Playing this month - Young playwrights' works

A mixed bag of productions by other young and emerging playwrights will play here this month. Life! finds out more.

RAGNAROK (rated R18)

Written by Andrew Sutherland, 24, directed by Aole T. Miller

About: Set in a gay and lesbian nightclub, the drama links the apocalyptic Nordic myth of Ragnarok and the underground homosexual scene, transposing archetypes from one world to the other.

The Australia-born playwright, who moved here in 2011 to study acting at Lasalle College of the Arts, was inspired by British author A.S. Byatt's novel Ragnarok (2011), which draws parallels between the Norse mythology rapture and World War II.

"For example, you have Loki, the trickster who is cunning. In the play, one of the characters is an embodiment of that archetype," Sutherland says.

He adds that the play addresses the stigma faced by people with HIV as well as the insecurities and alienation of gay people.

Where: The Substation Theatre

When: April 15 to 18, 8pm

Admission: $35 from www.skinnedkneeproductions.com


HAWA

(in Malay and English with surtitles)

Written by Johnny Jon Jon (pseudonym), 28, directed by Faizal Abdullah

About: Siti, a recent Islam convert, has to see to the funeral arrangements of a close friend and companion. The send-off becomes a journey of self- discovery as she grapples with issues of mortality, love and her own faith.

It is a collaboration between Johnny and young theatre troupe Hatch Theatrics.

The playwright says: "Singapore has a booming funeral trade and I found this interesting because every tragedy is a business opportunity... I specifically chose a Muslim funeral as it's something not many people are acquainted with."

He recalls how, in a "macabre, surreal and touching" move, a non-Muslim friend photographed a relative's funeral and gifted the photos to the grieving family as a token of remembrance.

Johnny says: "I hope audiences leave the theatre questioning or revisiting their sense of humanity."

Where: The Substation Theatre

When: April 24, 8pm; April 25, 3 and 8pm

Admission: $24, e-mail hatch.theatrics@gmail.com to book


ABU

(in Malay with English surtitles)

Written by Hazwan Norly, 24, directed by Fezhah Maznan

About: Two siblings try to move on from the aftermath of domestic abuse in this Teater Ekamatra production. Hazwan, a full-time undergraduate, wrote this play as he was intrigued by the gender and feminist theories he came across during his studies. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts (Communication) degree at the University of Buffalo with the Singapore Institute of Management.

One challenge for him came from finding a focus for the play and "deleting other things", as he had initially wanted to cover issues linked to feminism, domestic abuse and objectification of the body.

Where: Greymatter, 02-10 Aliwal Arts Centre

When: April 29 to May 2, 8pm; May 2 and 3, 3pm

Admission: $18, e-mail general@ekamatra.org.sg to book


TART

(in Malay with English surtitles)

Written by Nabilah Said, 29, directed by Irfan Kasban

About: Part of a double-bill with Abu, this comedy by Teater Ekamatra is about three women who gather to make pineapple tarts. Things get a little sticky when tongues start wagging and secrets are spilled.

Nabilah says: "I was interested in the concerns of women in their 30s, especially Malay women, who are somewhere between being girls and makciks. I'm sure it's no coincidence that I'm turning 30 soon."

A Life! journalist who covers lifestyle and the arts, she adds with a laugh: "One challenge is that I don't actually know how to make kuih tart. My director had to walk me through it."

Where: Greymatter, 02-10 Aliwal Arts Centre

When: April 29 to May 2, 8pm; May 2 and 3, 3pm

Admission: $18, e-mail general@ekamatra.org.sg to book