Curated and produced by Emergency Stairs Artistic Director Liu Xiaoyi, in association with Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, this November, watch as two productions question the very nature of the various artistic disciplines we practise, learn, and teach, as Singapore prepares itself to welcome the newly founded University of the Arts in 2024.
Directed by Ang Gey Pin, with performers from NAFA Diploma in Theatre (English Drama), catch Offending The Audience from 10th to 13th November 2022. Originally crafted by Austrian dramatist Peter Handke, Offending the Audience challenges audiences to abandon every expectation upon entering the theatre. Here, actors gaze into audiences’ eyes, addressing them as fellow human beings, playfully questioning the very nature of theatre, examining and ‘diagnosing the pulse’ of the medium itself. Might these actions offend the audience? What offences are committed in a space and time designated specifically for theatre?
There is no plot, no story to be told. These actors play no particular character. There is no fictional time to see, no narrative to observe, as expected in most theatre pieces. Offending the Audience offers audiences fresh perspectives on how contemporary theatre is defined and limited and the multitude of possibilities that lie in how we may approach the performing arts both as practitioners and audiences – told through the lens of students who have been studying theatre, confronted with having to question what they have learned.
The week after, forum theatre piece Dream School will be directed by Li Xie, with performers from NAFA Diploma in Theatre (Mandarin Drama), from 17th to 20th November 2022. Together, they will create their ideal art school. Emergency Stairs invites audiences to participate in this original forum theatre piece, to investigate what it takes to realise a dream amidst the limitations of unrelenting societal structures.
A group of students embarked on a journey of reform and transformation to create their ideal school, with their individual and shared hopes, anxieties, reflections and doubts. Why are they doing it? What are they envisioning? What are their blind spots? What are the possible consequences? When all is said and done, are their dreams simply one touch away from dust – perceived as nothing but self-serving, whimsical projections of naivete? Or could these aspirational endeavours, just possibly, hint at a glint of the dawning of autonomous change?
Offending the Audiences runs from 10th to 13th November 2022 at the NAFA Studio Theatre. Tickets available from Eventbrite.
Dream School runs from 17th to 20th November 2022 at the NAFA Studio Theatre. Tickets available from Eventbrite