Three works pending performance licences

Trick Or Threat (above).
Trick Or Threat (above).PHOTO: DRAMA BOX

Three works at the upcoming festival Scenes: Forum Theatre by local theatre company Drama Box are still "pending assessment" by the Media Development Authority. The festival kicks off next Friday outside Nex mall in Serangoon.

The three works are its own Trick Or Threat, which deals with terrorism and the strain it can exert on society; a piece by its youth wing ARTivate related to youth issues; and one of the performances that has grown out of its community theatre training programme that deals with human trafficking.

Trick Or Threat, created in 2007, is one of Drama Box's longest-running shows and has been lauded by grassroots leaders and the community for its ability to sort through potentially sensitive issues pertaining to race and religion, and how to deal with crises such as these.

The People's Association has also commissioned performances of the show as part of its community engagement programme for grassroots leaders and community partners.

The show was previously denied a licence to be performed outdoors, but has been performed many times indoors.

Similarly, in 2010, three short plays received a no-go to be performed outdoors. The triple bill, titled Shh... A Date With The Community, were to be part of celebrations for Drama Box's 20th anniversary and its 10 years of work in community theatre.

Trick Or Threat is scheduled to be performed on July 3 at 8pm.

ARTivate's work at the forum theatre festival, titled Confessions, tackles the issue of freedom of speech among the youth in Singapore and how to use the Internet in a responsible manner.

It was loosely inspired by the various confessional pages that have been popping up on social media platforms such as Facebook, where anonymous confessions by netizens are collected and published online.

It is slated to be performed on July 4 at 11am.

The final play, which grew out of Drama Box's community theatre training programme, is helmed by Sylvia Lee from the non-profit EmancipAsia, a group that combats human trafficking in the Asia-Pacific region by raising awareness, advocating change and empowering communities.

She is working with Buds Youth Theatre for the piece, which will look at girls and women from the region who are trafficked into Singapore to do sex work. Titled Minus, it is scheduled to be performed on July 5 at 4pm.

Each play will be about 20 minutes long, with interventions and discussions after.

Associate artistic director of Drama Box Koh Hui Ling says they have been in discussions with the media authority since February even though the standard protocol is to submit scripts two months before the event, just in case the licensing process would take a longer period of time.

The script for Trick Or Threat was the first in the festival to be submitted, while the scripts from ARTivate and EmancipAsia were submitted slightly later because both works are completely new and created this year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2015, with the headline 'Three works pending performance licences'. Print Edition | Subscribe