BY GROUNDZ-0 (SINGAPORE)
0 6 0 0
27 Apr - 12 May
FRI, 9.30PM & 10.45PM THU & SAT, 7.30PM, 8.45PM, 10PM TUE, WED & SUN, 7.30PM, 8.45PM
National Gallery Singapore
45m, no intermission
MESSAGE FROM THE FESTIVAL DIRECTOR I grew up looking forward to the Singapore Arts Festival every year. Watching shows across different genres from around the world played a big part in shaping my artistic sensibilities. Shows such as Ninagawa’s Macbeth (1992), for example, entirely changed my perception of how Shakespeare could be performed. In 1996, I acted in Singapore Repertory Theatre’s Sing To The Dawn; it was the first time a Singaporean musical opened the Singapore Arts Festival. Given this history, I was delighted and honoured to be asked to helm the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) for the next three years. What is SIFA’s role? Where does it fit in the cultural landscape, both at home and internationally? Who does it serve? Where would I like it to be in three years? As I was thinking of how to shape the festival, what I did know was that I wanted to programme a festival that would inspire young people in the same way that I was impacted 25 years ago. With the support of the phenomenal team at SIFA, I aspired to curate a season that would showcase different art forms and perspectives from Singapore and around the world. We also strove to programme a spectrum of shows that would appeal to a variety of audiences, from the first-time festival-goer to the seasoned art lover. We believe we have programmed artists who are game-changers in their fields. In parallel, discussions commenced with several of the game-changers in the Singapore arts scene. One of SIFA’s roles is to commission and facilitate the creation of new Singaporean work – giving artists the time and resources to develop shows over a two- or three-year horizon. We look forward to presenting the culmination of this process in SIFA 2019 and 2020. 1
MESSAGE FROM THE CEO
Two memorable experiences from arts festivals I have attended around the world have been the free outdoor performances, and a festival ‘village’ — a place where artists and audiences can meet after a show and discuss what they’ve just seen. Both these elements can be found in SIFA 2018. The free outdoor programmes on the opening and closing weekends have some sensational performances to be enjoyed with family and friends. Over these three weeks, The Arts House will become Festival House. It will be the heartbeat of SIFA with performances, lectures, readings, music salons and, of course, a place to just hang out and chat. Artists will give talks, conduct masterclasses or host Q&As, and hopefully we will build relationships with them that last beyond the festival. A key initiative that I introduced this year is the $10 front-row student ticket. I want the next generation of Singaporeans to know that they matter to SIFA. My hope is that they will fall in love with the arts in the same way I did at their age. I would like to thank Sarah Martin and the incredible team of people I work with at SIFA and at Arts House Limited. Despite the tight six-month runway to programme this festival, they have been nothing short of amazing and have worked tirelessly to produce a festival that we hope resonates with you as much as it does with us.
Festivals bring people together to celebrate causes or to mark momentous occasions. Arts festivals allow us to not only appreciate the arts, they allow us to experience and form lasting and transformative memories. It is through shared experiences that we come to form communities. The inaugural Singapore Festival of Arts began in 1977 as a national showcase of the vibrant art forms found within Singapore’s diverse communities. In its many evolutions over the last four decades, the Festival has touched countless hearts, created invaluable experiences for many, and inspired even more to embrace the arts. From a time when Singapore was widely perceived as a cultural desert, the Festival has played an instrumental role in developing Singapore’s arts landscape and shaped the city-state into one of Asia’s leading cultural capitals. This year, SIFA 2018 marks the 41st year and kicks off a new era with Gaurav Kripalani at the helm as Festival Director for 2018 – 2020. Condensed into 17 days of artistic adventures, it is our hope that
this exhilarating three-week format will create robust artistic engagement for a spectrum of diverse audiences. The Arts House will be transformed into the Festival House, and within its intimate spaces, there will be meaningful discourses on the various themes presented in the festival. Built upon the foundation and achievements of those who came before, SIFA is the sum of many parts made possible by a team of many talents who has worked tirelessly and passionately to deliver the Festival Director’s vision. I thank everyone who has had a hand in shaping the Singapore International Festival of Arts into a tradition for both new and existing audiences and making it the stalwart of Singapore’s dedication to artistic excellence. Gaurav and the team have put together a festival of multiple layers allowing you to make up your own artistic adventures. It is my hope that you will walk away with unique memories of the Festival. Sarah Martin CEO, Arts House Limited
Most of all, thank you for your support. The scope, breadth and reach of shows in SIFA will continue to grow over the next three years. We look forward to taking you on this exciting journey with us. Gaurav Kripalani Festival Director
THE FORMER SUPREME COURT BUILDING
Most may know that National Gallery Singapore is housed under the combined roofs of two of Singapore’s most distinctive colonial-era buildings – the former Supreme Court and the City Hall. But it may not immediately occur to the masses that before the Gallery’s present incarnation, it was the place where many of the country’s criminal cases, some of which were punishable by death, were brought to be tried.
Before National Gallery Singapore became the visual arts institution that it is today, the building itself consists of two national monuments—City Hall and former Supreme Court—that have been beautifully restored and transformed into this exciting venue.
The materials presented are not verified by official information sources, but are inspired by research on the topic. Through multilingual site-specific performances, GroundZ-0 invites audiences to step into the shoes of the parties involved in these death penalty cases – victims, death row inmates, their families, lawyers, prosecutors, prison wardens and witnesses – as viewers walk along a route that lead from what were once holding cells for defendants to the courtroom.
Designed by Frank Dorrington Ward and once described as “the finest building in the Peninsula”, the Supreme Court was the last of the neo-classical style structures to be built in Singapore by the British. From 1939 to 2005, it was the seat of the highest courts of the judicial system. Four courtrooms surround the central Rotunda Dome, where the Library was housed. When the building was transformed into an art gallery, some spaces like Courtroom One and the Chief Justice’s Chambers and Office were fully restored whilst the remaining courtrooms were modified into art exhibition spaces. Source: National Gallery Singapore
0600 - DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR, ZELDA TATIANA NG
This show is not a statement. It is not a propagation or provocation. In this project, we strive to present to you as many aspects and points of view on capital punishment as possible… But after our research, we realised that it is almost impossible to present it all. There are still many other nuances to this issue. We need to Think Deeper, Listen Closer… This is just the beginning... There is dramatisation in this presentation. We sometimes combine two case studies into one monologue, just to highlight certain opinions and perspectives. All written texts are based on cases and research that we have excavated from online resources, books and interviews. We are in no position to judge. It’s easy to make a stand when one doesn’t have a stake in the issue at hand. What is your stake? What do you believe? Why do you believe what you believe?
A graduate of the Theatre Training & Research Programme (Singapore), which is currently known as the Intercultural Theatre Institute (ITI), Zelda Tatiana Ng is a theatre practitioner for over 20 years. She has been involved in several aspects of the field and worked with almost all major theatre companies in Singapore. Her latest work You are Always on My Mind presented by The Finger Players, was awarded the top score by the judges at the Gekio Asia Playwright Competition in Nagoya, Japan. Zelda Tatiana’s other recent works include Sometime Moon (Toy Factory, actor), Mama White Snake (W!ldrice, actor), Body X II (independent, actor), Inheritance (The Finger Players, director), Afar (The Finger Players, director), Three Children & Titoudao (Esplanade, director), Square Moon (independent, lead actor) and One Hundred Years of Solitude – Cultural Revolution (Zuni Icosahedron Hong Kong and Drama Box, actor), just to list a few. Her other means of expressions include singing, writing, painting and photography. Zelda Tatiana is the founder and creative director of GroundZ-0, a multilingual company that endeavours to explore, research, promote and produce intercultural and cross-genre, multi-disciplinary works in Singapore.
I still don’t have my answer. I’m still searching… Let’s have a conversation. Let’s listen to one another... Zelda Tatiana Ng Director
PHOTO BY TAN NGIAP HEN
Adib is a theatre practitioner who acts, writes and directs. He has worked with Checkpoint Theatre, Teater Ekamatra, Teater Kami and TheatreWorks, amongst others. He has also facilitated and acted in Forum Theatre productions by The Necessary Stage and Drama Box. His directing credits include 28.8 (Teater Kami), which he wrote and directed, and Don’t Colour Outside the Lines (Buds Theatre). His most recent directorial effort, Without Reason (ArtsWok Collaborative) was presented as part of the M1 Peer Pleasure Youth Theatre Festival held at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. He is currently an Associate Artist with Checkpoint Theatre and is a founding member of the Singaporean playwright collective Main Tulis Group. 2
Grace graduated from ITI in 2014. She is the Artistic Director of Ver Theatre and dabbles in acting, directing and writing and creating for the stage. Her works include Mother I (2), Stories and Songs from the Bow for Esplanade’s Feed Your Imaginations series, Mother I: Amma Naan: Ibu Aku and Meera’s Adventure series using puppets created from sarees. She also portrays Lathika in MediaCorp’s television drama series, Tanglin. She hopes to create intercultural work and highlight voices of the minority communities and those who are suppressed. 3
Lina graduated from ITI in 2014 where she trained in traditional Asian art forms and contemporary and western theatre. She recently performed in The King, The Archer and the Ten Suns for the Foreword February programme at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. Last year, she appeared in Hotel by W!ld Rice at the OzAsia Festival (Adelaide); and You are Always on My Mind, the first production by GroundZ-0, presented by The Finger Players in Nagoya, Japan. She was part of Esplanade’s The Studios RAW performance Precise Purpose of Being Broken, an exploratory project working with texts by Haresh Sharma; and Prism (2017) by Toy Factory. Lina is currently an associate artist with the newly formed collective, GroundZ-0. She looks forward to developing her craft as an actor. SUHAILI SAFARI
Suhaili has worked professionally as an actor since 2003. This includes writing and directing a play, The Kingdom Under My Bed (2010) at Teater Ekamatra for children’s festival Octoburst! at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. Her recent works include Main-Main (2017, Teater Ekamatra) and Medea (2017, Cake Theatrical Productions). Suhaili was also nominated for Best Sound Design at the Life! Theatre Awards 2017 for her contribution to a collaborative independent production, Mother I: Amma Naan: Ibu Aku (2016). 6
Vignesh is a Singapore actor, educator and theatre practitioner. His affair with the stage began in 2009 when he performed with We Colour People Theatre & Company on their second production titled Rainbow’s Ending. His other theatre credits include The Elephant Show (Elephant Collective), The Crucible (Toy Factory), Othello (Singapore Repertory Theatre), Beautiful Chance Encounter of a Sewing Machine and an Umbrella on an Operating Table (Teater Ekamatra), Going Local 4 (Buds Theatre), MOE (Dark Matter Theatrics) and SEVEN (Esplanade). His film and television credits include Love Notes (EN films), Door to Door (Oak3 Productions) and Point of Entry (MediaCorp). Occasionally, Vignesh finds himself directing productions. He takes a particular interest in Forum Theatre as well as devising theatre through an intercultural and collaborative process. He has performed in Singapore, Malaysia, and is headed to the Philippines in June to collaborate with Vaudeville Theatre Company in Cebu.
Jeramy has recently appeared on stage as Zachariah in The Wedding Pig (The Second Breakfast Company) as well as Jacob and Joseph in The Good Farmer (TheatreWorks). He holds a First Class BA(Hons) in Acting from LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore. While attending LASALLE, his credits include M in Samuel Beckett’s Play directed by Sarah Jane Scaife, Lucio in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure directed by Adam Marple, and Mrs. Yang in Leow Puay Tin’s Family directed by Noor Effendy Ibrahim. Jeramy endeavours to create performance work particularly centred on queer studies. 7
THE CREATIVE TEAM
GroundZ-0 原。空間 is a multi-lingual inter-space collective initiated by Zelda Tatiana Ng, which aims to explore, research, promote and produce intercultural and cross-genre/discipline works in Singapore. GroundZ-0 原。空間 is also interested in the experimentation of traditional art forms – particularly Chinese Opera and Japanese Noh – in contemporary theatre. It also seeks opportunities to work with international artists to share research findings and learnings that transcend nationalities, races and cultures.
Producer: Yeo Kok Siew Director: Z elda Tatiana Ng Production Manager: Clarisse Ng Researcher: Sonya Wong Stage Manager: Chong Jeanette Assistant Stage Manager: Poh Cherylynn Assistant Stage Manager: Cindy Sng Sound Designer: Ctrl Fre@k Lighting Designer: Liu Yong Huay Multimedia Designer: Koo Chia Meng Multimedia Manager: Chu Hao Pei Installation Designer & Stylist: Eve Tan Cast/Collaborators: Adib Kosnan Grace Kalaiselvi Jeramy Lim Lina Yu Suhaili Safari Vignesh Singh Crew: Nurul Syimah Sabtu Fathin Hamamah Vivi Agustina
In September 2017, GroundZ-0 was invited to participate in Gekio Asia Grand Competition in Nagoya, Japan, under The Finger Players. This 20-minute bilingual short play, written by Ng and performed by Lina Yu and Liow Shi Suen, was awarded the judges’ favourite. After 0600, GroundZ-0 原。空間 will revisit Singapore legends in a multilingual production done in a street wayang style under the auspices of Centre 42. It will be presented as part of the Singapore Night Festival in August 2018. GroundZ-0 原。 空間 will also be developing Yeng Pway Ngon’s (英培安) novel - 戲服 (XiFu) – into a script for a dramatised reading in September 2019. This will be presented and supported by the Singapore Chinese Language Theatre Alliance. Through continuous exploration and experimentation, GroundZ-0 is on a mission to find, define and/or re-define its role and identity as a Singapore performance art collective.
SPECIAL THANKS The Finger Players 十指帮 Wong Chee Wai Kristian Thorbjornsen Jason Leong Khai Yip Tan Liting Eve Tan Poh Cherylynn Jing Ng Widya Zulkassim Barnwell Art Foo Huang Xiang Bin Jolie Lee Wendy Toh Venue Partner
ABOUT SIFA Into its 41st year, Singapore International Festival of Arts 2018 presents diverse and distinctive work from Singapore and around the world that ignites the imagination, inspires myriad audiences, and provokes reflection and dialogue. Get ready for a plethora of theatre, music, dance, literary and visual arts at the pinnacle national arts festival that will happen over three weeks from 26 April to 12 May, and across ten performance spaces, including the Festival House, located at The Arts House. ABOUT ARTS HOUSE LIMITED Arts House Limited (AHL) is a not-for-profit organisation committed to enriching lives through the arts. AHL manages two key landmarks located in the heart of Singapore’s Civic District – The Arts House, a multi-disciplinary arts centre with a focus on literary programming, and the Victoria Theatre & Victoria Concert Hall, a heritage building that is home to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. It also runs the Goodman Arts Centre and Aliwal Arts Centre, two creative enclaves for artists, arts groups and creative businesses, and performing arts space Drama Centre. AHL presents the Singapore International Festival of Arts, the annual pinnacle celebration of performance and interdisciplinary arts in Singapore commissioned by the National Arts Council. AHL was set up in 11 Dec 2002 as a company limited by guarantee (CLG) under the National Arts Council and was formerly known as The Old Parliament House Limited. It was officially renamed Arts House Limited on 19 Mar 2014. AHL BOARD Chairperson: Christine Ong Members: Chong Yuan Chien, Deborah Ho, Kelvin Ang, Lynette Pang, Madeleine Lee, Maniza Jumabhoy, Mok Wei Wei, Ong Chao Choon, Ong Choon Fah, Paul Tan, Sarah Martin (Ex-Officio)
SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ARTS THE SIFA TEAM Chief Executive Officer: Sarah Martin Festival Director: Gaurav Kripalani Chief Financial Officer: Yong Yuet Mei Advisor: J P Nathan Head, Programming: Jobina Tan Head, Production: Cindy Yeong Head, Marketing: Jasmine Gan Head, Communications: Carolyn Tay Head, Partnership Development: Payal Michelle Parekhji Assistant Head, Event Services Management: Emma Izzabella Tagoe PROGRAMMING Producers: Sara Joan Fang, Rydwan Anwar, Ye Junmin Senior Manager: Lisa Marie Lip Senior Manager, Place Making: Natalie Tan Managers: Kong Yen Lin, Shridar Mani, Pang Su Li Assistant Manager: Alicia Chong PRODUCTION Production Managers: Christopher Chua, Natalie Lim Production Co-ordinators: Celestine Wong, Melissa Chin Technical Co-ordinators: Huang Xiangbin, David Li Production Assistant: Chong Wee Nee MARKETING Senior Managers: Elizabeth Wong, Winnie Chan Assistant Manager: Koay Yi Ling Senior Designers: Muhammad Hakim bin Rahim, Md Firdaus bin Wari Executives: Diana Othman, Juliana Tan Interns: Clara Janssen, Lim Yi Shuen, Michelle Chia COMMUNICATIONS Assistant Manager: Willy Beh Wei Hong Intern: Rifdi Jaffar TICKETING Executive: Nor Limah binte Ja’ffar PARTNERSHIP DEVELOPMENT Manager: Norita Senin Executive: Tan Yanru EVENT SERVICES MANAGEMENT Frontof-house Hospitality Manager: Dorothy Neo Front-of-House Manager: Mohd Afham bin Abbas Back-of-House Hospitality Manager: Nursheehana binte Akbal Ahmad Event Services Manager: Johnson Kee Secretariat Manager: Carine Lee Transport Manager: Syafiq Zulkepli FINANCE Manager: Vivian Gan Executives: Mandy Choo, Lai Zhi Ying, Priyasini D/O Balachandran HUMAN RESOURCE Manager: Noraliza Ramli Senior Executive: Elaine Neo ADMINISTRATION Manager, Arts: Liza Mustapha Executive: Norhanim binte Mohamed Tayib 10
THESE OTHER PRODUCTIONS IN THE FESTIVAL BY SA X
28 Apr – 11 May
Screening Room, Festival House (The Arts House)
NADA X BRANDON TAY
Play Den, Festival House (The Arts House)
4 & 5 May, Fri & Sat
) (US Victoria Theatre
4 & 5 May, Fri & Sat
Photo by Paul Marotta
4 & 5 May, Fri & Sat
KC Arts Centre Home of SRT
BY BALLET PRELJOCAJ (FR) BY L-E-V DANCE
COMPANY (IL) SOTA Drama Theatre
5 & 6 May, Sat & Sun
9 & 10 May, Wed & Thu
SOTA Drama Theatre Photo by Jean-Claude Carbonne
11 & 12 May, Fri & Sat
Esplanade Theatre Photo by Arno Declair
SOTA Drama Theatre
12 May, Sat
Photo by Ana Cuba
FREE PROGRAMMES AND MORE BY INTER—MISSION (SG)
26 Apr - 12 May, daily, 10am - 10pm Gallery II, Festival House
Duke Ellington Orchestra (US) 12 May, Sat | Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage, Singapore Botanic Gardens
Flash your SIFA ticket for exclusive privileges! Find out at sifa.sg
For full festival line-up, visit sifa.sg ORGANISED BY
Singapore International Festival of Arts presents: 0600 by Ground Z-0