Actors (from left) Jon Chew, Sandee Chew, Rosheen Fatima, Azzad Mahdzir and Matthew Koh, will be taking part in several plays organised by TheaterThreeSixty, including Post Traumatic Shopping and At Home At The Zoo.
New arts company TheatreThreeSixty debuts with ambitious programming schedule.
WHEN operating in the same circles, it’s inevitable those in similar fields will cross paths and collaborate. Such is the circumstance that brings together theatre practitioners Christopher Ling and Alex Chua, who have collaborated many times but have finally come together to form theatre company TheatreThreeSixty.
“Our hands are dirty with theatre,” said a smirky Ling, with Chua nodding along. Both were present at their Sparky Dawg theatre space in Petaling Jaya in Selangor to talk about TheatreThreeSixty’s programmes ahead.
The company – which includes fellow founders Nicole Ann Thomas, Nandang Abdul Rahman and Michelle Yip – is debuting in a big way, showcasing four different performances through April, ranging from plays to physical theatre (storytelling through primarily physical means) and, the whole gamut of performing arts in the final set to take place at a fine art gallery.
Chua cheekily sums up the whole We Are TheatreThreeSixty festival simply as “a taster buffet”.
Ling explains that the festival will start with established writing, in the form of American playwright Edward Albee’s At Home At The Zoo. Like Star Wars, the two-part play includes Albee’s 1959 play The Zoo Story, and is expanded with a prequel Homelife (the two acts are combined under the new name At Home At The Zoo).
Directed by Ling, the play features actors Matthew Ong, Rosheen Fatima and Azzad Mahdzir and runs daily till this Sunday.
Week two brings local writing to the stage, with a double feature of Post Traumatic Shopping by Nandang and Not Even The Night Has Such Gentle Hands by Desmond Sim. The plays are both monologues, and will be performed by Sandee Chew and Jon Chew, respectively.
“Post Traumatic Shopping was inspired by a conversation with a woman who survived the London bombings (July 5, 2005), who had such an incredible tale I begged her to bring it to the stage,” said Ling.
He said that while Singaporean playwright Desmond Sim may be a familiar name, Not Even The Night Has Such Gentle Hands is an all new script and will be making its debut on April 10-13. Sim has also been roped in to give a writer’s workshop on April 12.
Shaking things up further in week three (April 17-20) is physical theatre performance Pack/Unpack, a wordless “play” conceptualised by Chua in collaboration with choreographers Thomas and Ostella Adam.
The festival ends with an array of performance art pieces at the 69 Fine Art gallery in Damansara Heights in Kuala Lumpur. The final programme will be a crowd-sourced event curated by Ling and Chua.
Gallery space or not, Ling mentioned that this spontaneous performance series at the end of the We Are TheatreThreeSixty festival will be “a little random and a little crazy.”
We Are TheatreThreeSixty runs at Sparky Dawg Studio, Block G, Ground Floor, Phileo Damansara 1, Jln 16/11, off Jalan Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor this month. For the festival schedule, go to www.theatrethreesixty.com. Tickets are available through Eventbrite (http://bit.ly/1kqpE9Q). The Writer’s Box workshop (April 12) with Desmond Sim is priced at RM20.