Preview: Projek Suitcase 2018 by Teater Ekamatra
Ending off their 30th anniversary celebrations, Teater Ekamatra completes their season with a brand new edition of Projek Suitcase this December!
Created by the company in 2003, Projek Suitcase adopted a poor theatre format involving one actor and one suitcase in a performance space, showcasing the effectiveness of a play even in spite of minimal setup, and the power of storytelling from the actor alone. Now, Projek Suitcase has since grown to adopt the style of a site-specific monologue showcase of 4 (or more, multiples of two) short works.
Inspired by the back alley medicine man, selling ointments and holding only a suitcase full of tales, Projek Suitcase takes its title from its simple format – each performer is equipped with a single suitcase that must contain an entire world, and everything required for the monologue. The site-specificity of the space then affects how the performers get to negotiate and reflect the distance between themselves and the audience, playing and manipulating it to enhance the theatrical experience.
The unique performance spaces of Projek Suitcase will provide a conducive environment for the pieces, which are site-specific by nature. As for the audience, traversing between locations allow patrons room for contemplation and discovery. As the audience experience these spaces, they also experience the histories of the surrounding sites as the building overlooks the city while capturing the everyday life in the neighbourhood. A beautiful convergence of new and nostalgic, to rediscover the very crux of theatre – the art of storytelling.
While previous editions’ monologues have featured themes such as ‘Excavation’ and ‘Metamorphosis’, this year’s Projek Suitcase will focus on a very specific quote: “Die Before You Die”, referring to the act of stripping all of one’s ego and worldly possessions away and letting go of your individual reality. Upon death then, one will finally come to terms with what is truly important in life, and what it has amounted to – beyond one’s job, one’s family, and one’s suitcase of your prized possessions.
Past editions have been performed at the Malay Heritage Centre, Aliwal Arts Centre, and even Ipoh, Malaysia as part of the CausewayXchange Festival. This time around, Ekamatra has taken on the brand new space of Wisma Geylang Serai (WGS), Singapore’s first-ever cultural heritage integrated hub. The venue was chosen in light of the company’s 30th anniversary, aiming to use it as a platform to reach out to, and develop an appreciation of the arts within the heartlands and in Singapore, remaining a relevant theatre company and having the shared values of diversity, inclusivity and people-centredness.
Featuring Adib Kosnan & Dalifah Shahril [SG], Farez Najid [SG], Fasyali Fadzly & Iefiz Alaudin [MY], Ridhwan Saidi & Roshafiq Roslee [MY] and Rizman Putra [SG] as the Ring Master, or Tauke Panggung, Ekamatra invites one and all to join them in Projek Suitcase 2018 as they dive deep into the recognition of one’s own mortality, as a surprisingly sound way to better understand what it then means to live.
Projek Suitcase 2018 plays from 5th to 15th December 2018 at Wisma Geylang Serai in Malay and English with English surtitles. Tickets available here