Triple bill written, directed and acted by three young talents

Theatre-makers (from left) Myra Loke, Ellison Yuyang Tan and Joshua Lim will each have their plays performed by the other two.
Theatre-makers (from left) Myra Loke, Ellison Yuyang Tan and Joshua Lim will each have their plays performed by the other two.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Three actors take turns to direct their own scripts and act in one another's plays in the 90-minute Three By Three @126

Three rising theatre-makers present a triple bill of new short plays this week. Ellison Yuyang Tan, Joshua Lim and Myra Loke each contributed a script for the other two to act in.

Three By Three @126, rated R18, will be staged from Friday to Sunday at Cairnhill Arts Centre.

The 90-minute programme includes Lim's A Moment With Jesus, a play about misunderstandings; Loke's Almost, about a photographer seeking the perfect shot; and Tan's You'll Always Be Part Of The Scenery, about a theatre-maker who is uncomfortable at parties.

Each playwright directs the script he or she wrote.

All three are established actors who have been in productions by major companies.

This year, Tan was in Nine Years Theatre's Art Studio, Loke in Itsy: The Musical by The Finger Players, and Lim in the Army Daze 2 musical.

This is their first time handling everything in a production, from publicity to lights and sound.

Loke, 27, says it has been eye-opening.

"Usually, I blank out at meetings between the director and light and sound. Now, I have to pay attention."

Tan, 28, leads the project. The challenge she set Loke, Lim and herself was to write about something important that bothered them.

Lim, 32, is Catholic, but says that is not why he wrote about a girl who has a conversation with Jesus.

"I wanted to explore why people don't say what they mean. How do misunderstandings and miscommunications arise?"

So in his play, Jesus is written as a woman. "I wanted to tickle people's minds to see things in a different way," he says.

Loke wanted to capture her personal pursuit of artistic excellence. "When I thought about what was bothering me, it was perfection and happiness. As an artist, you are never satisfied. When do you say, 'Stop, this is good enough'?"

Lim plays a photographer and Tan the mannequin he needs to pose.

Tan's play stems from a personal dilemma: She is an introverted person in an industry known for extroverts.

She has no problems being on stage or conversing during rehearsals.

"When I work, if something is wrong, I can be confrontational," she says.

But offstage, she prefers meeting people in small groups for coffee and long chats.

During galas or parties, she heads to the drinks counter where she can be useful without engaging in chit- chat.

"I'm very comfortable serving drinks," she says. "I can hide behind the table, being busy."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2017, with the headline 'Triple bill by new blood'. Print Edition | Subscribe