[SPOTLIGHT] Series – Introducing playcircle 艺班人

15 Oct 2016
Article & Interview by Sam Kee
Photos from playcircle

In our inaugural [Spotlight] Series, we’ll like to introduce 3 young and emerging theatre groups we’ve met in September, namely: Couch TheatreThe Second Breakfast Company and playcircle.

spotlight series introducing playcircle 1

playcircle (艺班人) sees themselves as a platform to continue to explore art and theatre together. A seemingly lack of young mandarin theatre groups in Singapore has led to their establishment. All 6 core members of playcircle stems from the pioneer batch of ARTivate (艺树人) -the youth wing of Drama Box (戏剧盒) founded in 2007. When asked what is the distinctive characteristic of playcircle, Myra shares that they would often take a long time before reaching a consensus during their creation process, showing how different its members are; yet there seems to be a invisible thread weaving them together – it is a strange but comforting camaraderie.

They have recently staged their debut production, Split Up 分散, which aims to explore the relationship between a child and the father. With the support of Centre 42’s Basement Workshop programme, there was a script reading; interviews with several ‘fathers’ were conducted, and the perspectives gathered drove the devising process of the play.

spotlight series introducing playcircle 2

What does theatre mean to you?

playcircle: Theatre is the essence of life. Every project is a consolidation and reflection of life experiences. Theatre is a way of using stories to ask big questions in life, using stories, to think about the answers of these questions and to dialogue with others to reach a better understanding of the world we live in. Theatre is not really different from any other art forms as a space for artistic creation. But we do have a personal affiliation to and emotional investment in theatre in ways we don’t share with other art forms, for some mysterious reasons.

Throughout the whole creation process since 2015, our friends and mentors in the scene had always supported us in terms of giving advice and feedback on how to improve the work; offer to help during production period; lending us space to rehearse and equipment for show; helping to share and promote the show when they heard we were facing slow ticket sales. It was very comforting and humbling to see our friends and mentors being so supportive and for loving us so much.

Couch/Jasdeep: See what theatre means to him here!

Second Breakfast/Adeeb&Mark: See what theatre means to them here!

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Core members of playcircle 艺班人:
Myra Loke 
Ho Kian Tong 
Tan Wei Ting 
Wang Fang Kate 
Liew Jia Yi 
Han Xue Mei