Centre 42 » BR: Playwrights https://centre42.sg Thu, 16 Dec 2021 10:08:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.30 Boiler Room 2016 Playwright Collective: Project Understudy https://centre42.sg/boiler-room-2016-playwright-project-understudy/ https://centre42.sg/boiler-room-2016-playwright-project-understudy/#comments Fri, 27 Apr 2018 08:02:32 +0000 http://centre42.sg/?p=9752 TV_ProjectUnderstudy
PlaywrightThe IdeaPre-programme
The Project Understudy Playwright Collective comprise the following writers:

Writer/Editor: Robin Loon
Writer: Eugene Koh
Writer: Fong Chun Min
Writer: Goh Koon Hui
Writer: Matthew Fam
Writer: Lim Jue Hao Isaac
Producer/Supervising Dramaturg: Olivia Vong

Most of the writers in the Project Understudy collective are from NUS Thespis, is a non-profit arts interest group founded in 2008 by a group of National University of Singapore (NUS) Theatre Studies students. Thespis is a place for young artists to explore, and create theatre, by experimenting with different creative processes and methodologies. It is a platform especially for collaborative work (between students and alumni), with the interest to nurture and hone the craft of theatre-making among young aspiring artists. Their productions seek to interest and critically engage audiences by rethinking performance concepts.

Understudy reimagines the post-‘black-out-and-curtains’ world of Tan Tarn How’s Undercover with a special guest appearance by a character from The Lady of Soul and Her Ultimate ‘S’ Machine, and three newly created characters of the next generation.

In 1993, the career of high-flying civil servant Derek is cut short when he refuses to replace his report on the findings of the committee for the cultivation of soul with one rewritten by his ‘friend’ and immediate superior. His punishment – head the country’s only broadcasting corporation.

In 1994, rookie intelligence agent Jane successfully infiltrates a theatre-group-of-interest run by renegade artist Qiang (and falls for the bad boy in the process) while foiling her Deputy’s secret plan to oust the head of the intelligence agency. Jane is promoted and Qiang is “rehabilitated”.

In 2016, Jane, now the Minister of Cultural Affairs, wants to award artist-in-exile Qiang the prestigious Cultural Medallion. The disgraced Deputy, now the Director for the Institute of Public Consensus, wants to stop this travesty. In tow are their respective protégés, Albert, Sophie and Vikram. Together with Derek who has reinvented himself as a media mogul, this ‘magnificent seven’ chart a treacherous path towards art, politics and ceremonial jewellery.

Will Qiang accept the Cultural Medallion?

Conceived and edited by Dr Robin Loon, and organised by NUS Thespis, Project Understudy explores sequels, scruples & satire using a collective writing creation process. In the first instalment of Project Understudy under Centre 42’s programme The Vault, the team was inspired by the processes of devised theatre and the seven writers were assigned one character respectively. Not only not only must they create and explore that character thoroughly, the writers also have to ensure their characters interact with one another through plotted scenarios and situations. Instead of taking matters to the floor, the writers took to the screen around a table and created draft 1 of Understudy.

The Vault: Project Understudy was presented on 23 May 2016 at the Centre 42 Black Box. Read more about the first instalment of Project Understudy here.

The presented script was thereafter put through the Boiler Room incubation process comprising phases for construction and writing for further development. Following the incubation process which began on 17 March 2017, the first draft submitted was reviewed by a director with a cast of actors while working through the Test Read, held on 11 July 2017.

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Boiler Room 2016 Playwright: Christian W. Huber https://centre42.sg/boiler-room-2016-playwright-christian-w-huber/ https://centre42.sg/boiler-room-2016-playwright-christian-w-huber/#comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 12:19:00 +0000 http://centre42.sg/?p=9142

PlaywrightThe Idea

Christian W. Huber

Christian W. Huber returned to Singapore in 1999 after spending 6 years in the United States of America, where he studied and worked in the theatre / performing arts industry (Pan Asian Repertory Theatre in New York City, Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and The Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis). He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Performing Arts from Emerson College in Boston.

He directed and acted during his time in the United States – in mostly College productions as well as summer theatre festivals (eg. Williamstown Theatre Festival), and had his directorial debut in Singapore with a play called, Eleemosynary by Lee Blessing under his theatre company luna -id theatre, which met with tremendous approval and support.  It received numerous nods from several theatre critics, and Christian was recognized for his craft, when he was awarded as “Best Director” in the inaugural DBS LIFE! Theatre Awards in 2000.

Since then the company continued to produce text based plays which include, One Flea Spare, Down the Road, Lonely Planet, The Lover and the Dumb Waiter, Popcorn, Agnes of God, and The Physicists,  to name a few.  The company’s last play, Quills was awarded “Best Production of the Year” the LIFE! Theatre Awards in 2005.

From 2006 – January 2016, Christian took a back seat in theatre production / direction and invested all his time in continuing the family business of Boncafé International Pte Ltd – A Pioneering Gourmet Coffee Roasting and Manufacturing Company, as well as starting a family.

Helming the company which his father started – Werner Ernst Huber – Christian was appointed as Managing Director to take the company forward to a new generation and a refreshment.

After 10 years as Managing Director of Boncafé International, Christian stepped down from the Company to pursue his other interests.  He recently celebrated his 10th wedding anniversary, and is the proud father of 2 lovely children.  He continues to look after another family business, committing more time with his family, and to pursue his renewed interest in the arts – writing in particular.

Christian is very excited to be selected as a Boiler Room 2016 Playwright, and looks forward to the process ahead!


An exploration of the theme of migration told from two different generations. The first being set in pre-independent Singapore, which also covers inter-cultural / racial relationships – East and West – during a time where it was not as readily acceptable as it is in today’s world. The second, the exploration of migration and inter-cultural / racial relationships in today’s context, and how very different – and in some places controversial – it has become. With a less than positive definition of immigration in this ever small globe, the desire to close borders, become less human, and increase one’s growing xenophobic fears which could lead into the next pandemic, the apocalyptic future looks bleak, unless we can learn and look at the past to forge a new and “better” future.


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Boiler Room 2016 Playwright: Al-Matin Yatim https://centre42.sg/boiler-room-2016-playwright-al-matin-yatim/ https://centre42.sg/boiler-room-2016-playwright-al-matin-yatim/#comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 12:15:34 +0000 http://centre42.sg/?p=9149
PlaywrightThe Idea

Al-Matin Yatim

Al-Matin Yatim graduated from Intercultural Theatre Institute with a Professional Diploma in Intercultural Theatre (Acting). His theatre acting credits include Ten Thousand Tigers as part of Festival Theatreformen 2016 in Braunschweig, Germany (Ho Tzu Nyen), Between Consciousness (TheatreWorks), Ma’ma Yong (Najib Soiman / Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay), It won’t be too long: The Cemetery (Drama Box) as part of Singapore International Festival of Arts 2015, which he shares the nomination of Best Ensemble and Best Production of the Year at the 2016 Life! Theatre Awards, Q: Protagonists at the Edge (Ang Gey Pin / Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay), Hawa (Hatch Theatrics), Power Sex & Success (Aarne Neeme /Intercultural Theatre Institute), The Blind Age (T.Sasitharan / Chowk Production), Decimal Points 810 (Cake Theatrical Production), Balada Tun Fatimah (Teater Kami).

He wrote and directed his debut play in Race to the End II in 2011 as part of a multi-disciplinary young artist showcase organised by Panggung Arts. He last performed his own conceived monologue, Ring in the Desert at the
Singapore Writers Festival 2015’s 12 hours performance entitled “What I love about you is your attitude problem” curated by Huzir Sulaiman.

Ring In A Desert

Mamat, your friendly furniture guy had a decent day at work until an annoying incident decided to ruin it. A situation perhaps most of us have experienced before, get so irritated by but can do nothing but to curse secretly in our hearts. But Mamat doesn’t stop there. He searches into his pseudo-psychedelic spiritual reasons that brought him from floating in the outer space to swimming in the cell, just to find the wisdom behind it.

This play explores the reasons behind the significance of human existence, of its purpose and wonders through the concept of “middle nation” as stated in the holy Quran. How as an individual, we can affect other people through our actions no matter what social status you possess. Because everybody matters and plays a part, especially in the alleged self-centred, fast-paced and individualistic world we are living in, in creating a better integrated society.


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Boiler Room 2016 Playwright: Isaac Lim Jue Hao https://centre42.sg/boiler-room-2016-playwright-isaac-lim-jue-hao/ https://centre42.sg/boiler-room-2016-playwright-isaac-lim-jue-hao/#comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 12:10:52 +0000 http://centre42.sg/?p=9157

PlaywrightThe Idea

Isaac Lim Jue Hao

Isaac is a freelance bilingual writer and actor. Isaac holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Theatre Studies from the National University of Singapore, as well as a Diploma in Chinese Media and Communications from Ngee Ann Polytechnic. His first play Satisfaction Guaranteed received the 2nd prize at the Singapore Young Dramatist Award in 2003.  Isaac then won the 24 Hour Playwriting Competition 2015 (Open Category) for Between Consciousness, which was later produced by TheatreWorks in 2016. He is also part of the writing team of Project Understudy (2016, Thespis). As an actor-performer, Isaac was seen in Void Deck (2013, NUS), We, the Inhabitants (2014, NUS) and Incarnation of the Beast (2015, TheatreWorks). On screen, he appeared in Young & Fabulous (2016, Encore Films). Isaac is also a theatre reviewer under Centre 42’s Citizens’ Reviews. Isaac loves singing (to songs by Zhang Hui Mei), reading, café hopping, shopping and Instagram plus Snapchat.

I am A*MEI (working title)

A*Mei is a musician. A*Mei is an aboriginal. A*Mei is a provocateur.
A*Mei has an identity crisis.

Set in a music bar in an undetermined country with a Chinese majority, the play revolves around the lives of 4 characters, a non‐Chinese who wants to be a part of this city, a local who cannot wait to sanitize himself of the politics of this city, a born male cisgender/transgender who loves the city, and a woman who just hates everything around her. I am A*MEI questions one’s affiliation to his country and the policies they think are restricting them, it questions one’s gender, sexual and national identity. It is about the star in one’s heart, the voices waiting to be heard through the music, and against the music.


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Boiler Room 2016 Playwright: Zee Wong https://centre42.sg/boiler-room-2016-playwright-zee-wong/ https://centre42.sg/boiler-room-2016-playwright-zee-wong/#comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 11:55:41 +0000 http://centre42.sg/?p=9166
PlaywrightThe Idea

Zee Wong

Zee is an actor, singer, and theatre-maker. Her father’s early encouragement of a reading habit grew into a love for literature, then into an undying love for the stage.

Zee’s recent acting credits include Café (The Twenty-Something Theatre Festival); Upstream (The Theatre Practice Actors’ Lab); and Glass Anatomy (Toy Factory). She was part of the original cast of Normal (Checkpoint Theatre) in 2015, nominated for Best Ensemble at the recent Life! Theatre Awards.

Zee has had the opportunity to write, devise and direct under the Theatre Practice’s two-year Actors’ Lab programme. She also got her first taste of theatre producing this year, managing Marketing, Publicity, Sponsorships for the Twenty-Something Theatre Festival under the mentorship of Creative Producer Tan Kheng Hua.

Zee hopes to create art that affects, moves, and inspires. She is also an incurable cat lady.

Portmanteau (working title)

Portmanteau explores the complex issue of gender relations – love, sex, consent, ownership, respect – through the lens of sexual violence.


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Boiler Room 2015 Playwright: Tan Liting https://centre42.sg/boiler-room-2015-playwright-tan-liting/ https://centre42.sg/boiler-room-2015-playwright-tan-liting/#comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 11:50:14 +0000 http://centre42.sg/?p=9191 Tan Liting
PlaywrightThe IdeaProcessPost-Programme

Tan Liting

Liting works full time as a theatre practitioner with an interest in devising performance from personal stories. Liting’s past directorial credits include The Truth About Lying (The Finger Players’ Watch This Space Director’s Cycle 2014), Taking The Subs (The Substation Director’s Lab), The Eulogy Project I: Muah Chee Mei and I (Potluck Productions), (When I’m) Sixty Four (Ageless Theatre), Re: Almost Left Behind (Singapore Arts Festival 2011), Almost Left Behind (NUS Thespis). Liting likes conversation, hearing and telling a good story. Liting also likes guitars, sneakers and referring to Liting in third person. Liting is a founding member of Theatre Cell.

B*TCH (working title)

B*TCH delves into the realms of feminine masculinity in an attempt to provide a glimpse into the private lives of women who relate to or identify as butch, those who transition through butchness, and the lives of individuals who surround them. Through the sharing of personal experiences and oral history, B*TCH aims to question the positions of those who are not bound by binaries, and seeks to locate them in Singapore’s society, a society that often regards them as odd and irrelevant. B*TCH is a performance on and of gender, exploring what it really means to be a butch woman by demystifying the label and problematising the binary. B*TCH is about real people, and their real stories.

Reflections by Tan Liting

21 March 2016: The Research and Construction Phase
28 June 2016: Key Milestones
16 Sep 2016: Wrapping up
B*TCH , retitled Pretty Butch, went on to further development for the stage, commissioned by the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2017.  The work is now supported under Centre 42’s Basement Workshop programme.

Read more about the development of Pretty Butch and its subsequent stagings here.

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Boiler Room 2015 Playwright: Nabilah Said https://centre42.sg/boiler-room-2015-playwright-nabilah-said/ https://centre42.sg/boiler-room-2015-playwright-nabilah-said/#comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 11:45:17 +0000 http://centre42.sg/?p=9194 Nabilah Said
PlaywrightThe IdeaProcess

Nabilah Said

Nabilah Said was guided by pure instinct and methodical madness when she ventured into the world of theatre in 2010 as part of Teater Ekamatra’s youth wing, Mereka. She was part of Mentah, a platform to help nurture young playwrights, from 2012 to 2015. There, she was blessed with opportunities to show her work to unsuspecting audiences, such as Tart (2015), Next Station (2014) and Lost (2012).  She is now foolishly addicted to the fear and thrill of writing for the stage, and is hungry for more. On occasion, she has acted in productions by Teater Ekamatra and TheatreWorks, such as the 2012 ensemble piece, This Placement, held at the former Geylang Fire Station. She is a full-time writer at The Straits Times Life!, and writes poetry and short stories on the sly.

State Land (working title)

We are all islanders. Water surrounds us, coconut trees our natural vegetation, tropical weather our constant bugbear. In the city-state of Singapore, land is limited and we create spaces to call our own. But what happens when our spaces are no longer ours and we are forced to recreate new homes on foreign soil? Stateland looks at Singapore as mainland amongst more than 60 other islands, a city-state and a homeland for its people.

Reflections by Nabilah Said

20 March 2016: The Research and Construction Phase
16 July 2016: Key Milestones
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Boiler Room 2014 Playwright: Daniel Chan https://centre42.sg/boiler-room-2014-playwright-daniel-chan/ https://centre42.sg/boiler-room-2014-playwright-daniel-chan/#comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 11:40:11 +0000 http://centre42.sg/?p=9204 BR2014 Daniel Chan
PlaywrightThe IdeaProcess

Chan Yee Ann Daniel

Daniel has been hooked onto the theatre scene ever since he saw the musical, Wicked, 3 years ago. His second attempt at playwriting (we do not talk about the first attempt) was at TheatreWorks 24-Hour Play writing competition in 2013, in which he won a Merit in the Youth Category. He has been involved with the various arts forms for as long as he can remember, and he views himself to be a fiercely driven individual, his volition being his greatest asset. He left school to pursue his interest in writing, and fervently hopes to one day live off his passion as a published poet and playwright. Daniel is honoured to have been selected as a Boiler Room playwright at Centre 42. He currently also has the privilege to co-write for youth theatre collective, Bound Theatre. After his stint with national service, he might consider pursuing a Diploma in Technical & Production Management, whilst taking up writing ventures. He is the luckiest for the immense support, inspiration and encouragement he constantly receives from his family and friends. There is no line in Wicked, the musical that he does not know.

Inside The Box

The theory of Schrödinger’s Cat presents that the particles in matter exist differently before they’re observed, and after they are observed. Before observation, matter exists in all of its states. A cat inside a box with a ticking bomb, is both dead and alive, until one checks up on the cat. With that theory in mind, Inside The Box attempts to explore the themes of frayed possibility, predestination, and the question: Is there a point in anything, if fate has already been set?

Reflections by Daniel Chan

12 October 2014: The Research Phase
16 April 2015: The Writing and Review Phase
19 May 2016: Wrapping up
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Boiler Room 2014 Playwright: Suzanne Choo https://centre42.sg/boiler-room-2014-playwright-suzanne-choo/ https://centre42.sg/boiler-room-2014-playwright-suzanne-choo/#comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 11:30:56 +0000 http://centre42.sg/?p=9206 BR2014 Suzanne Choo
PlaywrightThe IdeaProcess

Suzanne Choo

Suzanne Choo teaches literature at the National Institute of Education. She completed her PhD in English education at Columbia University in New York. Her book “Reading the world, the globe, and the cosmos: Approaches to teaching literature for the twenty-first century” was published in 2013. Aside from writing academic articles, she has an interest in scriptwriting and has been writing plays and musicals for schools for over ten years. In 2008, she was commissioned to write a play titled “Implosion” which was performed over three nights at the Drama Centre. Another play, “smoke,” was a top-ten play performed at the Esplanade during the inaugural Short & Sweet Festival and won the People’s Choice Award. She hopes to continue writing plays that would de-familiarize the ordinary and provoke philosophical thought on issues related to aesthetics, ethics and social justice in Singapore society.

Open Spaces (working title)

The play is an exploration of the power of the literary imagination and its contribution to the development of civic space in Singapore. It shifts between the present in which metaphor, irony, and word play are no longer understood or valued as a result of society’s preference for the pragmatic, the logical, and the literal. This is juxtaposed with late nineteen century Singapore which saw the birth of the literary periodical as a platform through which locals could engage with social and political issues of their time. Set in the midst of a vibrant cosmopolitan world where contestations of power by colonialists, Chinese locals, Straits Chinese and other groups occurred, engagements with the literary played a vital role in developing dialogic and hospitable public discourse. This historical aspect of Singapore is layered with such philosophical questions as – does truth reside in the literal or does the empirical provide only half-truths that are surfaced as reality is disrupted by the fantastical? Does freedom lie in a world where concrete change occurs or in the realm of metaphor and allegory where dispositions of openness and ambivalence are cultivated? Audiences will embark on a journey to explore literature’s role in the past and its possibilities for Singapore’s future in a play of words, time, and imagination.

Reflections by Suzanne Choo

10 November 2014: The Research Phase
23 April 2015: The Writing and Review Phase
12 April 2016: Wrapping up
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Boiler Room 2014 Playwright: Bryan Tan https://centre42.sg/boiler-room-2014-playwright-bryan-tan/ https://centre42.sg/boiler-room-2014-playwright-bryan-tan/#comments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 11:11:53 +0000 http://centre42.sg/?p=9208 BR2014 Bryan Tan
PlaywrightThe IdeaProcess

Bryan Tan

Bryan Tan is a playwright and theatre director. He graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) in 1999, and is presently the regional legal counsel of a multinational company.

In 1996, he was awarded the First Prize in the Hewlett-Packard / Action Theatre 10-Minute Play Contest for Lizard In The Loo. In 1998, he received a Merit Prize in TheatreWorks’ 24-Hour Playwriting Competition for Snakeskin. In the same competition, he received the Second Prize in 2010 for There Will Now Be A 15-Minute Interval, and the First Prize in 2013 for Strike.

In 2004, Teater Ekamatra presented Blissed, and Broomstick as part of Istana 2000. In 2007, TheatreWorks presented The Last Theatre State as part of 120. Play Den Productions presented The Devil’s Encore in 2009, and Someday, Samsara in 2010. Most recently, Short One Player Theatre (Taiwan) presented WiFi Lovers in 2013.

He is a member of The Blue Statesmen, an independent collective of theatre artists. For their inaugural production, he conceived and directed BluePrince, which was presented by the collective and The Substation as part of SeptFest 2012 and the Kuo Pao Kun Festival 2012. His other plays include Heavy Heart, Travelling Light, Shopping For Baby, Nerve Endings, X-Country and Offering.

Paper Tigers

“All reactionaries are paper tigers. In appearance, the reactionaries are terrifying, but in reality, they are not so powerful. From a long-term point of view, it is not the reactionaries but the people who are powerful.”
– Mao Zedong

Paper Tigers examines the issue: can theatre change society? In that regard, can theatre be an instrument of cultural transformation, in view of its ability to articulate the concerns of a community, convey different positions and perspectives, as well as provoke reflection and debate? Or is theatre nothing more than a form of middle-class (and possibly middle-brow) entertainment, an opiate for the moneyed masses?

This work is set in Singapore during the years of 1990 to 2002, and premised on a fictional theatre company. The audience will be taken behind the scenes, to contemplate the inner workings of the company, and the local theatre scene in general. They will witness, in the rehearsal spaces and dressing rooms, both on- and off-stage, the artists’ dreams and anxieties, their ideals and struggles, in that era of often experimental and politically-charged theatre.

Paper Tigers presents a meditation on the complex and contentious relationship between art, society and politics, set during a significant period of theatre history in Singapore.

Reflections by Bryan Tan

28 October 2014: The Research Phase
29 May 2016: Wrapping up
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