Now showing 1 - 10 of 12
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Negotiating difference in Krishen Jit’s theatre: Staging identities and contesting boundaries in multicultural Malaysia
    The politics of difference in a multicultural society such as Malaysia is an area of increasing interest in an environment of global anxieties about the "clash of civilisations" (Huntington) and the "flows of culture" (Appadurai). As the lines of race, religion, language and gender become more prescribed by the "authorities" of state and media, they are also diversely contested by those who do not fit or who choose to resist these narrow defines and limiting dictates. Krishen Jit, doyen of Malaysian theatre, dealt with issues of difference and sameness in his multiple staging of Malaysian identities. His theatre process and practice were in several ways critical interventions into the Malaysian cultural landscape. This article will examine some of the strategies used in Krishen Jit's theatre that dealt with cultural difference and emerged as a valuable response to the tensions of identity in Malaysia. It interrogates his choices for theatre and how they indicate a conscious engagement with issues of plural identities within a multicultural mosaic. It seeks to offer a perspective on how the theatre provides an apt site for questions of agency and belonging that arise in negotiating issues of exclusion and inclusion within a plural socio-cultural space.
      411  310
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Learning through story: Drama pedagogy at NIE
    (National Institute of Education (Singapore), 2017) ;
    Wales, Prudence Ellen
      64  74
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Changing places: Drama Box and the politics of space
    (Performance Research Books, 2022) ;
    Gough, Richard
      56
  • Publication
    Restricted
    Teaching social and emotional competencies: Influences from Kuo Pao Kun
    (2017)
    Shehnam Khan
    ;
    This report delves into the key plays The Coffin is Too Big for the Hole (hereafter, The Coffin, 1984), Mama Looking for Her Cat (hereafter, Mama, 1988) and Lao Jiu (1990) written by local playwright Kuo Pao Kun (1939-2002) to point out the key themes that students of the 21st century will be able to learn from. Kuo addressed social issues within the Singaporean society in these plays that will be able to resonate with youths as they face similar issues such as the dilemma between meeting society’s standards and creating one’s individuality, the marginalisation of the elderly in a digital era, and the paradox of society’s rules. What students cannot achieve through classroom textbooks and pen-and-paper tests are the social and emotional competencies that they are capable of learning through drama: relationship management, responsible decision making and social awareness and embedded within core values: responsibility, care, harmony and resilience. As Singapore’s education system primarily focuses on facts and fixed knowledge and leave little room for students to learn values and key competencies, it leaves gaps in pupils’ learning (Tan, 2006). These skills and knowledge that are the gaps in learning are most often learned in informal learning, which are difficult to plan, hence teachers often deem them as unproductive. However, it is through explorations of social contexts that content is learnt with experience in a dialectic manner (Lee & Hung, 2012). These gaps occur because students are not critically engaged with their learning material, and the activities they are exposed to provide little ‘hands-on’ in spontaneous decision-making, expression of perspectives and understanding and appreciating from different angles of an issue. Drama, however, enables students to express their perspectives in physical, symbolic ways that creates depth in learning where “experiences and ideas are exchanged and subjected to to criticism, where misconceptions are corrected, and new lines of thought and inquiry are set up” (Dewey, as cited in Chan, 2009). Introducing Kuo Pao Kun to a classroom of young learners will see to a resolution of his themes and ideas fitting perfectly with the gaps in the education system. Kuo’s theme of multiculturalism in Mama Looking for Her Cat (1988) is a relevant one that proposes the social awareness competency, as students in Singapore encounter diversity daily. In addition, in The Coffin is Too Big for the Hole (1984) and Lao Jiu (1993), the ever apparent issue of conflict with one’s principles and belief systems is an applicable issue to introduce responsible decision-making to students. These competencies mentioned are the tools pertinent to the creation of students’ own identity and individuality as they embark on other challenges in life. In this paper, the lesson plans will demonstrate how Kuo Pao Kun’s themes within his plays can be infused in lessons to develop well-rounded individuals capable of managing relevant social issues that Kuo had pointed out in his work. Drama and theatre activities such as tableaux, hot-seating and role-playing can involve students in deep reflection and creative, critical thinking. Incorporating drama in lessons makes learning interestingly unconventional and ignites passion and interest in pupils, which is exactly what pupils need in order to close the gaps in the education system (Tan, 2006).
      606  26
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    The Routledge companion to theatre and young people
    (Routledge, 2022)
    Busby, Selina
    ;
    Freebody, Kelly
    ;
    This companion interrogates the relationship between theatre and youth from a global perspective, taking in performances and theatre made by, for, and about young people. These different but interrelated forms of theatre are addressed through four critical themes that underpin the ways in which analysis of contemporary theatre in relation to young people can be framed: political utterances – exploring the varied ways theatre becomes a platform for political utterance as a process of dialogic thinking and critical imagining; critical positioning – examining youth theatre work that navigates the sensitive, dynamic, and complex terrains in which young people live and perform; pedagogic frames – outlining a range of contexts and programmes in which young people learn to make and understand theatre that reflects their artistic capacities and aesthetic strategies; applying performance – discussing a range of projects and companies whose work has been influential in the development of youth theatre within specific contexts. Providing critical, research-informed, and research-based discussions on the intersection between young people, their representation, and their participation in theatre, this is a landmark text for students, scholars, and practitioners whose work and thinking involves theatre and young people.
      31
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Rethinking the research on both sides, now: An arts-based community engagement project on end-of-life in Singapore
    (Routledge, 2020) ;
    Wales, Prudence Ellen
    Both Sides, Now (BSN), an interdisciplinary arts-based community engagement event produced by arts companies Drama Box and ArtsWok Collaborative, is a complex and dynamic project that engages with end-of-life issues in Singapore. BSN has developed over time to respond more acutely to the particularities of the Singapore context and specific locations. Researching BSN was a challenging yet highly rewarding process but were nonetheless enriched by the opportunity to navigate what this means in analysing the materials. BSN was not just effective in gaining audience interest but continues to gain support from artists, stakeholders and funders keen to sustain arts-based community engagement focusing on end-of-life issues. Most audience members interviewed felt that BSN was beneficial because it generated space for confronting an important issue that was thought-provoking yet playful, and thus non-threatening in its approach. This was seen as a way to improve community connectedness through the opportunity to listen, read and watch others share their perspectives and ideas.
      13
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    (Un)learning theatre through stories of growing up: Difference and multiplicity in Singapore
    This article considers the value of growing up stories among theatre practitioners in Singapore as a resource for learning theatre in multicultural contexts. It engages with the lived experiences of five Singapore theatre practitioners, Alfian Sa’at, Alvin Tan, Haresh Sharma, Kok Heng Leun and Ong Keng Sen, whose contributions to discourses on multiplicity and performance are significant in the city–state and internationally. Concepts of ‘Open Culture’ (Kuo. 1998. “Contemplating an Open Culture: Transcending Multiracialism.” In Singapore: Re-Engineering Success, edited by Arun Mahiznan, and Lee Tsao Yuan, 55–60. Singapore: Oxford University Press), ‘postcolonial conviviality’ (Gilroy. 2005. Postcolonial Melancholia. New York: Columbia University Press) and ‘critical multiculturalism’ (Goh. 2009. “Conclusion: Toward a Critical Multiculturalism.” In Race and Multiculturalism in Malaysia and Singapore, edited by Daniel P.S. Goh, 213–218. London: Routledge) are proposed as useful frames for understanding theatre in multicultural contexts, and from which the idea of a ‘bricoleur imagination’ is derived.
      75
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Becoming a FaciliActor: Playing at fiction on the borderlines of culture
    This article interrogates the idea of the drama educator as a FaciliActor within the sociocultural and political context of Singapore, drawing on Jacques Ranciere’s (2015) notions of fiction and dissensus to examine how the FaciliActor can expand the potential of play-based embodied learning. The term FaciliActor, coined to combine facilitator and actor capacities, and thereby emphasize the acting skills involved in facilitating a dynamic drama process, points to imaginative options that drama educators negotiate when planning and executing their roles. In particular, it highlights an educator’s ability to play with experimental options and trust the ingenuity of imagination that prods a review of what is. This includes having theatrical presence, which commands attention and invites response. Given the escalating tensions of cultural difference in plural societies, the growing need for dialogic pedagogies that develop twenty-first century competencies such as critical thinking, empathy and self-awareness points to the FaciliActor as well placed to do this through play-based and creative frameworks that allow multiple perspectives. I consider how the FaciliActor can expand dialogic options for participants when creating and facilitating a drama process, and suggest that it is useful to engage with an ‘actor’s dramaturgy’ (Barba 2010) to gain critical skills when performing.
      315  144