Bookends

Krissy Jesudason
Krissy JesudasonPHOTO: KEVIN CLARKE STUDIOS

Who: Krissy Jesudason, 30, founder and artistic director of Phenix Arts, a local theatre company specialising in Shakespeare.

The performer, who is based in Singapore, has a Singaporean father and Filipino mother and lived in Hong Kong as a child before moving to the Philippines where she spent her teenage years.

She eventually moved to Vancouver where she obtained a bachelor's degree with honours in Performing Arts from the University of British Colombia.

She will be playing Connie, a psychology student who falls in love with a fellow drug-trial volunteer, in The Effect. But they wonder if the attraction they feel is genuine or a result of the drugs they are testing.

It is put on by Couch Theatre, a local theatre company, and will run at Drama Centre Black Box from Sept 8 to 13. Tickets cost $35 from Sistic.

What are you reading now?

I have to read a lot for work. I mostly read plays and a lot of Shakespeare because I teach and specialise in it.

I am reading Bash by American writer Neil LaBute because my company is presenting it this month. An amazing piece of writing, it is about the dark side of people and what leads them to make bad decisions.

It highlights the fact that there is evil in all of us. When we are forced into a corner, the darkness inside us can come out and have devastating consequences. I do read for pleasure and am also reading The Soulforge by Margaret Weis for a bit of escapism. It is the first book of Dragonlance: The Raistlin Chronicles. The book is an origin story about the most interesting character in the series, a young mage who eventually becomes very powerful and almost destroys the world but saves it as well.

What books would you save from a burning house?

I don't know if I would have enough sense to save anything other than myself and my roommate's schnauzer mix who has adopted me as its human, but I would choose The Return Of The King from The Lord Of The Rings series, my all-time favourite book.

It was the book that changed my life as it brought me back to my love of reading at 16 when I had stopped reading for a year. I have read the entire series about three times in the last 15 years.

I like how detailed and vivid the book is. I once contemplated how long it took Tolkien to build this world with its own languages and cultures. I eventually found out that it apparently took decades. It is amazing what you can accomplish with a wild imagination.

Tolkien's work combines poetry and fantasy. It takes me forever to read a Tolkien novel because I have to put the book down at every other page and wonder at the rich language and poetry of it. As an author, he was in a league of his own.

  • Bash ($11.15, 1999, The Overlook Press); The Soulforge ($7.15, 1998, Wizards of the Coast) and The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King ($11.10, 1955, A&U) are available from Amazon.com.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 23, 2015, with the headline 'Bookends'. Print Edition | Subscribe