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Catch a glimpse of Practice’s past and discover its impact in the present

Why Arts Education?

27.11.2020, 4:00pm - 5:40pm

If art-making is how we make sense of the world, our advocacy efforts offer an antidote to the challenges we face as a society. From our early days as a performing arts school, to the creation of our Play-in-Arts programme, and later the establishment of a professional theatre training programme, Practice has been a pioneer in arts education. Using arts as a tool to educate, empathise and englighten, our efforts have touched the lives of generations of children, adults, practitioners, and audiences alike. Former General Manager of The Theatre Practice Tang Chia-Yu will engage two titans in Singapore Arts Education in dialogue: Goh Lay Kuan (creator of Play-in-Arts) and Sasi (Co-founder of The Theatre Training and Research Programme, now known as Intercultural Theatre Institute). Join them as they discuss the importance of arts education and their own practice as nurturers and educators.

When We Were Young...

27.11.2020, 7:00pm - 10:00pm

“If the economy is the flesh of the country, then culture is its soul. But those who choose to get involved in arts and culture are often romantic fools who persevere even in the face of extreme adversity. And the greater their numbers, the more a country’s culture would flourish.” – Kuo Pao Kun, 1966

What were the first days of Practice like? Gathering much like they did 50 years ago, join some of our earliest members for an evening of music and conversation. Sing along to Mandarin art songs, nursery rhymes, traditional folk songs, and original Practice compositions as they share memories from Practice’s early years, and how it has shaped their lives since.

Participants: Gao Hui Bi (Drama Class Language Teacher, Class of 1968), Han Lao Da (Drama Class Graduate, Class of 1970), Ma Gyap Sen (Artistic Director, Young People’s Performing Arts Ensemble; Piano Class Student, Class of 1972), Sim Siu Yok (Ethnic Dance Student, Class of 1968), Goh Siew Lee (Drama Class Student, Class of 1974), Yang Shi Bin (Drama Class Student, Class of 1967)

Moderators: Kuo Jian Hong (Artistic Director, The Theatre Practice), Johnny Ng (Drama Class Student, Class of 1975)

Creative Chaos

27.11.2020, 10:00pm - 11:30pm

Practice’s pushing of artistic boundaries extends beyond experimentation with theatrical forms, to innovation and tech. In the 1970s, we created huge images on the backdrop by lining up multiple home-made projectors and handpainting individuals slide to create one continous image. In 2020, we experimented with different ways of connecting to our audiences through the digital platform. Finding limitedless possibilities in limited means is a Practice speciality. While what is considered “high-tech” has changed over the years, Practice has consistently found innovative means to overcome creative challenges. Join a director, production manager, technical director, set designer and lighting designer in conversation as they discuss how they experiment with their medium, their successes and failures, and the role of innovation in art.

Arts in Crisis

27 - 28.11.2020, 11:30pm - 1:30am

As artists, we have always used art to make sense of and respond to the changing world we live in. This is particularly so during times of crisis.

While we have always used the arts to rise above adversity, HOW we do so has changed over 55 years. Join art-makers around the world for a discussion on how they use the arts to excavate intervene and heal.

Bernice Chan – Photo Credit: Ka Lam
Nabilah Said – Photo Credit: Erfendi Dhahlan

I Dance My Dance

28.11.2020, 9:30am - 11:00am

Originally trained in classical ballet, Goh Lay Kuan eventually developed her dance vocabulary to include modern dance and traditional Indian, Malay and Chinese dance. Widely regarded as a pioneer of Singapore dance, Goh’s groundbreaking works showcase contemporary, East Asian and Southeast Asian dance forms, sensibilities and themes.

This dialogue between between East and West, traditional and contemporary has continued to inspire choreographers today. Join us for a conversation across two generations as dance practitioners Goh Lay Kuan and Syimah Sabtu discuss tradition, dance and identity.

Michele Lim – Photo Credit: Ng Yuan Jie

Pioneers & Mentors of Singapore English Language Theatre

28.11.2020, 11:00am - 1:00pm

Practice’s directing workshops in the 1980s were the training ground for a new generation of Singapore’s theatremakers, many who went on to form companies that are now the bedrock of Singapore theatre. Join these artists as they discuss how Kuo Pao Kun’s teachings influenced their practice, and how they themselves continue to push artistic boundaries and mentor young creators today.

Participants: Ivan Heng (Founder and Artistic Director, Wild Rice), Ong Keng Sen (Artistic Director, T:>Works), Alvin Tan (Founder and Artistic Director, The Necessary Stage), Wong Souk Yee

Moderator: Alfian Sa’at (Resident Playwright, Wild Rice)

Dramatically Speaking

28.11.2020, 3:00pm - 5:00pm

The dream of one day forming a professional theatre company existed since the day that Practice was founded. In 1986, members of the school decided to come together to establish a semi-professional bilingual theatre company: Practice Theatre Ensemble. This would later be renamed The Theatre Practice.

Led by Kuo Pao Kun as artistic director, the troupe embarked on a journey of experimentation and exploration. As they studied the techniques various dramatists, they began to experiment with different forms in their productions. Join some of Practice’s earliest artistic collaborators as they recount their early artistic exploration and their journey towards professionalisation.

Ang Gey Pin – Photo Credit: Ranice Tay

With Danny Yung

28.11.2020, 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Over the last 40 years, Hong Kong theatre doyen Danny Yung (Zuni Icosahedron) has developed a deep relationship with the Singapore arts scene – mentoring local practitioners and advocating for Singaporean artists on an international platform. Join Yung for a conversation about intercultural artmaking, and the meaning and impact of international artistic exchange.

Participants: Danny Yung (Artistic Director, Zuni Icosahedron), Liu Xiaoyi (Artistic Director, Emergency Stairs), Kuo Jian Hong (Artistic Director, The Theatre Practice)

I am Lao Jiu

28.11.2020, 9:30pm - 11:30pm

Responding to the early dominance of English in the early days of Singapore’s theatre scene, Practice became an early advocate for Mandarin playwriting and Chinese language theatre. Sharing their own artistic directions, join prominent contemporary Chinese language theatre practitioners as they discuss Practice’s early contributions, and how the scene has developed since.

Participants: Nelson Chia (Co-founder and Artistic Director, Nine Years Theatre), Goh Boon Teck (Chief Artistic Director, Toy Factory Productions Ltd), Benjamin Ho (Founder and Artistic Director, Paper Monkey Theatre), Tan Beng Tian (Independent Theatre Practitioner)

Moderator: Isabella Chiam (Actor and Theatremaker)

Post-KPK Era

28 - 29.11.2020, 11:30pm - 1.30am

The passing of Kuo Pao Kun in 2002 marked a turning point in Practice’s history. Amidst the uncertainty following his death, Wu Xi and Kuo Jian Hong assumed the role of the company’s co-artistic directors while Kuo Jing Hong became the principal of Practice Performing Arts School. Carrying on the work of Practice’s visionary co-founders, the company continued to push artistic boundaries while working to protect Kuo’s legacy.

Former General Manager of The Theatre Practice Tang Chia-Yu is joined by Jian Hong, Wu Xi and Jing Hong for a late-night chat as they discuss the tumultuous early years of Practice in the post-KPK era.

Kuo Jing Hong – Photo Credit: Terry Lin

In Search of "Space" for the Arts

29.11.2020, 1:30pm - 3:30pm

“You need to have a space where you can allow your imagination or your ideas to just explode, to try out things.”
– Kuo Pao Kun, 1993

What does it mean to make and hold space – both literally and metaphorically – for the arts in Singapore today? What nurturing conditions should a space provide to afford artists the opportunity to take risks, experiment and create work? How does an arts space foster a sense of place and community despite the precarity of short-term leases? Are we able to further reimagine the possibilities of arts spaces to better support artistic development, affinities and solidarities? Join us for a conversation featuring a cross-disciplinary panel from four neighbouring arts spaces – The Theatre Practice, Centre 42, Objectifs and P7:1SMA – and hear us share insights on what it truly means to support artistic experimentation, practice and community today. This interactive conversation is also intended as a springboard to provoke further contemplation on how arts spaces can work towards mutual support and thriving together.

Ma Yanling – Photo Credit: Crispian Chan

Silly Conversations about Serious Musicals

29.11.2020, 5:45pm - 8:15pm

Chinese language musical theatre in Singapore is marked by its ability to seamlessly hybridise western musical theatre forms with Chinese culture and storytelling. As one of the pioneers of the genre, Practice has spent the past 15 years experimenting and learning how to harness these core elements. Join key cast and creatives in conversation (and in song!) as they discuss this artistic journey.

Participants: George Chan, Kuo Jian Hong (Artistic Director, The Theatre Practice), Julian Wong (Music Director), Xiaohan (Founder, Funkie Monkies; Wordsmith)

Moderators: Joanna Dong (Jazz Vocalist), Ric Liu (Interdisciplinary Artist)

55... And Then?

29.11.2020, 9:15pm - 10:00pm

In the last 55 years, the world has undergone many changes and Practice has continued to evolve alongside it. What anchors us is the vision set out by our co-founders: To be a home. To nurture and empower. To contribute positively to life through the Arts.

It takes everyone to ensure that Practice is able to evolve without losing our way, and this growth would not be possible without our Jian Rens.

At the end of 55 hours, we ask 55 Jian Rens to share their fond memories of Practice and their hopes for us. Join current Artistic Director Kuo Jian Hong for the final hour of our livestream as we celebrate the past and envision our future. Here’s to 55 more years…