After their last edition in 2019, which saw four brand new scripts from budding young playwrights produced for the stage, Toy Factory Productions Ltd’s The Wright Stuff Festival is back for 2021, once again shining the spotlight on new writing from young scriptwriters in Singapore.
This year, the festival focuses on the theme of “Inwards”, which encouraged their playwrights to create and submit new works themed around introspection and reflective of people within the community. Receiving 34 scripts, the festival rounded it down to the final three to be produced in October, with each playwright receiving guidance and mentorship by experienced theatre practitioners. Initially, the playwright underwent an intensive 6-month script writing mentorship process with Toy Factory Chief Artistic Director Goh Boon Teck. Thereafter, the playwrights are guided by 3 young theatre directors: Marc Valentine, Aricia Ng, and Adeeb Fazah, as they bring it from page to stage.
The three plays are:
The Time Machine by Lim Shien Hian
A scientist in the twilight of her career looks back on her life – reminiscing a simpler time where her world was full of infinite possibilities, where she aspired to leave something the world would remember her by. 15 years have passed, yet all she has done is to push herself deeper into her work, all the while pushing away those she loves and those who love her. Now, deadened by time, she settles down at her desk to work on her final project.
Lion by Jedidiah Huang
Yi Kai, a reformed party playboy jock has waited his entire life for this moment – a chance at adopting a son. After countless rejections, he finally sees the light of day when an orphanage is willing to meet him for an interview. On the day of the interview, Yi Kai steps in all dressed to impress. But at one look, Jack, the orphanage’s case manager, is instantly transported back to his teenage years where Yi Kai used to torment him relentlessly in school. A deep scar had been left to fester over the years in Jack’s heart, and unsurprisingly, the interview quickly ended with a flat-out rejection. Puzzled but not defeated, Yi Kai refuses to give up the fight for his right to raise a child. Now, both men are forced to confront their bitter past for the sake of a child’s future.
SKIN by Koh Tian Seng
Tan Yang Xin believes that he has made it by Singapore’s standards; a high income job at a brokerage firm, a luxurious car, and as his crowning jewel – Afifah, the love of his life. It all seems perfect up till the moment when his eyes meet with her father’s, Pak. Years of turbulent history surfaces between them – moved by a vindictive heart, Pak denies their relationship and presses Yang Xin for a test of his faith, commitment and love for his daughter. Journey with this interfaith couple through the eyes of Iman, the returning Imam, as the feuding males and the exasperated bride-to-be explore their relationship with religion, masculinity, their loved ones and perhaps most importantly — each other.
“In such bleak times, Toy Factory Productions Ltd believes in amplifying the voices of future generations through The Wright Stuff Festival. A celebration of resilient Singaporean creativity, I hope that the plays in the festival will allow the audience to look inwards on how all of us have a part to play to make our society move forward with deeper self-awareness,” shares Goh Boon Teck.
Toy Factory will be embracing digital elements by livestreaming the performance of The Time Machine, to allow students and aspiring future generation of theatre makers to enjoy and celebrate theatre at the comforts of their classroom walls.
The Wright Stuff Festival runs from 1st to 17th October 2021 at Gateway Theatre. Tickets available from Eventbrite