[Listing] Fun Home by Pangdemonium!

To round off their 2017 Season, Pangdemonium is performing FUN HOME, the stunning musical about a family that’s nothing like yours and exactly like yours.

Based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir, the piece interacts with Bechdel at three different ages. Moving between past and present, it reveals her unique childhood, a growing understanding of her own sexuality and how she handles her uniquely dysfunctional family. FUN HOME is a gripping portrayal of a daughter’s determination to connect with her volatile, brilliant father whose temperament and secrets have defined her family and her life.

“FUN HOME is an exhilarating, heart wrenching, and moving musical which will resonate with anyone who has ever felt different, even within their own family. The story—based on real life experiences of Alison Bechdel—is a roller-coaster of comedy and tragedy, and the songs are sublimely beautiful. Be prepared for a truly unique and unforgettable musical theatre experience.” said Adrian and Tracie Pang, Artistic Directors of Pangdemonium.

Winner of five Tony Awards, including Best Score and Best Book, the haunting melodies of Jeanine Tesori and poetic lyrics of Lisa Kron set a foundation for this refreshingly honest musical.

Starring Adrian Pang, Monique Wilson, Nikki Muller, Elena Wang, Benjamin Kheng, Gail Belmonte, Chloe Choo, Elly Gaskell, Aria Zhang, Damien Weber, and Bjorn Haakenson.

Named Best Musical of the Year by the New York Times, FUN HOME is a daring and innovative work about seeing your parents through grown up eyes. The Singaporean debut of this intimate and emotional theatrical experience is not to be missed!

FUN HOME runs from 29 September–15 October at the Drama Centre Theatre, Rated R18, Tickets from Sistic

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[Listing] The Singapore Monologue Slam 2017

 

The Singapore Monologue Slam (SMS), Singapore’s first monologue competition, returns in 2017 for its second edition. The SMS is a platform for young actors and writers to showcase their skills in front of a live audience and a jury panel from the film and theatre industry.

Supported by *SCAPE, and Noise Singapore, the competition is open to all 13 to 35 years old who reside in Singapore. The competition, held at *SCAPE from 21 to 24 September 2017, urges all to ‘step into the spotlight’.

“The SMS expands the community. It enables people to believe that creativity is inherent in everyone. Not just the actors on stage, but the audience as well,” says Thomas Pang, a two-time Best Actor nominee for the LIFE! Theatre Awards, and the youth ambassador of the competition’s 2017 iteration.

This year, inclusivity will be the focus of all new initiatives. One of which is an online competition, which enables adults beyond the age of 35 to participate. The winner of this competition will be granted entry into the Grand Slam. Kamil Haque, the artistic director of Method Productions, hopes that this will make the competition more accessible for all.

“The SMS is our way of empowering young people to express themselves and pursue their creative dreams,” says Kamil Haque. Mr. Haque has worked as an acting coach and director for more than 1000 students including the youth at Singapore’s first professional acting studio, Haque Centre of Acting & Creativity (HCAC).

A series of pre-competition events will be held at HCAC, to ease participants into their competition journey. From personalized consultations to masterclasses, participants will be mentored and guided every step of the way.

More awards and prizes will also be introduced to reward performers with talent and potential. The 2017 edition boasts a value of more than $22,000 in prizes – a steep increase from 2016’s prize value of $16,000.

In addition, prizes are also made more encompassing. The Special Jury Recognition Award is aimed at rewarding well-performing actors beyond the highest scoring participant. The idea is to reward as many deserving actors as possible. “It is a fair playing field for anyone, from any background, to work on their craft, learn, and be rewarded for the good work they do. You don’t need to be a trained actor to take part
at all.” says Mr Haque.

To bring creativity and the love for monologues to the masses, the finalists of this year’s competition will also be taking their monologues on tour in different venues around Singapore.

Registration to enter The Monologue Slam competition ends 30 June 2017.

Details of The Monologue Slam Competition Participation
● Registration ends 30 June 2017
● Registration fee to enter competition: SGD$30.00. Payment by cash, cheque or credit card.
● Registration is on a first-come-first-served basis. 60 slots
● Register online at http://bit.ly/joinsgmonoslam
● No audition required

Details of The Monologue Slam Competition Event
● Date: 21- 23 September 2017 (Thursday – Saturday) – Preliminary Rounds
● Date: 24 September 2017 (Sunday) – Grand Slam
● Venue: *SCAPE Gallery Theatre, Level 5
● Time: 8.00pm – 10.30pm
● Ticket Fee: SGD$22.00 (early-bird), SGD$25.00 (regular), $50 Festival Pass to all three semi-finals
● Online Ticketing: buytickets.at/sms2017

[Listing] Every Brilliant Thing by Bhumi Collective

2017 M1-The Straits Times Life Theatre Award nominee Andrew Marko (Falling, Electra, RENT) stars in the Singapore premiere of 2014 and 2016 Edinburgh Fringe hit Every Brilliant Thing presented by Bhumi Collective, and directed by Mohamad Shaifulbahri.

Synopsis

“You’re six years old. Mum’s in hospital. Dad says she’s ‘done something stupid’. She finds it hard to be happy.

So you start to make a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world.

Everything that’s worth living for.

1. Ice Cream
2. Kung Fu Movies
3. Burning Things
4. Laughing so hard you shoot milk out your nose
5. Construction cranes
6. Me

You leave it on her pillow. You know she’s read it because she’s corrected your spelling.

Soon, the list will take on a life of its own.”

A new play about depression and the lengths we will go to for those we love.

Based on true and untrue stories.

For tickets, please visit Bhumi Collective.

[Listing] Crossings by Young & W!ld

crossings

Every single day, we make choices – from the clothes we wear, to the food we eat. But, once in a while, we make the kind of big decisions that change everything. Step into the world of Crossings and get to know characters who have arrived at that critical crossroads in their lives. The choices they will make in this bold double-bill of original plays will change their journeys forever: setting them on the road to self-discovery… or self-destruction.

Vix, a social media darling, and a prickly, forgetful mother are thrown together in the aftermath of a tragic train accident. Vix resolves to help her elderly companion in the best way she knows how – through selfie sticks and videos. But how do you rescue someone who cannot even remember her own loved ones? And what happens when difficult truths come tumbling out? A strange tale of memories and lives shrouded in darkness, The Mother, The Son and the Holy Ghost explores what it takes to walk through the tunnel and into the light.

Happy and in love, Danielle and Chris are just about to tie the knot. But not everything is as it seems. Within their picture-perfect relationship lies a train-wreck of betrayal and abuse: from an unlikely affair to the sudden appearance of a former lover. As the champagne gets warm and the cake waits to be cut in Arbitrio, Danielle and Chris have to deal with the choices they made in the past, the emotional entanglements of the present and the uncertainty of the future.

Bold, inventive and thought-provoking, young & W!LD’s Crossings is a celebration of new Singapore voices and talent. The eight members of young & W!LD, from the ages of 19 to 24, came up with the stories, characters and themes that will feature in Crossings via improvisations and devising workshops. With their help, Rodney Oliveiro, their programme co-director, put together the final scripts of both plays.

“Just like these troubled characters, we all have to live with the decisions we make and their consequences,” explains Oliveiro. “I chose the main title of Crossings because it speaks to me of human wills and desires and ambitions – how we always bravely chug along, how we’re always busy with a new endeavour, even as we occasionally miss the subtle signs pointing towards our doom.”

The current cohort of young & W!LD embarked on their 18-month training programme in February last year. Since then, they have gained valuable experience in devising and performing their own original work. Following months of intensive workshops, they presented When S#!T Hits The Fam, an experimental piece that explored the trials and tribulations of family life, in May 2016.

“Over the past year, I’ve been most impressed by their openness, their willingness to try new things and their support for one another,” says Serena Ho, co-director of young & W!LD and Crossings. “I hope they will trust their voices and never stop surprising themselves.”

Crossings

15–19 February 2017

Centre 42, Black Box

Tickets at $30 from Peatix

[Listing] Prism by Toy Factory Productions

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Singapore’s leading bilingual theatre company Toy Factory Productions is proud to present its first production for 2017, PRISM.

Aman, an urban city development official, starts to question his work of demolishing old historical buildings to make way for new cityscapes. Faced with the task of informing the residents of the impending demolition of the city’s oldest heritage ‘The Surrounding City’, Aman experiences the wrath of the city, despair of her dwellers and confronts his personal ambivalence about the price of material gains.

A thought-provoking play that explores the limits of one’s threshold for pain and loss, PRISM spotlights the struggle between progression and development, and eroding a nation’s heritage and culture, through a storyline that will resonate with audience given the parallel in the current state of affairs locally.

An original script penned and directed by Toy Factory’s Chief Artistic Director Goh Boon Teck in 2003, PRISM was first staged as a grand multi-cultural theatrical performance that featured performing artistes and designers from six countries; including Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia. Today, the premise of the script remains relevant, especially in Singapore where development is slowly but surely usurping more local treasures.

In line with Toy Factory Productions’ unwavering commitment to provide the opportunity and platform for budding local talents, the upcoming PRISM is helmed by rising director Rei Poh; a consummate actor last seen in Toy Factory’s Titoudao, and features an all-Singaporean cast comprising several fresh faces led by Fir Rahman, who recently headlined the high-profile local feature film, ‘The Apprentice’ (Cannes Film Festival 2016).

Director Rei Poh shares his approach to his adaptation, “The story told is simple; one of progression versus loss, through a narrative that is familiar to most of us. I would like the audience to ‘feel’, more than ‘watch’ the show, since pain and loss are more deeply felt and conveyed through experience, than explained.”

PRISM

23 February–5 March 2017

Drama Centre Theatre

Tickets from $42 at Sistic

[Listing] Monkey Goes West by W!ld Rice

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Bringing the Year of the Monkey to a happy climax, W!LD RICE’s award-winning Monkey Goes West will be returning for a strictly limited season to the Drama Centre Theatre for the holidays.

Monkey Goes West completely sold out its first run in 2014, playing to an audience of more than 15,000 at the newly refurbished Victoria Theatre. It dominated the 2015 Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards with seven nominations – more than any other production that year. It eventually took home the awards for Production of the Year, Production of the Year (Reader’s Choice) and Best Costume Design (Tube Gallery).

“The W!LD RICE pantomime is a unique annual tradition for family audiences in Singapore, and Monkey Goes West set a new benchmark in terms of the artistic excellence that we always strive for,” says Ivan Heng, Artistic Director of W!LD RICE. “In the Year of the Monkey, we are thrilled that audiences, both loyal and new, will have the opportunity to experience this incredible show for themselves!”

With an affectionate, cheeky script by W!LD RICE Resident Playwright Alfian Sa’at, music by acclaimed composer Elaine Chan and direction by Broadway Beng Sebastian Tan, Monkey Goes West is the first W!LD RICE pantomime to take inspiration from the East, relocating beloved Chinese literary classic Journey To The West to modern-day Singapore.

Tan, who earned a Straits Times Life! Theatre Award nomination for Best Director for his work, will return to direct the production, which he describes as a “dream come true”.

“Monkey Goes West turned out to be this award-winning show that audiences loved and couldn’t get enough of, which is really why we are bringing it back so soon,” Tan explains with pride.

Young talents from Martial House – Singapore’s leading wushu academy – will be showing off their impressive martial arts skills on stage. The academy will also work closely with the children of W!LD RICE’s FIRST STAGE! programme, aged 5 to 12, in preparation for their stage debuts.

The cast of Monkey Goes West includes some of Singapore’s finest veteran actors and rising stars. Familiar faces like Chua Enlai (The Importance of Being Earnest, TV’s The Noose), Siti Khalijah Zainal (HOTEL, Best Of) and Darius Tan (Army Daze, Twelve Angry Men) will share the stage with Sugie Phua (Project SuperStar, Liao Zhai Rocks!) Joshua Lim (My Mother Buys Condoms, Café), Frances Lee (Beauty World, Fat Pig) and Kimberly Chan (High Class, Hotpants).

Monkey Goes West runs from 18 November–17 December 2016 at the Drama Centre Theatre. For ticketing information, please visit Sistic.

[Listing] Vinayaka by Bhaskar’s Arts Academy

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A newly metamorphosed Vinayaka is set to make its one-night only world premier here. The simple and familiar tale of how the Hindu God Ganesha came to have an elephant’s head will be  presented in a cross-cultural collaboration by Bhaskar’s Arts Academy, Sasana Budaya Art Troupe (Indonesia),  and Singa Nglaras Gamelan Ensemble (Singapore).

Vinayaka was first staged as a Bharatanatyam piece in 2003 and then again in 2005 by Bhaskar’s Arts Academy (BAA). In 2010, BAA reworked the piece with  Balinese elements and it premiered in Bali. In this iteration, Vinayaka has taken a new form that is expressed through Bharatanatyam and Javanese movements under the artistic direction of Santha Bhaskar, as well as choreographers Meenakshy Bhaskar and Santi Dwisaputri. The piece will be performed to a new and exciting score under the music direction of Ghanavenothan Retnam and Sambowo Agus Herianto.

“I have choreographed this work several times now but each time it feels so new. I connect with it differently each time and it is as if I transform along with the work” says Meenakshy Bhaskar, who is based in the US.

Because of the distance, collaborating with her Jakarta-based counterpart Santi Dwisaputri was not without challenges acoording to Meenaskshy, but they “clicked from the moment the conversation started” and at some points they “were completing one another’s sentences.”

Vinayaka is the first of a three-part series by Bhaskar’s Arts Academy that will present works under the umbrella theme of “Traditional Arts in the Region.” Exciting collaboration with other performing arts troupes from different ASEAN countries can be expected in the coming years.

Vinayaka

16 October 2016 (Sunday)

7:30pm

SOTA Drama Theatre

$25 & $30

Tickets: BAA website or enquires@bhaskarsarts.com

[Listing] Rent by Pangdemonium!

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This October, Pangdemonium is proud to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of revolutionary rock musical, RENT. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this unforgettable and timeless story of a group of friends, who despite poverty and illness, learn to fall in love and find their voices, will anchor Pangdemonium’s 2016 Season of Love.

Under the shadow of HIV/AIDS, the group’s dreams and losses weave through the musical’s narration to paint a stunningly raw and emotional portrait of the gritty bohemian world of New York City in the 1990s. A story that resonates with all ages, RENT will be brought to life by a cast of rising performers including:

Benjamin Chow (Best Supporting Actor, The LKY Musical, 2016 Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards)as Mark,a struggling film-maker;

Cameron MacDonald as Roger, a doomed musician;

Juan Jackson as Collins,a disillusioned vagabond anarchist tech wizard;

Aaron Khaled as Angel, a drag queen with a heart of gold;

Tabitha Nauser as Mimi, a troubled club dancer;

Mina Kaye (Best Actress, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, 2015 Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards)as Maureen, a wild-child performance artist;

Frances Lee as Joanne, a hot-shot human rights lawyer; and

Mitchell Lagos as Benny, the one who sold his soul

“RENT is one of those very rare modern musicals that resonates profoundly with people across ages, and across generations. Full of heart, honesty, and passion, RENT still has the ability to move and inspire people with the power of its music and timeless message of community, life-affirmation, and most of all, love. We are very thrilled to be celebrating the 20th anniversary of this wonderful musical”, say artistic directors Adrian and Tracie Pang.

Directed by Tracie Pang, RENT also features Cheryl Tan,  Andrew Marko, Siti Maznah, Seong Hui Xuan, Venytha Yashiantini, Erwin Shah Ismail, Crenshaw Yeo, and Oliver Pang. With memorable characters, an inspirational story, and music that will make your heart sing, RENT is theatre at its best- exuberant, passionate, and joyous.

Tickets go on sale from 5 August 2016 on SISTIC.

RENT runs from 7 to 23 October 2016 at the Drama Centre Theatre.

[Listing] Singapore Theatre Festival 2016

STF

Wild Rice brings back the  Singapore Theatre Festival (STF) for the 5th time  with 8 of the most exhilarating, ambitious, and thought-provoking new plays.  Featuring 9 playwrights, 8 directors, and 4 theatre companies, the plays touch on a diverse range of issues that would speak to people from all walks of life in contemporary Singapore.

With LASALLE College of the Arts being the  festival’s hub  from 30 June to 24 July, STF will feature re-worked productions of recently staged plays,— Rodney Oliveiro’s Geylang, Johnny Jon Jon’s Hawa, Kenneth Chia and Mark Ng’s Let’s Get Back Together and Alfian Saat’s Geng Rebut Cabinet (GRC)—and shine the spotlight on the works of first-time playwrights:  Helmi Yusof’s My Mother Buys Condoms, Nessa Anwar’s Riders Know When It’s Gonna Rain, and Thomas Lim’s Grandmother Tongue.

Recently awarded the Best Production of the Year at ST Life! Theatre Awards, HOTEL, directed by Wild Rice’s very own Ivan Heng and Glen Goei and written by Alfian Sa’at and Marcia Vanderstraaten, will be the mainstay production of the festival.

There will also be a programme of FEST!VITIES held at LASALLE’s Lowercase Café comprising a series of lively forums; drag, music and stand-up comedy  performances; and a Playwriting Workshop by the festival’s Dramaturg and Wild Rice’s Resident Playwright Alfian Sa’at.

For more information about the Singapore Theatre Festival, please visit its official website.

[Listing] Na Mah by Bhaskar’s Arts Academy

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After years of rehearsals in the the nights, the walls of the studio at Stamford Arts Centre will witness the last major production rehearsals by Bhaskar’s Arts Academy (BAA). With this palpable air of nostalgia, BAA thought it apt to stage Na Mah, which is essentially a salute to the space they called their own for more than 25 years.

“We are so at home in this space. But now the final countdown has started. So many creations, so many laughter, tears and sweet memories are embedded in these walls. Soon, all these will be like a forgotten piece of art when its memory is nothing but dust,” shares Santha Bhaskar, Artistic Director of BAA.

Na Mah, which means salutation,  is a collection of repertoire items found in the vocabularies of Bharatanatyam and Kathak. It features 10 of BAA’s best Bharatanatyam dancers and our in-house Kathak soloist in demanding and exacting choreographies. All this work asks of you is to appreciate the visual beauty of movement, and the emotive aesthetics of abhinaya. Nothing more—no storyline, no characters, and certainly no complex philosophical concepts. Sometimes all you need is to see, feel, and live the dance.

Na Mah 

16 April 2016 (Saturday)

3pm & 7:30pm

Esplanade Theatre Studio

$20 & $25

For more ticketing information, kindly contact BAA at enquiries@bhaskararts.com