Theatresauce ends their 2017/18 season through a showcase of plays by up-and-coming directors.
LIGHT. EVE. SOLDIERS. FIRE. is the result of almost a year’s rigorous training and two mini public showcases. It portrays a variety of creative processes, themes and styles while highlighting each of the director’s unique artistic identity.
Each of these four plays, staged back-to-back in one night, will explore the complex, existential nature of morality, divinity, identity, memory and more.
Playwright Noah Nazim and director Alex Chua imagines the journey of a prolific writer who returns to Kuala Lumpur after ten years, only to be haunted by unusual occurrences that compels her to look within. The play explores her escape attempts from her fractured mind as she deals with the ghosts of her past, present and future.
Alex Chua notes, “It’s a terrifying place to find yourself in – to not be able to trust your mind or the world around you. How do you even manage when it feels like the ground has fallen away beneath your feet, trapping you in the curious boundary between suspension and freefall? Nazim’s The Light explores exactly that in a way that is so grounded and believable, without the hysterical hijinks of the LSD trip motifs typically used to depict mental health issues – which I suppose is a little closer to the actual experience, something subtler and more disturbed. There are things the play describes that are so painfully relevant to us now; about not being well, about surviving and ultimately, about the struggle to reclaim control of our lives.”
The Light features Michael Chen, Tania Knutt, Malik Taufiq and Alexis Wong, with Ali Motamedi as director of photography.
In any society, mothers are always ascribed expectations to follow, but we all see our mothers differently?
How is it that we come to see our mothers a certain way, and why? Project Eve is a play devised by Esther Liew – featuring Anrie Too, Lily Jamaludin and Celine Wan and it follows their childhood to the present while delving into ideas of hope, love, sacrifice, communication and identity in a bittersweet fashion. All of this conveyed through a mashup of montages devised from the memories of four women and their relationship with their mothers.
“I don’t have the best relationship with my mother, and I often wondered why. How did our relationship become this way? Project Eve allowed me to look into three different daughters’ perspectives on their own relationship with their mothers, and how have these relationships evolve over the years”, said director, Esther Liew.
War is a hotbed for moral ambiguity and Toby Teh dissects some of it in his play.
Two combatants find a helpless child hostage while on duty and are cornered by difficult decisions to be made. Decisions concerning survival, responsibility, compassion and friendship surface to the brim to the urgency of a ticking clock. Will the soldiers stick to their guns and die for their beliefs – even if that means killing someone else?
The questions found in this play has been lingering in the subsconscious of Toby Teh, it seems, as he stated in his director’s notes, “I write and direct the way my heart beats and my lungs draw breath. It’s out of my control, and I wouldn’t want to stop it.”
Soldiers features Jeremy Ooi, Lee Min Hui – and returning the stage after a six-year hiatus – Davina Goh.
Api, Jangan Lupa Api
“I think this play is about coming to terms with our mortality, maybe”, said director Arief Hamizan.
What better way to unravel questions about morality through the act of humanizing the supposedly divine as the play comes from asking is god ever got lonely. What if he realizes he messed up and decides to restart the universe, this time with a single woman? And what if they could directly speak with each other, albeit in different languages?
Arief Hamizan devised this play within the framework of seemingly heavy musings, but Api, Jangan Luupa Api promises to serve quirkiness on the same plate as their existential crises. Ideas of creation and isolation come hand-in-hand. He adds, “Another guy whose name I can’t remember said that love is our greatest distraction from dying. I guess those statements intrigued me, and I wanted to confront them somehow. So we played, and wrote a play.”
The piece features Claudia Low and Ali Alasri, with design from Ariff Kamil and Veshalini Naidu.
Theatresauce will continue to work with a few of the 2017/18 EDL directors by assimilating them into the company’s next mainstage season, where they will helm projects of a devised nature. The next batch of EDL directors are scheduled to begin their training June 2018.
LESF is supported by the Krishen Jit ASTRO Fund and Sunway University’s School of Arts.
LESF runs March 30 – April 8, 2018 at the Rooftop Theatre, Sunway College. Performances run 8.30 pm Friday to Saturday and 3.00 pm Sunday the first week, followed by 8.30 pm Wednesday to Saturday and 3.00 pm Sunday the second week. Regular tickets at RM50, concessions RM40. Buy 3 free 1. Bulk upper-secondary and college/university bookings, further discount (as low as RM20 per ticket) and special programming available – contact firstname.lastname@example.org. FOR MATURE AUDIENCES. Purchase and additional details in the next page.
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