My Journey at klpac by June Zhu Wen

I just can’t believe my internship has come to an end. It felt so strongly that klpac was the second comfort zone for me in Malaysia other than my campus. And theatre is a gem gleaming in the inward night. Back to the time when I was applying for the internship, I had no idea what kind of life I would be living in the next four months. The only thing I knew was, I want to be in the art industry, and that I want to know how great art is created/curated. I didn’t do much research because the first company popped out from the google research when I keyed in ‘the best art company in Malaysia’ was klpac. Till now I still wonder why I was recruited and how I survived the past four months, since I had no background related to art at all. April 15th witnessed my first day of work. The same time I felt so lost but, the same time, so excited about what would take place in the next second. I was even woke up by a sense of insecurity. So many enlightening ‘first time’s happened here. For the very first time, I knew how a production can be like, and how a
great show comes into being. But at the same time, I realised the gap that I need to fill up, in terms of experience, but also knowledge and skills. They said I am lucky that when I started my internship, there were so many ongoing productions that I could be involved. Speaking of that, I can still recall the moment I saw the costume I created for the Mc Donald character presented on the stage where more than a hundred audience were there. I felt so glad that I can create something bare-handed and It was eventually appreciated. It’s the time when I was assigned as the photographer to record some ‘behind-the-scenes’s during the rehearsals that I found out how an interest can be turned into a skill, or even a career. The more skills you excel, the better chance you can stand out from the crowds is what I learned throughout the journey. Being a versatile person can be a plus since luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, which I found so true when I looked through the portfolios of the casts and crews. They already took multi-talents and multitasking skills for granted. During the same day, they can be a teacher in a middle school in the morning and a lighting designer teaching behind the control console for a musical at night. It was during the Thunderstorm production that I had a deeper understanding of “no matter what happen today, we have tomorrow”. Things happened, mistakes occurred. You can’t have everything under your control, so what you can do is plodding with faith and diligence. I am so much amazed by how people strive for freedom of expression and the love of art. Even though governmental support is rarely regarded as an obvious solution to the private art industry, still there are people dare to speak out, and brave to tilt at social injustices. Being an expatriate, I can feel how arts can represent cultural identities and traditions across the country. Nurtured with the boom-and-bust history, it was the diversity of culture and race that created the richness of Malaysian art and its social conducts. And the klpac is such a wonderful place where my warm-hearted colleagues, or to be specific, ‘comrades’, once again proved how language or nationality can’t stop us doing what we are aiming for a joint goal. We argued, quarreled, but also laughed, hugged, supported each other. Overwhelmed with emotions and memory, I finally finishing this article when I am waiting for check-in for the flight to Milan, to further my study on art management. Everything happened in klpac will be a glittering diamond in the deepest recesses of my heart. — by June Zhu Wen 4 September 2019 1:41 AM

Yesterday Once More 2 opening on 28th August 2019

𝓣𝓱𝓮 𝓢𝓱𝓸𝔀 𝓘𝓼 𝓢𝓮𝓵𝓵𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝓞𝓾𝓽 𝓕𝓐𝓢𝓣!

Countdown to less than 2 days, get your tickets now before its too late!

Yesterday Once More 2
🔶Date and Time 
28th – 31st August 2019, 8.30pm
1st September 2019, 3.00pm

🔶Venue: Pentas 2, klpac

🔶Tickets
Category 1: RM400 (Table Seat of 4 pax) inclusive one bottle of wine or choice of 4 cans of soft drink / mineral water
Category 2: RM80 (Normal seat) inclusive of one welcome drink

🔶Buy here: https://proticket.com.my/klpac-yesterday-once-more-2/
OR
🔶Call box office at 0340479000

===============================================

Team

Director | Ian Chow

Music Director & Keyboardist | Mak Chi Hoe

2nd Keyboardist | Lee Hui Yin

Lead Guitarist | Coebar Abel

Percussion & Vocalist | Endee Ahmad

Bassist | Iqbal Raimi

Featuring | Joel Wong, Lai Suk Yin, Omar Ali , Phraveen Arikiah, Rachel Liu, Serene Chng

Don’t Let Joe & Faridah Know Buy 1 Free 1 Promotion

T-10 days

Another Don’t Let series is coming up, and this time we going to talk about the iconic theatre duo in Malaysia.

𝐁𝐔𝐘 𝐎𝐍𝐄 𝐅𝐑𝐄𝐄 𝐎𝐍𝐄 🎉
The Early bird catches the worm, or cheap ticket. (Shhh! Don’t let my bosses know!)

The Actors Studio Seni Teater Rakyat & MUKA SPACE 木卡空间 proudly present “Don’t Let Joe & Faridah Know” which will feature a variety of short performances inspired and related to The Actors Studio Malaysia and founders, Joe Hasham OAM & Dato’ Dr. Faridah Merican in conjunction with celebration 30th anniversary of The Actors Studio Malaysia. Expect the unexpected as creators each present their own take on The Actors Studio productions but with a twist.

𝐃𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐋𝐞𝐭 𝐉𝐨𝐞 & 𝐅𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐝𝐚𝐡 𝐊𝐧𝐨𝐰 《别让Joe和Faridah知道的事》
𝟐𝟏 – 𝟐𝟒 𝐍𝐨𝐯 𝟐𝟎𝟏𝟗
𝐏𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐬 𝟐, 𝐤𝐥𝐩𝐚𝐜

Get your tix here
https://proticket.com.my/klpac-dont-let-joe-faridah-know/
OR Call 03 4047 9000

𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐓𝐄𝐀𝐌
Executive Producer: Dato’ Dr. Faridah Merican
Artistic Director: Joe Hasham OAM
Producer: Easee Gan
Lighting Designer & Operator: Mohamed Fairuz @ Boy
Stage Manager: Selina Yong
Host: Megann Teoh

Featuring Coebar Abel, Easee Gan, Fauzi Amirudin, Mon Lim, Toh Shir Ling,Tung Jit Yang, Zhafir Muzani

#dontletthemknow #dontletjoeandfaridahknow 
#别让Joe和Faridah知道的事 #buy1free1 #earlybird

Thunderstorm 2019 by Peter Yap posted on 24 July 2019

Somewhere over Ipoh, the storm is gathering with increasing speed. But the live electrical wire lying dangerously on the ground in the compound of Zhou Mansion has yet to be fixed ! 
Inside that sprawling mansion of tin mining towkay Zhou Puyuan, his beautiful but tormented wife Fan Yi is getting increasingly unhappy and angry…..Zhou Ping is finally planning to leave home and is thinking of taking the sweet and young Si Feng with him ….. 
Over at the servants’ quarters, the conniving Lu Gui is still entertaining the thought of becoming a rich man one day, while Lu Dahai is plotting a major rebellion ….. as for Lu Ma, she is about to make a confession that will change the lives of everyone forever. A dark secret will finally be revealed, that even the rich and powerful Zhou Puyuan is unable to contain !

This is the second time Dato’ Dr. Faridah Merican is directing Cao Yu’s THUNDERSTORM and It’s going to be presented in Hokkien and Cantonese dialects with English surtitles. Faridah has again assembled a star studded cast for this latest production including Mary June Tan as Fan Yi, Season Chee as Zhou Puyuan, Brian Chan is reprising his role as Zhou Ping, Izen Kong as Zhou Chong, Mark Beau de Silva is back as Lu Gui, Amelia Tan is taking on the role of Lu Ma, John Tan as Lu Dahai with Paige Chan as Si Feng. 
Don’t miss the opportunity to see how they get together to create that devastating storm !

Thunderstorm Opera 2007 by Peter Yap posted on 21 July 2019

In anticipation of the staging of this 2019 version of the famous play, I posted yesterday about Cao Yu and his work with the hope that it helps to encourage our many younger friends to go and experience the play, to see for yourselves why this Zhou family saga has been so popular over the decades since its first staging in China in 1935.

Over the last 40 years or so, I have been exposed to various versions of Thunderstorm on stage, as well as several movie adaptations of it. Among those, there are only a handful that I have truly enjoyed and here is one that I would like to share with all of you today.

On 25th August 2007 in Shanghai, China, I was very fortunate to see Thunderstorm being performed not as a play, but for the very first time, as an ORIGINAL OPERA. It took place at the main stage of the impressive Shanghai Grand Theatre, featuring a stellar cast of some of the very best opera singers in China at the time and it was of course, sung in Mandarin with English surtitles. It was a sold out performance with leading soprano Gao Manhua as Fan Yi, famous tenors Zhang Jianlu as Zhou Puyuan and Wei Song as Zhou Ping. They were backed by a full orchestra under maestro Zhang Guoyong with 60 chorus singers. It was indeed, a wonderful experience for me to have seen this incredible opera production ! 
Here are some pics that I have lifted from the programme brochure for your enjoyment. 
Tomorrow, let us go back further in time to 1983 but it will be nearer to home, to explore yet another incredible performance of Thunderstorm. Stay tune !

有故事的人:……因為妳是女人 The Storyteller: because you are a woman

《有故事的人:……因為妳是女人》

三種婚姻 三種期待 三個女人 三個時代

「脆弱啊,妳的名字叫女人。」

這句《哈姆雷特》的台詞,說盡女性自古以來在社會上的定位和命運。來到21世紀的今天,尤其在東方社會,即便男女平等的訴求不斷,許多人仍然無法擺脫傳統觀念的桎梏,認為婚姻是女性的唯一歸宿。

然而走入婚姻,生命就能因此完整嗎?
走進家庭,人生就因此美滿嗎?
歸宿的定義,還有其他可能性嗎?

《有故事的人:……因為妳是女人》是一個單人劇演出,透過三個居住在馬來西亞檳城喬治市的女人對婚姻的想像和對話,窺探不同時代的大馬華人女性在這傳統觀念下的生活面貌。

當母親以愛之名,要求仍單身的女兒儘快步入婚姻,這期許的背後究竟意味著什麼?母女之間的衝突又該怎麼和解?

導演 – 黃麗珍
編劇 – 黃麗珍/愛美麗亞
演員 – 愛美麗亞
燈光設計及舞台監督 – 程晉瑋

以檳城福建話呈現(附有中、英文字幕)

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

There are some part in this world, women still take marriage as the biggest goal of their lives. Even though their married life failed, still they will instill in their daughters that getting a good husbands, marry early and have children is a way to form a happy families.

Is it because women are too weak to be self-support?
Is it women definitely need men to lead their life?
Or is it because of being constrained by traditional beliefs that it is shameful for nor being marry?

This performance takes place through an actor performing 3 different characters living in different era (grandmother, mother and daughter), and sees how the conflict rise when the elder still raise hopes on the daughter to get married after experiencing their imperfect marriage.

Director – Wong Lay Chin
Scriptwriter – Wong Lay Chin / Amelia Tan
Performer – Amelia Tan
Lighting Design and Stage Manager – Alvie Cheng

Perform in Penang Hokkien (with Mandarin & English subtitle)

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

地點 Venue:
Now Theatre, Kuala Lumpur

場次 Shows:
16/08 (Fri) 8:00pm
17/08 (Sat) 3:00pm, 8.00pm
1808 (Sun) 3:00pm

票價 Ticket:
RM45
RM38 (students, senior citizen and the disabled)

優惠 Ticket Promo:
Buy 10 get 1 FREE

購票請聯絡 Ticketing:
大福 019 959 2697

Ribut 1983 by Peter Yap posted on 22 July 2019


For my posting today ( part 3 ), please indulge me a little by allowing me to take all of you back in time to the year 1983. 
At a personal level, 1983 was a significant year for me because it was in that year that I was promoted to the position of Account Director at J. Walter Thompson, the advertising agency that I had joined in 1980 ( then known as PTM Thompson ). 
Partly to celebrate my promotion, my then boss and mentor Ms. Chong Kheng Mee ( now Puan Sri Kheng Mee Najmuddin ) decided to give me a treat, by inviting me to go with her to see a play that was then performing at the Experimental Theatre, University Malaya. As I recall, Kheng Mee didn’t tell me much about what the play was all about, except that her friend Faridah Merican was acting in it. That name alone was good enough reason for me to accept the invitation without any hesitation.

The play was ” RIBUT “, an adaptation of Cao Yu’s Thunderstorm that was being performed on stage in Bahasa Malaysia for the very first time. I discovered to my delight that Faridah was playing the challenging role of Fan Yi, while the late but then famous Mustafa Noor, was the director plus also taking on the part of Zhou Ping. I could still remember that I was quite impressed with the overall production ( given the many limitations at the time ), from the sets, props and costumes worn by the actors that ” RIBUT ” was keeping true to Tianjing of the 1920s and 30s where the story took place. At the end of that evening the audience gave the cast a standing ovation that they deserved, and Faridah’s portrayal of Fan Yi was so outstanding that it was later reported by The Star. No mean feat in those days by any account !

After the curtain call, Kheng Mee and I went over to congratulate Faridah and that was the first time I was introduced to her. So you see, 1983 was indeed, a very memorable year for me !

See the link of the programme booklet for ” RIBUT “. http://myartmemoryproject.com/theatre/1983/12/ribut-1983/

See part 4 of my posting tomorrow where we will take a look at the 2017 production of Thunderstorm. Stay tune !

All photos of ” RIBUT ” are by courtesy of Dato’ Dr Faridah Merican.

Ribut 1983

Ribut 1983

Ribut 1983

Ribut 1983

Ribut 1983

Notes To Which My Brother Laughed

Dear you,

Where were you when you heard about the caning? When the news started coming onto our social media feeds that two women were publicly caned for attempted lesbian sex in Terengganu, after we voted a new government in, how did we respond?

When I heard about the caning, I was angry.

Anger, disappointment, and sadness were the sparks for this piece.

I sought out like and un-like minded individuals, artists, and musicians to respond to this event through the theatre. Bringing together our at times united and at other times opposing responses to this caning.

We found Hélène Cixous’ “The Laugh of the Medusa,” as our guiding spirit; we addressed the patriarchy and its reaches within our political, religious, and personal lives; we asked each other and ourselves difficult questions “How does one hold space for the transcendental – religion and God; and within that space celebrate and accept queerness?” and questions seemingly simple “What is intimacy? How are we intimate?”

The collective anger and disappointment which were the seeds of this piece morphed and grew some days into rage and fury and on other days into deep introspection, understanding, and tenderness, as rehearsals went on.

And now, the time is _____, and you are here in Pentas 2. I hope in “to which my brother laughed;” you see our varying responses to this caning; and bear witness to a bit of our selves, and a bit of your own too.

Love,

Jit

Click here for show information and ticketing

5 Short+Sweet musicals that will get your feet tapping in 10 minutes (or less)

The annual Short and Sweet Festival (or S+S in short) hosted by KPAC is recognized as one of the most looked-forward to stage competitions due to it’s unique spin of capping entries to a maximum of 10 minutes, along with it’s open door policy that opens participation to anyone regardless of performing experience.

For the audience, this means that good shows will be “just right”, and not-so-good shows will be over faster than a bad Tinder date. Everybody wins!

But you’re not here to read a press release.

You’re here to either re-experience some good memories, see what S+S is all about, or to see if your entry is included in the article.

We selected the following entries based on a stringent criteria which involves:

  • Awards won
  • Asking several performers which pieces they found memorable
  • Availability on YouTube ← probably the most important criteria.

So with that out of the way, let’s head to the first entry on the list…

The Geong Xi is a Vamp (2012)

Quick Synopsis: Chinese family send son oversea to study. Son come back westernized. Asian father is disappoint. Cataclysmic event happen. Basically a TVB drama, except with vampires. Funny. Won 7 out of 13 available awards.

Dreaming Outside the Box (2013)

Quick Synopsis: Jack-in-a-box is in love with Jill-in-a-box. Jill wants Jack to cash her ousside. But they’re both stuck in boxes. How bow dah? Won 8 out of 14 available awards.

300 million (Reconceptualisation of a conception) ( 2014)

Quick Synopsis: A bunch of sperm want to ovulate ovaries. Short and sweet but satisfying…….said no one ever. Except in regards to this piece. Won 3 out of 14 available awards.

Walk with Me (2015)

Quick synopsis: Girl’s relationship with pet doggo from child till adult. Pet doggo’s relationship with girl for his entire life. Listen to music because cannot see performance past tears. Won 3 out of 14 available awards.

Disorder in the Court  (2012)

Quick Synopsis: Trial of the century. Datuk accused of murder faces pun-ishment. Musical actors singing in their law suits giving arresting performances. Too many puns? You be the judge. Courted 5 out of 13 available awards.

These videos are terrible!

Agreed. Videos can never perfectly capture the magic of the stage – even with with dual camera phones (we tried).

If you’d like to witness the magic of Short and Sweet for yourself, you’re in luck! S+S musical is happening NOW at the following times.

S+S Musical (8.30pm)
26 Sep – 29 Sep 2018
[GALA NIGHT] 30 Sep 2018 

Dance and Theatre categories are happening in October. More information on ticketing and showtimes here.

 

I was part of a theatre show in klpac. Plot twist – we opened on GE14.

When it was announced that GE14 was to take place on the now-historic date of May 9th 2018, the cast and crew of Dato Seri were unsure what to feel or expect with the knowledge that our show runs on the same week.

As if the fear of forgetting our Bahasa Istana-laden lines was not enough, we were now cautioned on possible riots in addition to ensuring our safety at all times too.

May 9th 2018 (Dress Rehearsal night)- also voting day!

Blue fingers were not part of the wardrobe design

Most of us in the cast and crew had just returned from our polling areas. I myself had just traveled back from Kajang after waiting in my millenial Saluran for almost four hours. Admittedly, I almost gave up during my third hour, but thankfully I persevered and made a decision to miss our pre-show dinner and requested an extended calltime to ensure I could cast my first ever vote in before making the drive back to KLPAC, Sentul.

One can say that the staging of Dato Seri was apt and very coincidental with GE14, but with it came its own set of challenges. While we were busy creating this chaotic yet beautiful landscape of Pertiwi (the fictional setting of Dato Seri), our minds were still elsewhere. After each scene we would rush back to our dressing rooms and ask those backstage about which state was won by which party.

“Who is leading?”

“Pakatan Harapan? Are you sure?”

“Okay jap, I have to go for my next scene”

May 10th, 2018 (Opening night)

Unsurprisingly, our director had pointed out the lack of focus in our dress rehearsal and urged us to not let the events happening IRL influence the ‘high stakes’ nature of the play – It was our opening night for Dato Seri and we must not let our guard down.

Well, that was the plan.

Meanwhile, Malaysia was still in limbo, patiently waiting to find out whether the Agong will ever meet Tun Mahathir in Istana Negara.

“Are you telling me Malaysian timing applies to the Agong too?”

And then, something magical happened that night.

To those who have attended any KLPAC shows in recent years, you would be aware of the pre-show announcement that requests the audience to stand up to sing “Negaraku’ beforehand. Usually, this request is met with baffled murmurs and, to some extent, cynical amusement as well. But that night, the moment Joe’s voice finished saying “- please stand up for the national anthem”, it was met with audible excitement.

Though we were hidden behind the thick black curtains backstage, the cast and crew could sense the electric energy that permeated Pentas 2. I have never heard an audience sing Negaraku with so much passion and, truthfully, I had to stop myself from tearing up because it was such a powerful moment –  I could not see it, but I could hear it and feel it: the Rakyat were so proud to sing Negaraku. T

There was renewed meaning to the lyrics that included the line “Rakyat hidup, Bersatu dan Maju” and upon completion, the audience clapped and cheered at this new sense of pride in light of the political revolution that was taking place not too far from our little theatre space. The sentiment game was so strong that night.

The pre-show Negaraku became my favourite moment every night, with each audience being more and more excited to sing Negaraku (on our second show night, some audience could even be heard saying “Yes!” when the announcement was made).

And then it happened.

It was 9.30 PM, almost the end of intermission when suddenly, random cheering was heard. First, it was just one person, then another, then the entirety of Pentas 2. It didn’t take us long to realise it had happened: Tun Mahathir had been officially sworn in as the 7th Prime Minister of Malaysia, ending the 60 year rule of the coalition party, or as it is called now, the Opposition Party.

Audience member, Aida Azmi captured the moment at Pentas 2 when Tun M was sworn in.

It was terribly surreal and all we could do was cheer and shout from backstage, that is of course, until our stage manager, Benedict had to intervene to remind us that we are going on stage in 2 minutes. Oh yes, we had forgotten we still had a show to put on. Our characters were supposed to be in the middle of Darurat (the Emergency period) but we were all still reacting to the announcement of Malaysia’s new government.

Playwright and director of Dato Seri, Omar Ali shared his thoughts on that particular moment:

“That was a really crazy night. It was supposed to be a very intense moment in the show, with the great dictator or tyrant now being in power. However, it was the complete opposite with the energy that was caused by Tun M being sworn in just minutes before. There was so much relief and ease and I thought it impossible for the actors to ride over because the audience was in the mood to laugh and celebrate.”

Art imitating life, or…

As each day passed and stories about the previous administration started to unfold, the audience reception to Dato Seri also became more nuanced. Sometimes, the cast would come backstage and wonder why certain lines had received any/more reaction when it had not the days before.

For example, during a tense moment when it was announced that Raja Jayaputera had been murdered, the two Princes, Tengku Mahkota and Tengku Muda would share a moment of grief followed by a discussion of their next steps.

“Are you copying my style bruh? “

On our third show however, this scene caused a bout of laughter in the audience. A comedy fan myself, I could not identify why the audience found this particular moment so amusing (was it the rule of thirds, on the third night?!). It would later dawn on us that the reason why is because Tengku Muda would suggest that the brothers flee to Seberang & Kalimantan (in Indonesia), and it just so happens that news had broke earlier that day that our ex Prime Minister and First Lady were attempting similar travel plans.

Lead actress, Nadia Aqilah who played Datin Seri shared this on the unpredictable nature of the audience reception,

“I have learnt a lot from this play, and it has been interesting to see how I had to handle the random energy each night. But, I am lucky as well because there was a focus on Datin Seri’s character too, perhaps because she reminds them of someone.”

As a member of the cast, it has been such a curious experience for me to be part of a play like Dato Seri with the backdrop of GE14. Each night, I caught myself catching more parallels between what was happening in the play with what was coming into light in the real world *cough Tiga Nasib cough Bomoh cough*

TFW you find out the RAHMAN prophecy came true

“In terms of parallels, there is plenty. It makes the play tick, makes it so true to life and so relevant” said Dato Dr. Faridah Merican, who reprised her role as Bomoh and Doktor yet again alongside Ho Lee Ching and Mark Beau. “Dato Seri was current two years ago when we first staged it, due to the fear of what was happening to the country. And it is still so current now”.

Lead actor Redza Minhat, who played the titular character of Dato Seri, had this to say on what he resonated most with in this experience,

“I resonated most with the ending of the play, whereby it is the repetition of a cycle. Dato Seri would enter the play saying ‘Tak pernah ku lihat hari macam ‘ni; Terang gelap, baik buruk, datang sekali’ and this is repeated by the newly crowned King, Tengku Mahkota at the end of the play.

To me, with the current political climate, it is great that we have this new dawn for our country but we have to be careful to note that everything is a cycle”.

Wow, so emo.

Anyways, that’s that! Personally I am excited for what this means for the future of the performing arts, and I look forward to more exciting and bold productions in the coming months and year (PS. I am free for casting should anyone be inclined).

Hidup Teater Malaysia!