Arts Preview Singapore Theatre

Preview: Checkpoint Theatre 2023 Season

Come 2023, Checkpoint Theatre is introducing an exciting season ahead, with new work, a hot favourite, and a previously delayed staging, all coming to the Drama Centre Black Box across the year, as the company continues to present and develop important, original stories from Singapore.

The season opens with Myle Yan Tay’s Brown Boys Don’t Tell Jokes. Directed by and with dramaturgy by Huzir Sulaiman, the play takes place on the eve of an election, as a politician, a musician, an activist, an academic, and a therapist reunite after several years. As the five friends catch up on the different paths their lives have taken, they realise their rose-tinted memories might be the only thing holding them together. With secrets unravelling, old conflicts reawakening, and a threat looming, the five are forced to confront the boys they once were, and the men they want to become.

Playwright Myle Yan Tay’s powerful and incisive play lays bare the tensions of male friendship with sharp humour and searching questions. As past mistakes lead to dire consequences, should loyalty prevail over shifting values? What does it take to be a friend? With a stellar ensemble cast, Brown Boys Don’t Tell Jokes is a nuanced and unflinching examination of friendship, race, and masculinity in our country.

Brown Boys Don’t Tell Jokes runs from 23rd March to 2nd April 2023 at the Drama Centre Black Box. More information available here

Initially intended to be staged in 2022, Lucas Ho’s new play Tender Submission finally makes its premiere this August. Co-directed by Huzir Sulaiman and Cheng Yingxuan, Tender Submission stars Neo Swee Lin and Lim Kay Siu as Catherine and David, who anxiously await the results of an important vote while in the quiet of their church’s cry room. As the crucial decision hangs in the balance, the life they have built together over the last 30 years comes under sharp scrutiny, and they are compelled to confront the very basis of their relationship.

Tender Submission bears witness to the unspooling of a decades-long marriage. When faith and purpose diverge, what truly lies at the heart of a relationship? Can a new path be found together?Watch as these complex characters navigate unspoken doubts, fears, and desires, as Lucas Ho’s new play grapples with the tensions between the institutional and the individual, and asks what it really means to commit to something greater than yourself.

Tender Submission runs from 17th to 27th August 2023 at the Drama Centre Black Box. More information available here

Checkpoint Theatre concludes their 2023 season with the return of Jo Tan’s Session Zero, which received a sold out run and critical acclaim back in 2021. Directed by Huzir Sulaiman, Session Zero stars Jo Tan and Brendon Fernandez as an estranged couple attempting to reconnect over a game of Dungeons & Dragons, while the conflicts of daily life are inevitably carried onto the battlefield. Given the mess created by the years of history together, can fantasy storytelling help them rediscover the connection they need?

Said to ‘paint a nuanced portrait of the gulf between two that devours what is left unsaid and renders the familiar, strange’, Jo Tan’s play uses the syllables of the forgotten language that they once shared now echoing through their lives, for this couple to rediscover the words that brought them together in the first place and begin healing, as Session Zero bravely navigates and illuminates the complexities that run through the deepest human relationships.

Session Zero runs from 19th to 29th October 2023 at the Drama Centre Black Box. More information available here

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