Arts Esplanade Theatre Studio Singapore

Preview: New initiative Bridging The Gap provides platform for young theatremakers before entering industry

Screenshot 2021-01-21 at 2.58.46 PM

Local theatre industry professionals Alvin Tan, Rebekah Sangeetha Dorai and A Yagnya have started Bridging The Gap (BTG), a brand new platform where students graduating from theatre institutions are given the opportunities to interact and work with established theatre practitioners and designers, ‘bridging’ them from school to the industry proper, and the first initiative of its kind.

The creation of BTG arose out of concern for how most fresh graduates would be launched into the industry without much aid, where their inexperience and vulnerability makes them susceptible to being exploited. BTG then provides a safe space for graduates to practise and hone their skills by working with experienced practitioners, while also teaching them how to navigate the industry, and aiding in research and development for new innovative works.

To kick off BTG, two presentations are currently planned for 2021. The first of these, subTITLED, takes place at The Substation from 17th to 20th February.

Looking not just at acting and directing, but the entire field of theatre, BTG hopes to invite theatre practitioners that include but are not limited to set, lighting, sound, multimedia and costume designers to work with performers, and to have interns shadow these professionals in their respective disciplines/fields. Through this approach, it provides a gradual and meaningful transition from theatre-training institutions into the industry, while also also working with professional theatre venues. Under the mentorship The Necessary Stage co-Artistic Director Alvin Tan, a core group of three people will facilitate the BTG collective, and eventually, intend to welcome more members keen to lend their strengths to BTG’s mission and vision.

To kick off BTG, two presentations are currently planned for 2021. The first of these, subTITLED, takes place at The Substation from 17th to 20th February. In subTITLED, we follow the stories of Prem, a criminal lawyer who chose not to defend someone accused of drug trafficking; Liting, an intern at an arts company who witnessed the crime; and Priya, an activist and daughter of the accused. subTITLED explores the intertwining stories of these three women, wondering if  things have ended differently, and the idea of morality and the law. Directed by Alvin Tan and written by A Yagnya, subTITLED will star Rebekah Sangeetha Dorai, Indumathi Tamilselvan and Melva Lee Ke Ying.

Later on in the year, new play Cyril and Michael is also set to premiere, with the venue still to be confirmed. Taking place in June, Cyril and Michael explores the rich histories which intersect upon a chance encounter between two strangers. Over the course of one night, they swap stories of their pasts are swapped, lay bare their vulnerabilities, and unveil secrets, sparring about race, sexuality, love and heartbreak, and growing to understand each other and create the potential for a profound relationship between them. Playwright Theo Chen had previously been involved in Haresh Sharma’s playwriting workshop in 2020, and Haresh will be on board to dramaturg the script, and take on a more playwright-oriented process to preparing it. Alvin Tan will once again direct, with Kotak Khyan Ram cast as Cyril, and BTG yet to cast Michael.

subTITLED will play at The Substation from 17th to 20th February 2021, tickets available from Peatix. Cyril and Michael plays in June 2021 at an as-of-yet unconfirmed venue, with ticketing details to be released soon. 

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