[Theatre Arts Conference 2023 Masterclass] Interculturality and Theatre Work

  • 2 Jul 2023
  • 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
  • 15


Registration is closed

Almost all theatre practiced in the world today is in some way, shape or form “intercultural”. But what exactly is the intercultural? And more importantly what are the roles and responsibilities of theatre practitioners working in theatre today? More specifically what is the impact of interculturality on theatre and contemporary performance today – both in terms works produced and acting pedagogies? We will be looking at the following specific and defining value points:

  • a predisposition for ‘working with and working out difference’
  • a respect for the creative collaborator’s agency
  • a sensibility which leans towards attending to the decentred, the marginalised, the fringe in oneself and others
  • a search for awareness of if not autonomy from ideological structures and homogenising forces (be it constrictive market demands or government agendas)
  • a respect for the body-mind as a complex multi-layered site of interconnectedness
  • a curiosity (respectful and not superficial or exploitative) towards traditions, cultures and new practices, one’s own and others’
  • an inquiring ‘mind’ seeking to understand the socio-historic context, philosophy and functioning of embodied practices
  • an inquiring ‘body’, ready to immerse itself in unfamiliar modes of being to search new forms through them
  • a means to challenge oneself to stay in that uncomfortable and fragile space ‘in between’ that is the ‘inter’- cultural

All participants should read both plays and the information sheet attached. [Cf. Anak Bulan Di Kampong Wa’ Hassan by Alfian Sa’at and Kopitiam by Kuo Pao Kun;] They should consider, list and reflect upon the ethnic, cultural and religious values, beliefs and life experiences of the main characters in these plays. Think of the historical contexts in which the action and the story is realised, and how this impacts and influences racial and cultural change in Singapore. Participants do not have to memorise the lines. However they should be reasonably familiar with the story(ies), plot points and the main characters’ life journey in the plays. Participants will be expected to perform dramatic readings of the text, enact short scenes and elaborate on and extrapolate “real life circumstances” from the life-worlds depicted in the works. 

About the Facilitator

T. Sasitharan (Sasi), is Co-Founder and Director of the Intercultural Theatre Institute, in Singapore. ITI is a practice-based, full-time 
contemporary actor training conservatory, and one of the most reputable and innovative theatre schools in the world. Together with the late Kuo Pao Kun, Sasi conceived and established ITI in 2000.

He was Artistic Director of Substation (1995-2000), Singapore’s only independent arts centre, and was the Theatre and Visual Arts critic of The Straits Times (1988-1995). Between 1983 and 1988, he taught Philosophy at the National University of Singapore.

As a writer and commentator, he has authored several articles ranging from commentaries on Singapore culture and the arts to reviews of performances, exhibitions, talks and catalogue entries published both in Singapore and abroad. He is frequently invited to speak at conferences on arts, education and creativity.

Over the last 45 years he has been a theatre practitioner, working as an actor, performer, director, producer and teacher. In 2012 he was the recipient of the Cultural Medallion, Singapore’s highest award for artists, and in Mar 2022 he was made Third Harvard Fellow of the Harvard Club of Singapore.

Fundings and Subsidies

Tina Sergeant Professional Development Initiative

In loving memory of the late Christina Sergeant, TSPDI is an SDEA initiative that provides subsidies to SDEA events, masterclasses and professional development programmes.

Applicants must be:

  • Associate or Ordinary members

Applicants must:

  • Show proof or an interest in regular professional development
  • Show how skills and knowledge learnt will benefit a larger community
  • Currently be based in Singapore or contributing to the Singapore Drama Education landscape

As part of the commitment for being a recipient, you are expected to provide a short sharing on how attending this programme has benefitted you. This could be in the form of a quick video or a written statement. We may use these materials for archival, the facilitation of feedback, and marketing for future programs.

Chosen applicants will receive up to SGD$500 subsidies for the SDEA Theatre Arts Conference 2023.


Registration Deadline: Sunday, 28 May 2023, 11:59pm

Successful candidates will be notified by: Friday, 16 June, 11:59pm

Shortlisted candidates may be asked for an interview between 29 May - 15 June 2023.

Apply here.

School and Corporate Bundles are available. Please email conference@sdea.org.sg for more details.

Theatre Arts Conference 2023

Creatives, by nature, observe, raise questions, stimulate thought, and develop agency. As we dig our roots deeper to find meaning in our current contexts, practices, and environments, we branch wide to explore new ways of doing and ways of being in an increasingly complex world. Themed Rooting Deep, Branching Wide: Strengthening Practices and Expanding Possibilities, we aim to examine these current and evolving ways, especially within the realms of education, community, and performance.

Artists, educators, practitioners, and researchers will be presenting a diverse range of presentations, workshops, keynotes, and masterclasses through the lenses of Practices & Pedagogies, Spaces & Places, and Causes & Communities.

Taking place from 30th June to 2nd July 2023, the SDEA Theatre Arts Conference will be conducted both on and offline so you can join us whether you're in Singapore or across the world.

Our Partners

Venue Sponsor

SDEA is a Registered Charity from 20 February 2020 and is a recipient of the National Arts Council’s Major Company Scheme
for the period from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2025

Singapore Drama Educators Association is a registered charity (UEN: T02SS0123G) 
90 Goodman Road, Blk B #04-02 Goodman Arts Centre, Singapore 439053
Phone: +65 6345 6997

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