Four home-grown commissions for Sifa next year

The Necessary Stage's The Year Of No Return (above) and Revisor (left), a dance theatre production by choreographer Crystal Pite and writer Jonathon Young.
The Necessary Stage's The Year Of No Return (above) and Revisor, a dance theatre production by choreographer Crystal Pite and writer Jonathon Young.PHOTO: SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ARTS
The Necessary Stage's The Year Of No Return (above) and Revisor (left), a dance theatre production by choreographer Crystal Pite and writer Jonathon Young.
The Necessary Stage's The Year Of No Return and Revisor (above), a dance theatre production by choreographer Crystal Pite and writer Jonathon Young.PHOTO: SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ARTS

Four commissioned works from Singapore companies are among the headline works for next year's Singapore International Festival of Arts (Sifa).

Nine Years Theatre is collaborating with New York-based Siti Company on an adaptation of Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters.

Nine Years' artistic director Nelson Chia, 47, tells The Straits Times the commission is a milestone for his company "in the sense that we go full circle into working with our mentors, who have become our friends over the years and are now our collaborators".

He adds: "It is also a recognition of our perseverance in actor training."

The Necessary Stage (TNS) is offering a new work, The Year Of No Return, which will address the issue of climate change with an ensemble cast of actors drawn from Singapore and the region. This is the fifth work TNS is creating for the festival since the company was founded in 1987.

TNS' artistic director Alvin Tan, 56, says: "Sifa is in a position, and has the capacity, to transform the image of Singapore theatre in the international scene through its commissions. It should not only continue to do so, but also to do even better in terms of quantity and quality in the future."

The Finger Players will stage playwright Chong Tze Chien's Oiwa - The Ghost Of Yotsuya with Singapore and Japanese actors exploring an Edo-era tale of a jilted wife who haunts her murderer.

The staging will layer live actors with shadowy puppeteers who will manipulate these humans with techniques from bunraku, a traditional form of Japanese puppetry.

Toy Factory Productions will be presenting the last of its epic trilogy, A Dream Under The Southern Bough. This last instalment concludes the company's marathon three-year restaging of Tang Xianzu's famous Kun opera in modern theatre language.

Toy Factory's artistic director Goh Boon Teck, 47, notes in a statement: "There is an enormous pool of untapped Chinese literature and now we are even more curious to explore more of such texts."

Festival director Gaurav Kripalani says in a statement: "I have always sought to make Sifa an artist-led festival, providing a platform for artists to realise their dream projects."

Also included in this first wave of production announcements is Revisor, a dance theatre production by choreographer Crystal Pite and writer Jonathon Young. Revisor is a retelling of Nikolai Gogol's 1823 farce, The Inspector General.

The festival will be on from May 15 to 31, and super early-bird tickets are on sale now.


Correction note: This article has been edited for accuracy.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2019, with the headline 'Four home-grown commissions for Sifa next year'. Print Edition | Subscribe