MASKquerade!: Annual W!ld Rice Ball goes virtual for 2020
Leading theatre company W!ld Rice’s annual Rice Ball is back for its 19th edition, only this time, instead of staging it at the Shangri-La Hotel’s Island Ballroom, the fundraising gala will be hosted online. Often touted as one of the year’s most anticipated social events, the Rice Ball has distinguished itself as one of Singapore’s most entertaining and creative fundraising events.
“COVID-19 has challenged us to completely re-imagine this year’s Rice Ball,” says Ivan Heng, Founding Artistic Director W!ld Rice. “We have never livestreamed an event of this scale but our team is pushing the envelope to find meaningful and memorable ways to entertain and engage our supporters and guests.”
Even though it’ll be held online, this year’s edition promises to be as fun-filled and WILD as ever, maintaining the company’s trademark all-star concert, to a gastronomic feast by Singapore’s finest chefs delivered straight to guests’ doorstep. The concert will be streamed directly from The Ngee Ann Kongsi Theatre, and feature efforts from local artists, such as acclaimed film-maker and multimedia designer Brian Gothong Tan, to make the Rice Ball’s digital transition as seamless as possible.
While creating this “milestone event” has been challenging, WILD RICE is also excited by the new possibilities of going virtual. “The Ball will be as fabulous as always, but it will also be our most intimate event yet,” Heng explains. “All our guests will have front-row seats in the safety of their own homes – not just in Singapore, but all over the world.”
The evening’s live concert will be co-directed by veteran theatre-makers Glen Goei and Pam Oei (Oei will also be hosting the event). The line-up features some of Singapore theatre’s brightest stars – including Siti Khalijah Zainal, Benjamin Chow, Rebekah Sangeetha Dorai, Dwayne Lau, Audrey Luo and Andrew Marko, with a special appearance by “Ivana and Glenda” (Ivan and Glen’s drag alter egos).
W!ld Rice, like all other major theatre companies from around the world, looks to the generosity and support of benefactors, patrons and sponsors in order to do its work. All funds raised from the Ball will go directly towards securing the company’s future in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the effects of the pandemic have been challenging for the company, with its theatre in Funan still closed to the public, and having had to cancel all of its shows for the rest of the year. “This is our most urgent fundraiser yet,” says Heng. “It’s not just the Rice Ball – it’s our Rice Bowl.”
Virtual private rooms for the Rice Ball – bringing together up to 10 guests signing in from anywhere in the world – are available for $8,000, $10,000, $15,000 and $25,000. Individuals may also reserve single seats for $1,000. As WILD RICE is a Singapore-registered charity, all donations will be eligible for 250% tax deduction.
MASKquerade! – The Virtual Rice Ball will take place on 3rd October 2020, online at 7pm. To confirm your reservation, please fill in this form or get in touch with W!ld Rice at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make a donation to W!ld Rice here.