside of Singapore with its experiences within multi-cultural Singapore to create what is essentially a Singaporean sound. “Growing up in a country of such varied cultures, travelling widely and listening to a wide range of music has, in many ways, influenced the way we choose to conceptualise and create our music,” says Wong. As such, the ensemble tends to look out for composers who understand the range of their instruments and are able to cater to their diversity.
On 4 March, The TENG Ensemble will perform a concert at the Esplanade Recital Studio. Titled 宿 Sù – Abode, the performance will pay homage to the concept of home with newly commissioned works by Beijing-based composer Wang Si and The TENG Ensemble’s Composer-in-Residence, Lim Yi Benjamin.
Lim has written soundtracks for short films such as Loo Zihan’s Threshold, the title song for Wee Li Lin’s Forever, and the accompaniment music for a T.H.E. Dance Company production; while Beijing-based composer Wang Si frequently writes music for TV. Through a long process of discussions and sending samples to each other, The TENG Ensemble ended up with 8 pieces that borrowed elements from different cultures and music genres.
“Audiences can expect something very different from what they would see at a typical chamber music performance, because while we each play with traditional instruments, we are essentially a band like any other professional rock or pop groups,” says Wong.
To make their music accessible, the ensemble uses their instruments purely as sound creating devices.
“We do not treat our instruments according to its history and traditions, but to its diversity as a device that can create various sounds. As such, we hope to turn attention away from what is usually expected of Chinese musicians and just play music,” notes Wong.
In addition, The TENG Ensemble leaves out the graceful gestures which are a staple in playing Chinese instruments.
“We certainly wish to break these stereotypes of Chinese music and to transcend the barriers of culture and language,” says Wong. “But beyond that, we want to create a musical identity that is truly Singaporean because we are all Singaporeans and we also happen to be professional musicians.”
宿 Sù - Abode
4 March, 2012, 4pm & 7:30pm
Esplanade Recital Studio
Tickets available from Sistic
*Tickets for all shows are sold out. Leave your name at the Esplanade Box Office for the waitlist.
By Amy Tan