Theatre no child's play

Actress Yvonne Low (left) as Nutkin and Siti Maznah, who plays Owl, in A Peter Rabbit Tale.
Actress Yvonne Low (left) as Nutkin and Siti Maznah, who plays Owl, in A Peter Rabbit Tale. PHOTO: SINGAPORE REPERTORY THEATRE

Theatre actress Yvonne Low is 27 and making a career out of acting in children's plays

While other 24-year-olds might baulk at the idea of returning to school, theatre actress Yvonne Low did not think twice about having to sacrifice her Saturdays to attend Singapore Repertory Theatre's (SRT) The Young Company programme.

She had not even given much thought about her goal when she enrolled in the two-year theatre programme for youth.

"I didn't intend on setting off on this road to theatre," says Low, who applied for the programme in 2014 on a friend's recommendation. "It just seemed like a good idea at that time, so I went for it to gain more exposure."

However, that experience turned out to be the turning point in her career and she has gone on to nab roles in children's plays by SRT.

  • BOOK IT / A PETER RABBIT TALE

  • WHERE: KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT, 20 Merbau Road

    WHEN: Till April 14, 11am and 2pm (weekends and public holidays), 10am (weekdays)

    ADMISSION: $25 from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com)

Now 27, she is one of the leads in the company's ongoing children's play, A Peter Rabbit Tale, which is based on the children's classic by Beatrix Potter.

She is one of "several actors" who continue to pursue a theatre career after graduating from the programme, says SRT's executive director Charlotte Nors. The programme accepts 20 applicants each year from a pool of about 100.

While Low was no stranger to acting, having had a lead role in television channel okto's musical drama A Tale Of Song And Danz in 2014, she fell in love with theatre during the programme.

"I enjoy theatre more than TV, you get to really feed off the audience's reactions and that's not something you get while acting for TV," says Low, who has also had supporting roles in The Three Billy Goats Gruff and The Cat In The Hat by SRT's The Little Company.

The eldest daughter in her family, she graduated from Singapore Management University with a degree in marketing and psychology.

The degree was mostly to fulfil her parents' wishes, she says with a laugh. They own a tuition centre.

"Mum has always been a bit more of a traditionalist. She sees these things as a hobby than an actual career," says Low, who continues to work part-time as a creative writing teacher, a role she has held since graduating from university.

Although her acting portfolio has been dominated by children's shows, she is quick to note that she does not see herself as being geared towards children's plays.

"I don't have a clear distinction between children and adult shows. I just want every show to be diffferent," she says.

"Ultimately, when you're up on stage, you're there for someone else - it could be for a two-year-old, it could be for a 200-year-old. We are there to tell the story and that is always enjoyable."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2017, with the headline 'Theatre no child's play'. Print Edition | Subscribe