Local plays heading to the heartland

One venue plays are now being held is at Toa Payoh Central.
PHOTO: People's Association

IN A bid to win a car in a competition, a married couple realise they're incompatible.

In dealing with death, hilarity and chaos unfold in a multi-religious family.

These are just some of the stories inspired by ordinary Singaporeans in a theatre production that aims to showcase and groom young and budding theatre talent.

And the 90-minute production, called Going Local 4, is aiming to reach out to heartlanders this time.

The fourth and latest edition of the Going Local series of plays will be held on June 26 and 27, as well as July 3 and 4 at venues in housing estates, a departure from previous years.

The venues this year comprise Tampines Primary School's Black Box theatre, Toa Payoh Central Community Centre and Zhenghua Community Centre.

In the past, the plays were staged in traditional theatre venues such as the Play Den @ The Arts House and the Drama Centre Black Box.

"We're taking the production to the community rather than expecting them to come to us," said Claire Devine, the artistic director of Buds Theatre Company, which is behind Going Local.

Ms Devine added that by having Going Local 4 in the heartland, ticket costs can be lower as well.

Standard tickets are priced at $20 each this year, while concession tickets cost $15 each.

For the last edition of Going Local in 2013, standard and concession tickets were priced at $30 and $25 respectively.

The Going Local series of plays was started in 2010 by Buds Theatre Company to showcase plays with local flavour.

"We're intrigued by how Singaporeans view Singapore," explained Nur Sahirrah, creative director of the company.

Written by Singaporeans for Singaporeans, Going Local features local theatre talent exclusively, including the playwrights, directors and actors.

The plays featured in Going Local are from entries selected from a nationwide call for scripts by budding playwrights. The selected playwrights are then mentored by veteran theatre practitioners, and the plays are staged by an all-local cast comprising mainly of aspiring thespians.

The winning plays for this year are Dressing Up by Gwendolyn Lee; Don't Colour Outside Of The Lines by Jaryl George Solomon; Hands Down by Laremy Lee; and The Untitled Funeral Play by Luke Vijay Somasundram.

Hands Down - by Mr Lee, a schools correspondent with The Straits Times - was inspired by young couples balloting for flats.

"Is there a better way for Singapore to enact pro-marriage policies, while balancing housing considerations in a country with limited land? Or is it a case of mismatched expectations versus a practical reality, when it comes to finding a companion and a life partner? I hope the play gets people to start thinking about these issues - or even finding a solution, if possible," said Mr Lee, 32.

My Paper is giving away one pair of tickets each to four lucky winners. Simply e-mail your name, NRIC number and contact number to info@budstheatre.com by 11.59pm on Saturday.

For more details, visit www.budstheatre.com



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