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The Necessary Stage launches Associate Artist Programme, featuring Deonn Yang and Sindhura Kalidas

The Necessary Stage (TNS) is delighted to unveil a brand new iteration of its Associate Artist Programme (AAP) in April 2023, commencing with two young Associate Artists—theatre-makers Sindhura Kalidas and Deonn Yang—being attached to the company for a year.

TNS has, over its 36-year history, been at the forefront of developing new generations of young artistic voices. Many of Singapore’s current art and theatre changemakers— including Natalie Hennedige, Chong Tze Chien, Sean Tobin, Alfian Sa’at, amongst others—have passed through TNS’ door. Through a variety of platforms, initiatives and workshops, these theatre-makers have undergone training in the company’s distinctive creative methodology in socially engaged art and theatre. The APP is a continuation of that trajectory, with the objective of honing the crafts of potential creative leaders that can be part of the company’s collective

On the selection of Yang and Kalidas, Resident Playwright of The Necessary Stage, Haresh Sharma shares, “Deonn Yang and Sindhura Kalidas are two of the most talented and creative emerging artists working in Singapore today. Each of them has a clear vision of what theatre means to them, and a strong artistic voice.” He adds, “They also have a strong belief in creating socially engaged theatre, devising and collaborating, and training young artists.”

“I am beyond thrilled and am extremely grateful for the opportunity. TNS is a company I have always admired,” Sindhura Kalidas enthuses. She continues, “Under the AAP, I wish to challenge myself by pursuing the aspects of theatre I am less experienced in— writing and directing. I would like to use my time under the AAP to distil my own process as a dramaturg so that I can more clearly articulate the practical applications of dramaturgy and emphasise the value of dramaturgical interventions.

On her selection as one of the two TNS Associate Artists for 2023, Deonn says, “I feel incredibly honoured, excited and nervous. There is definitely a little bit of pressure that comes with being an Associate Artist in this iteration of the AAP because TNS has and continues to play such an intrinsic role in shaping Singapore’s theatre landscape.” In terms of her objectives, Deonn adds, “I hope to be develop and further hone my voice as a playwright and director, and to be more comfortable and confident in positioning myself as a theatre-maker of today. I would also like to take more risks in my artistic journey, to hopefully push myself and boundaries further, and to be a bolder artist.”

Both Yang and Kalidas have worked with TNS in various capacities over the years as performers, facilitators, and lab participants, and have demonstrated a commitment to creating socially relevant theatrical work via research and devising. The AAP aims create more opportunities for them to develop their craft, vision and leadership skills.

As Sharma notes, “The Associate Artist Programme is hugely beneficial to emerging artists in Singapore because of the full support provided by The Necessary Stage throughout the year—financially, administratively, and artistically.”

Deonn Yang will be directing Survivor Singapore, a vibrant youth-oriented work about young people’s perception of their Singapore identity and how they can make an impact in society. Survivor Singapore is slated to run from 4th to 7th July 2023 as part of Esplanade’s Feed Your Imagination programme. She will also be serving as Assistant Director for TNS’ upcoming main season production, scheduled to premiere in August 2023.

Meanwhile, Sindhura Kalidas will be writing and co-directing a verbatim theatre play about the experience of being a South Asian woman in Singapore today. This work is due to premiere in November 2023 at Drama Centre Black Box. Sindhura will also be the Dramaturg for a TNS main season production in March 2024. More information about both productions will be released in due course.

Both Yang and Kalidas will also be assisting with and conducting sessions for the company’s workshops, including its popular Devising with Actors and Playwrights workshops for emerging theatre-makers.

More information about the Associate Artist Programme available here

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