The arts scene finally seems to be getting back some semblance of normalcy, with Singapore Repertory Theatre having announced a live performance of Tuesdays With Morrie, and now, Wild Rice following suit with one-woman show An Actress Prepares.
Written by Alfian Sa’at and performed by acclaimed actress Siti Khalijah Zainal, An Actress Prepares will be the first show to play to live audiences in The Ngee Ann Kongsi Theatre since the circuit breaker measures closed performing arts venues in March. Last performed in 2018 as part of Wild Rice’s 2018 Singapore Theatre Festival, An Actress Prepares is inspired by Konstantin Stanislavski’s first handbook on acting, and follows Siti on a journey through her life in theatre. Come hear various affecting and candid episodes from her life, ranging from learning Chinese dance in primary school as a Malay student, falling in with the cool girls at the Bedok Institute of Technical Education, and being told that she might be ‘too big’ or ‘too Malay’ to get roles. Raw and achingly honest, An Actress Prepares is perhaps Siti at her most vulnerable, as she plays herself onstage.
“An Actress Prepares is an intimate, insightful love letter to Singapore theatre,” says Ivan Heng, Founding Artistic Director of Wild Rice. “Siti’s amazing story also speaks very much to the moment; it examines what it means to make art and theatre against all odds – to keep dreams alive, to persevere and to be true to oneself.” “I couldn’t think of a better show to help us welcome audiences back to our home in Funan.”
Over the show’s three-week run, An Actress Prepares will welcome just 50 guests per performance, one-seventh of Ngee Ann Kongsi Theatre’s maximum 350-seat capacity. “We will be making a loss, given that our ability to sell tickets is so tightly restricted by safe-distancing requirements,” notes Heng. “Nonetheless, the safety of our cast, crew and audiences is of paramount importance. We also feel that this is an important step in winning the confidence of audiences, hopefully leading to the recovery of our theatre scene.”
While this production of An Actress Prepares will proceed depending on the prevailing safety advisories for the resumption of live performances in November, Wild Rice will offer new performance dates or full refunds to patrons if the resumption of live performances in Singapore is further delayed. The venue will be fully compliant with the safe management measures recommended by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and the National Arts Council, including but not limited to: temperature screenings, SafeEntry check-in, TraceTogether, compulsory face masks throughout the performance, etickets, distanced seating, hand sanitisers provided, and regular cleaning conducted.
An Actress Prepares plays from 4th to 22nd November 2020 at Wild Rice @ Funan. Tickets available from SISTIC
Read our review of An Actress Prepares (2018) here