Photo by Josh Cheah of StayFilms
Photo by Josh Cheah of StayFilms
Photo by Josh Cheah of StayFilms
Date: 30 May to 3 June 2018
Venue: STAIRCASE @ 2 Soon Wing Rd, #06-14
Language: English, Mandarin
Artists: Chanel Chan, Chong Woon Yong, Darren Guo, Doreen Toh,
Hung Chit Wah, Jasmine Xie, Lina Yu, Theresa Wee-Yenko, Zachary Ho
OFFSTAGE is the public presentation of the Emergency Shelter programme for
the training year 2017-2018.
I am just a writer.
I am just a director.
I am just a producer.
I am just a stage crew.
I am just a light designer.
I am just a stage manager.
I am just a sound designer.
I am just a ticketing personnel.
I am just a marketing personnel.
I am just...
In life, we play many roles.
Sometimes they are liberating and enjoyable.
Sometimes, they are oppressive and testing.
How do we take on our roles?
Are we able to break boundaries?
Or do we have to perform our roles the way they should conventionally be?
Emergency Shelter – training arm of the controversial experimental theatre company Emergency Stairs – brings you its first production, OFFSTAGE in May! Members of Emergency Shelter will take on roles in theatre as both cast and crew to look at conventions in theatre-making, and examine how we can look at roles in different ways.
Chanel completed her BA in Acting at LASALLE College Of The Arts, and graduated with a First Class Honors in 2014. She is now working as a freelance professional theatre practitioner. Since graduation, Chanel has performed in various international platforms and festivals. Her recent local acting credits includes Chrysanthemum Gate (M1 Fringe Festival), Bitch: The Origin of the Female Species, The Last Bull (A Life in Flamenco) to name a few. Chanel is also a practitioner of Kalaripayattu.
Ting Wei graduated from ITI Intercultural Theatre Institute in 2015. She obtained her Masters in Acting at the University of East London in 2011. Whilst in London, she performed Chekhov’s Three Sisters, presented at the Half-moon Theatre and Stratford Theatre. She was also involved in the ‘Space Invaded Project-Intimacy’ performed at Westfield Bridge. She has been involved in many art festivals in Taiwan and had hosted in Nan Ying Art Festival at 2009. Worked with Ming Hwa Yuan Taiwanese Opera Company, performed at Yi-Lan National Traditional Art Center for Taiwanese Traditional Opera Festival, and been nominate the best performance for the Year. In Singapore from 2013-2018 Ting Wei has been involved in various festivals; Huayi Festival 2014 – Moving Horizon, SIFA 2015- It won’t be too long-cemetery. M1 Theatre Festival 2018 – Forked, and was nominated in Life Theatre Awards 2016 for Best Ensemble. She was also working with The Theatre Practice as a full time actor as well as Theatre Educator from 2015 -2017 and been leading theatre workshops and classes around Taiwan, Singapore and Myanmar.
Having graduated with a B.A from NUS Theatre Studies Programme in 2011, Woon Yong is somewhat of a contradiction. He revels in artistic creation and collaboration, as well as arts management and administration, and was even a former arts bureaucrat. Credits as a performer include FRAGO (Checkpoint Theatre), PRISM (Toy Factory Productions), GRIND (Toy Factory Productions), The Struggle: Years Later (The Theatre Practice), Almost Left Behind (Singapore Arts Festival 2011) and 11 • Kuo Pao Kun Devised (Kuo Pao Kun Festival 2012), etc. He is a founding member of Emergency Stairs.
Darren, a bilingual performer, is a graduate of NAFA’s Theatre course. He was also part of the pioneer batch of Creative Edge, a division of I Theatre, which produced People and Under the Dragon Moon as their graduating performances. He was last seen as a puppeteer in Poop!, the 2017 restaging by The Finger Players, Art Studio by Nine Years Theatre, and Lao Jiu the Musical by The Theatre Practice. Other credits include Samsui Women by The Finger Players, Liao Zhai Rocks! by The Theatre Practice, Toy Factory’s December Rains and Kumarajiva, Hop & Honk, Poultry Tales and Aesop’s Fables by I Theatre. Darren was part of The Practice Lab from 2014 to 2016. He is currently an apprentice under The Finger Players, and also a member of Emergency Shelter, the artist training programme of Emergency Stairs.
A theatre veteran, Doreen Toh has been actively involved on the scene as an actress since 1992. Her local acting credits with Amp Theatre, Asia in Theatre Research Center, Drama Box, Orangedot, Paper Monkey, The Finger Players, The Necessary Stage, The Theatre Practice and Toy Factory include productions such as 0501, Afar, Are You Right There? Medea, Decendants of the Eunuch Admiral, House of Sins, Liao Zhai, Mahabharata, New Busters: Dua Dai Ji, One Fine Day, Take Me or Leave Me, The Conference of the Birds, The Painted House, The Savage Land, Titoutao- A Fallen Angel, and many others. Her most recent production was The Necessary Stage’s Family Secrets: Don’t Forget To Remember Me. She has played an active role in many of Drama Box’s community Forum Theatre plays and was director of the production Trident. Her foreign acting credits include Asia in Theatre Research Center 1999 Kasturdesh: The Gateless Gate @ Bangladesh, The Theatre Practice’s Catman 2007 Shanghai’s The Creative Asia Festival and 2008 Macau Black Box Scene, Drama Box’s Drift 2009 Macau Arts Festival, Drama Box’s Trick or Threat 2009 Vienna International Forum Theatre Festival, Drama Box’s Hundred Years of Solitude Culture Revolution 2011 Hong Kong and Drama Box’s Farewell 2013 Macau International Art Festival. Her involvement in The Theatre Practice’s Decendants of the Eunuch Admiral won her the Best Ensemble Acting at the 2004 Life! Awards. Her first television drama Letters to Heaven (Episode 1) by August Pictures Pte Ltd was nominated for 2010 Asian Television Awards for Best Drama Performance By An Actress in a Supporting Role. Her first feature-length film directed by John Clang was shortlisted for the Bright Future Award and world premiered at the 2018 International Film Festival Rotterdam.
Wahwah graduated from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, School of Drama in 1998. In 2003, she was awarded the Hong Kong Theatre Association’s – Hong Kong Drama Scholarship to further her study in Theatre Training and Research Programme (TTRP) in Singapore, now re-name as Intercultural Theatre Institute(ITI). She received modern actor’s training as well as the training of four Traditional Asian Theatre Forms – Noh theatre from Japan, Beijing Opera from China, Wayang Wang the court dance from Indonesia, and Kutiyattam from India. Back to Hong Kong in 2007, she continued working with different theatre companies and also took up different roles. In 2007, she founded Acting Research Centre (Hong Kong) together with a college in Singapore, to explore the possibilities of traditional and contemporary theatre, put into a systematic acting training and theories. In the end of 2010, she moved her base from Hong Kong to Singapore and worked at The Theatre Practice as a full time resident artist from 2010-2016. She started working as a full time resident artist in Paper Monkey Theatre from 2017.
Jasmine is a performance studies graduate from Murdoch University of Australia and also a trained physiotherapist. She has performed in both English and Mandarin productions such as Narcissus (Arena Theatre), Tempest (Curtin University), Showpony, The Awakening (Mood Theatre), Of God and Wenches, Anthony and Cleopatra (Murdoch University), The Big Gold Mountain (Prickly Pear Productions), Micromanage Overwork Exaggerate (The common Folk), The Spirits Play, Samsui woman- one brick at a time, Turn by turn we turn (The Finger Players), Magic Jungle (Esplanade Playtime), Cafe (20 something festival), Prism (Toy Factory). Jasmine has also acted in feature and short films, and counts voice acting and event hosting in her portfolio. Jasmine is an associate artist of The Finger Players.
Lina graduated from the Intercultural Theatre Institute (ITI) in 2014 where she experienced Asian Traditional Art forms together with Contemporary and Western theatre training. She recently appeared in Hotel by W!ld Rice at Adelaide for the OzAsia Festival. Prior to that she was in You are always on my mind, the first production by GroundZ-0, presented by The Finger Players in Nagoya. She was also in The Esplanade Studio’s RAW: precise purpose of being broken, an exploratory project working with texts by Haresh Sharma; and in Prism (2017) by Toy Factory. She also took part in earlier productions as cast and crew in different capacities. She hopes to be involved in many more future productions and to develop her craft as an actor.
Theresa is a third year student at Intercultural Theatre Institute. She was part previously part of Creative Edge, a division of I Theatre. Stage credits include Uproot (The Theatre Practice Lab), Let’s Get Back Together (Red Pill Productions) and Romeo and Juliet (Toy Factory). She also designed sound for The Cave (Twentysomething Theatre Festival) and Uproot (The Theatre Practice Lab).
Zachary is an actor and theatre educator. He graduated from the National University of Singapore Theatre Studies Programme and went on to study Acting at the Theatre Training and Research Programme (renamed Intercultural Theare Institute). Productions to note include Boom (SRT), Homeboxes (Paper Monkey), 12 Angry Men (Nine Years Theatre), and Lao Jiu The Musical (The Theatre Practice). He is currently teaching Theatre at the School of the Arts, and is a member of Emergency Shelter.
Emergency Shelter provides a playground for us to explore. It is not to work towards a statement, but rather, to have that space to look at the process and share with each other what we found or observed.
– Lina Yu in Off stage interview with Emergency Shelter, Arts Republic
To call for a standby for each of these members (arts venues, NAC grants, reviewers and even the audience themselves) then, also suggests that the performing art world itself is akin to a staged performance, where to successfully stage the ‘arts scene’, there are far more participants than one might initially think, requiring players from areas beyond simply the production team.
– Adapted from Bakchormeeboy, Review: OFF STAGE by Emergency Stairs