Peer Pleasure participants reflect on their experiences as they journeyed from start to stage
Working with the cast and crew has taught me important lessons about theatre and about the human experience without it feeling like a class. That is possibly the most fantastic part of theatre: discovery through experience. I learnt how to play a character I absolutely did not have a fondness for. I found out how to assimilate myself into previously unfamiliar Peranakan culture and traditions. I forged lasting bonds with my fellow cast and crew mates offstage, which is reflected in the strong chemistry we have onstage. This has been a journey through life, theatre and friendships that I am very glad I got to go on.
~ Apoorva Shukla
Actress, Nonya Macbeth
Throughout the months of practice, I realize that I’ve had many misconceptions about drama and performance. The ability to act does not merely constitute being able to speak loudly and confidently on a stage, but also in portraying a person's character through mannerisms, gestures, movements, and other elements. On a more emotional and mental level, undergoing such training is greatly liberating - having a proper avenue to express one’s energy and passion in a constructive and creative manner.
We will continue to work hard to make this production a success, to try and promote the arts scene among the youth in Singapore by showing them that drama is not exclusively for the masters and elites, but accessible to students - and teenagers - like us as well.
~ Christine Chiam
Actress, The Car
When ArtsWok Collaborative approached me to serve as Production Stage Manager (PSM) for Peer Pleasure, my thoughts went towards how to enlarge the learning opportunities that this platform can bring. I proposed the PSM Mentorship with the learning objective of raising students’ awareness and consideration of how little things can be vital to work and life. That little things like communicating clearly and politely, acknowledging and respecting others, and being positive and constructive, can all significantly influence the way work, or even society, progresses.
In order to make this mentorship and festival work, the students have shared my experience of applying those very same little things that was for them to pick up on. They have been polite and responsive in our shared communications, strived to be clear and open-minded in their enquiries and contributions, and have been pro-active and constructive when contributing possibilities and solutions. The journey is not complete yet, but I am looking forward to when they take on the final task of running the festival show together as a team.
The presence and influence of dramatic arts in the educating and upbringing of our Singaporean youths must be given the fullest of energies and support. The academic impact on students may not seem relevant now, but the positive repercussions it has on the social consciousness of our youths will seriously affect the future of the community that will be Singapore.
~ Jason Ng
Production Stage Manager / Mentor
The Production Mentorship Programme has been an invaluable avenue for me to learn about the building of relationships in theatre and how to work with the dynamics of various people in order to fulfil the larger purpose of creating something more. I have learnt to consider perspectives and take note of details I was previously oblivious about, particularly the importance of clear and specific communication. It has been an honour to participate in this mentorship, learning about the technical aspects and the pathos of theatre, and I am glad to have grown as a thespian, and more importantly, as a person.
~ Jasdeep Singh Hundal
Festival Production Team
It is really interesting to meet drama enthusiasts from other schools as we come together to work as a team. We got the chance to see a diverse range of personalities and learn from each other. Everyone put in a lot of effort to contribute ideas for the show. It feels almost like a break from school where we work like partners and responsible young adults.
We've received many insights from people working in the theatre industry. My perception of theatre has changed from one that is tough and fast-paced to full of energy and hard work. Discussions about the philosophy of work and life has been interesting for me and I’ve learned not to take things too hard but to solve problems gracefully.
~ Nguyen Thi Hong Ngoc
Festival Production Team
Wang Meiyin, who wrote the play The Female of the Species, has emerged as one of Hwa Chong Institution's English Literature, Drama, Debate and Film Society’s most celebrated alumni. She has since established herself as a major influence on the theatre scene in New York.
Meiyin still thinks fondly of The Female of The Species (originally entitled Manifest) which she considers her first serious foray into actually creating a dramatic experience. “What strikes me now is how unrestrained and spontaneous a lot of the writing was. I was only sixteen, a lot of the ideas had been bubbling under for some time and they just seemed to explode onto the page. I love its freshness. As you get older, you are inevitably influenced by all the plays you see and what you read and it makes you more considered in your approach. Looking back, it’s amazing how my early writing was so confident and direct. It was a liberating experience.”
~ Nicholas Perry
Director, The Female of the Species