Company Director, The Finger Players
Devising, Conceptualising and Producing Theatre for Youths by Youths
What are the techniques and approaches necessary for content creation for youths, by youths? How and why is the theatrical medium an effective platform to empower our youths? What is the methodology and pedagogy that best suit a youth audience and practitioner?
Any learning process should both instruct and inspire, although intentions do not always translate to tangible results. To guide and inspire youths, facilitators have to avoid the pitfalls of being overly prescriptive and dogmatic while imparting discipline and craft through spontaneity and creative expressions. One has to balance the notion of discipline and play when creating a learning environment for young practitioners and audiences of the arts. For our youths to thrive as invested collaborators and inquisitive students in the process of theatre-making, one has to develop a keen sensitivity to both the theatrical craft and students’ journey in the process, and guide with a delicate hand.
Award-winning playwright/director/arts-educator Chong Tze Chien has been practising theatre professionally for the last 18 years. Throughout his career, he has worked with many schools and tertiary institutions as an adjunct lecturer, facilitator, mentor and director/playwright. Under his charge, he has led motivated individuals as well as the uninitiated, and even individuals and groups who resisted and frowned upon the process of making theatre. How did Tze Chien work around these teething problems in the course of his work? What lessons could be gleaned from his success stories, and missteps even? Listen to these rich narratives and more in his candid sharing.
About the Speaker
Chong Tze Chien is an award-winning and published playwright/ director in Singapore. Some of the awards he has won include the Singapore Dramatist Award and The Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards. He also writes frequently for Singapore television channels, such as Channel 5, OKTO/Arts Central and Vasantham Central. Tze Chien’s plays were also read, dramatised and performed in London, Budapest, Tokyo, Taipei and Auckland. He has two collections of plays published by The Necessary Stage and Epigram Books respectively, containing critically acclaimed plays such as Charged (Life! Theatre Awards- Best Script) and PIE. Other notable plays directed and written by Tze Chien include Turn By Turn We Turn (Life! Theatre Awards- Production of the Year & Best Director), Poop!, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Life! Theatre Awards – Best Director), The Book of Living and Dying (Singapore Arts Festival 2012), and most recently, Framed, by Adolf. For his contributions to Singapore Theatre, he was awarded the Young Artist Award by Singapore’s National Arts Council in 2006.