Hennedige is new Sifa festival director

Natalie Hennedige.
Natalie Hennedige.

Theatre director Natalie Hennedige has been appointed the next festival director for the Singapore International Festival of Arts (Sifa).

The founder and artistic director of Cake Theatrical Productions will assume the role of festival director designate in January next year and helm the festival from 2021 to 2023, the Arts House Limited (AHL) said in a statement yesterday.

Hennedige, 45, said in a statement: "I will be looking to reacquaint myself with the festival from its beginnings till present time, taking in its shifts and evolutions. The festival is on a continuum and taking it forward means understanding its place in the context of the present.

"Each festival director writes a new chapter by designing an arc that corresponds to his or her unique perspectives and artistic leanings. Together with the AHL team, I hope to define and deliver an inspired vision for Sifa in its next chapter for Singapore. To uplift, that would be my ultimate hope."

She is taking over the helm from current director Gaurav Kripalani, whose three-year tenure will end with the 43rd edition next year. Next year's festival will be on from May 15 to 31.

Hennedige is known for her experimental theatre works which have been nominated for 41 awards at The Straits Times Life Theatre Awards.

The early appointment is in line with festival organiser AHL's policy of ensuring a smooth transition between festivals. AHL's chief executive officer Sarah Martin said in a statement: "We welcome Natalie as she embarks on the next lap of Sifa's future where we can continue to explore, innovate and grow the festival in its multiple dimensions on the world map."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2019, with the headline 'Hennedige is new Sifa festival director'. Print Edition | Subscribe