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Theatre group reaches out to community

Yellow Chair Productions, a community theatre company, gets people interested in plays and musicals. -TNP

Wed, Apr 03, 2013
The New Paper

Yellow Chair Productions staging Star Spangled Girl, a play which is part of the Quarterly Shoestring Series, at Tampines Central CC Multi-Purpose Hall in July last year.

SINGAPORE - It is a programme targeted at Tampines residents, to get them interested in theatre.

Yellow Chair Productions, started in 2005, is based in Tampines Central CC and is a full-fledged community theatre company which puts up a season of productions each year.

It is completely volunteer-run and relies on ticket sales as well as some support from Tampines Central CC for funding.

Arts educator and teacher Mohamad Shaifulbahri, 27, who founded Yellow Chair, said: "For me, it is not only a way to give back to the community, but also to continue the work that others have started."

Last year, Yellow Chair began a series called the Quarterly Shoestring Series where it stages a play or a musical in the Tampines area.

The shows, each staged over three nights, have seen around 100 residents attending. The shows have mainly been for the community, but the production company has also been an incubator for amateurs to break into theatre work.

"There are students who may have done drama in schools but may not be ready to enter the industry full-time. Yellow Chair acts as a bridge between the two, providing them with opportunities as actors, script-writers, directors and stage managers," said Mr Shaiful.

He adds that members have benefited from the exposure and that they have since found more work as actors.

Full-time national serviceman Dominic Nah, 20, has been a part of Yellow Chair since last year, acting in a production of Haresh Sharma's Off Centre.

This year, he is co-writing an original play entitled Unconscious.

He said: "What I like best (about Yellow Chair) is the open environment where there is no pressure. It is an opportunity for serious hobbyists like me to do theatre in a supportive environment."

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