What is Southeast Asian Drama Connect?
A unique 2-day conference to discover and explore Southeast Asian Drama, with the aim of fostering cross-cultural collaborations.
Little is known in the UK about the cultures of countries in Southeast Asia and even less about theatre in the region so we published an anthology of Southeast Asian Plays last year.
With these plays in English from seven countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia as the basis for further exploration, we are organising a unique 2-day event in March 2018. The topics of the plays are as diverse as the global financial crisis, religious faith, the sex trade, political corruption and exploitation. These plays provide insight into the differing concerns of those living in a part of the world which is experiencing profound change.
Extracts from the plays will be performed as readings for the first time in the UK at Tara Theatre in Wandsworth,London. Participants will be able to discuss the plays and theatre-making in each country with performers, playwrights, practitioners and academics. The plays will be performed by students from East 15 Theatre Conservatoire led by experienced directors.
Topics for discussion will include: Visibility, Censorship, Challenging stereotypes and Writing for an international audience.
The event will appeal to students, theatre-makers, academics and lovers of theatre and Asian arts alike. This 3-day event is an exciting chance for cultural exchange.
Why do we need your help?
We need the help of our community through financial donations to enable us to fly the writers, directors, theatre-makers and artists over from their various countries for the event to ensure rich engagement from our various artists in Southeast Asia with local British theatre-makers, looking to promote their work internationally.
We also need funding to help put on this event in terms of catering, venue hire, marketing and production.
This event will require £5,000 of funding to put on effectively; we need a further £2,000 from our community to ensure this event can really take place.
Help us to raise the remaining £2,000 to enable Southeast Asian Connect - this important cultural exchange event - to happen. Help give British and Southeast Asian artists the opportunity to share ideas, network, and foster greater collaboration.
With your help, we can:
- Provide flights, accommodation and expenses for 4-5 of the authors featured in the book Southeast Asian Plays to attend. Without donations from our community it is hard for the authors to self-finance their visit to London. Without the authors in attendance this event would be much less impactful.
- Promote and produce this event fully to ensure that it is a really successful event with all tickets sold in advance to ensure the project breaks even.
How can you help?
Donations both large and small mean so much to us, and allow us to make this event more impactful and give these artists the best chance for a future of cross-cultural collaboration.
If you are not in a position to give, please do still share our project with your friends and family through social media and your networks #SEAsiandrama
Why is important to attend the event?
This event is unique in bringing artists from Southeast Asia to London to meet British theatre-makers and academics and explore Southeast Asian Drama, with the aim of fostering cross-cultural collaborations. It is important for us to have a wide and varied audience who participate fully in talks and discussions so that this event can produce meaningful new ideas and colloborations.
Talk with guest writers and reception
TARA THEATRE, LONDON
7.00 PM TO 9.00 PM Evening Performance
THE PRODIGAL DAUGHTER OF KOREA by Asa Palomera (JAPAN-KOREA)
When Mina’s father dies, she returns to Korea to visit a family she barely knows, desperately looking for some answers. But her mother is reluctant to discuss the past, especially the war, or the reasons that Mina was sent so far away as a child, to America. Her younger sister seems unable to grow up and it doesn’t help that their nosy neighbour is always on their doorstep. Secrets and lies divide them all irrevocably.
When the truth is finally revealed, it is both shocking and redemptive, allowing Mina and those around her to see themselves anew and break free from years of pain and guilt.
Praise for Palomera’s work:
“A powerhouse on Melbourne’s independent theatre scene.” – The Age
“Brilliant scripting, powerful stories, beautiful costumes and some unforgettable performances.” – VibeWire
“…Palomera proves to be a master of powerful and intricate storytelling.” – Popspoken
MARYLEBONE THEATRE, LONDON date tbc
7.00 PM TO 9.00 PM Evening Playreading of 'Tarap Man' by Ann Lee
Full-length Playreading (play tbc) performed by students at Regent’s Park University, directed by Valerie Lucas. + discussion
Invited speakers who hope to attend:
Alfian Sa’at poet, playwright (Singapore)
Sa’at is a Resident Playwright with W!LD RICE theatre company in Singapore. His published works include poetry, fiction and plays. Nominated ten times for Best Original Script at the Life! Theatre Awards, and winning in 2010 for Nadirah, in 2013 for Your Sister's Husband and in 2016 for Hotel (with Marcia Vanderstraaten). In 2011, he was awarded the Boh-Cameronian Award in Malaysia for Best Book and Lyrics for the musical The Secret Life of Nora. In 2013, he won the Boh-Cameronian Award for Best Original Script for the play Parah. In 2001, Sa’at won the Golden Point Award for Poetry as well as the National Arts Council Young Artist Award for Literature. He has also been nominated for the Singapore Literature Prize three times, for Corridor (Commendation Prize, 1999), A History of Amnesia (2004) and translation of The Widower (2016)
Joned Suryatmoko, playwright and director (Indonesia)
Suryatmoko established Gardanalla Theatre company in 1997 in Yogyakarta. His play, Bertiga (Threesome/ 3P) was presented at the Asia Playwrights Meeting in Tokyo (2009) and Virgin Lab Fest Manila, the Philippines (2010). Piknik (Picnic) was presented at the Asia Playwrights Meeting in Melbourne (2011) at Pen World Voices Festival of International Literature in New York (2015) and at Portland State University (2017). Currently he is the Festival Director of the Indonesian Dramatic Reading Festival (IDRF) in Yogyakarta, and a Theatre Specialist for the Creative Community Program, initiated by the Kelola Foundation/World Bank. He has recently completed a fellowship with the Asian Cultural Centre in USA.
Ann Lee, playwright and director (Malaysia)
Malaysian playwright and director Lee is currently researching a PhD on political satire in Southeast Asia. She began writing plays as a member of the Royal Court Young Activists Group with tutor Hanif Kureishi. She holds a BA (Hons) in Applied Photography, Film and TV and an MSc in History of Science, Medicine and Technology. Lee was Artistic Director and co-founder of Kuali Works (1994-2011), an all-women theatre group and directed Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, which was banned in Malaysia in 2000. Her play, Tarap Man, won ‘Best Original Script’ at the 2007 Boh Cameronian Arts Awards, Malaysia. She is working on a new full-length play, provisionally titled Not Far Now. Lee’s work for the stage has been performed at the Asian Monodrama Festival, Commonwealth Games Theatre Festival, Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, Sydney Writers Festival, and the New York International Fringe Festival.
Asa Palomera, playwright and director (Japan-Korea)
Trained at TISCH School of the Arts, she started her theatre career in New York, both on and off Broadway under the producer, Joseph Papp. As a guest-artiste-in-residence at the Chulalongkorn University of Thailand, she pioneered the Pagoda Dance Company and created the Modern Theatre Company in Thailand. After moving to Melbourne, she started the Women of Asia Company that produced Monologues and The Prodigal Daughter which won the ‘City of Melbourne Award for Original Play’ and was invited to open at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. During her stay in Scotland, she produced The Curious Lives of Shakespeare & Cervantes at the Adam House Theatre, Edinburgh and then at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London before returning to Asia.
Chhon Sina, actor and playwright (Cambodia)
Chhon Sina is a playwright and actor from Cambodia whose work has investigated the trauma surrounding the Khmer Rouge regime.
Aurora Metro Books is an award-winning indie publisher in the UK with over 200 authors in print. Its commitment to publishing Asian authors is evident over 25 years with a strong track record of publishing plays by British-Asian playwrights. Aurora Metro recently published the first-ever comprehensive collection of plays from Southeast Asia.
Tara Arts was founded in 1977 by Jatinder Verma MBE and is the UK’s longest standing Asian-led theatre company. It produces new work, adaptations of classics and original children’s theatre. Many of these productions tour throughout the UK and beyond. Tara nurtures talented individuals, in particular those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds. Tara also presents a dynamic programme of work by new and established companies from across the globe, working at the forefront of multiculturalism in Britain. Patrons include: Sir Richard Eyre CBE, Shobana Jeyasingh MBE, Hanif Kureishi CBE, Sir Salman Rushdie, Nitin Sawhney. https://www.tara-arts.com/
Other partners in the project include Asia House, Regent’s Park University, East 15 Acting Conservatoire.