Benches - A Play

Organised by: Poetry Festival Singapore
Performed by: Giovanni Ortega (USA) and Ranice Tay (Singapore)
  • Date:
    27 - 29 Jul 2018
  • Time:
    27 Jul, Fri: 8:30pm
    28 Jul, Sat: 4:30pm, 8:30pm
    29 Jul, Sun: 4:30pm
  • Duration:
    About 60min with Q&A
  • Venue:
    The Arts House Play Den
    The Arts House Play DenThe Arts House Play Den
  • Language:
  • Admission:
    Early Bird ticket available before 15 Jun 2018: $15
  • Advisory:
    To be advised


"here along Casuarina trees,
there will always be benches
stories of traffic and twilight
if you place your ears on them
they will tell you how many miles many have
ran and slept, ate and hearts broken
but I will just look out today and see forever."

A girl, in search for her identity, returns to the park that her grandfather used to take her to when he was still alive. He appears, and together they embark on a journey spanning five decades, meeting faces both old and new along the way, sharing tales that become an allegory to her future.

Benches is a coming-of-age, two-person poetic play on love, loss, and what it means for some stories to stay with us forever.

This is the Singapore premiere of an international collaboration, supported by the Poetry Festival Singapore.

Written by Giovanni Ortega (USA)
Poetry by Ranice Tay (Singapore)
Performed by Giovanni Ortega (USA) and Ranice Tay (Singapore)


About Giovanni Ortega
Giovanni Ortega (AEA, SAG-AFTRA, SDC) is a theatre-maker based in Southern California. In the past year, he directed Mama Bares at East West Players, The House of the Spirits, Urinetown: the Musical in Pomona College and A Sunday Kind of Love (Orange County Playwrights Alliance). His international credits include directing Immigrant's Diasporic Imagination (Styria, Austria) ALLOS (Kampala International Theatre Festival) Joe Orton's What the Butler Saw (Upstage Bern Theatre Company) in Switzerland and adapting The Kingdom of Banaras for the Nirman Organization. Giovanni staged the Asian premiere of ALLOS, The Story of Carlos Bulosan at the Haque Centre of Acting and Creativity, a self-written, self-directed and self-produced one-man show commissioned by East West Players Theater (March 2011). Criers for Hire, his other commissioned work for East West Players Theatre, became the highest grossing world premiere play in its 50-year history. He was also the resident scholar for Australia's 2016 National Play Festival.

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About Ranice Tay
Ranice began writing and performing for theatre at age 13, and has since fallen in love with the transformative potential of theatre.

As an actress, Ranice has collaborated with various independent artists and collectives. Her professional theatre credits include: Island Stories (GenerAsia Ltd.), In Search of Salt (Passerby Projects), Leaves (Passerby Projects), The Creation of My Body (Method Productions), and FLICKER (Make Space). Ranice also pens poetry and prose, and has performed various original works such as Yellow (Aesop, in partnership with the Singapore Writers Festival), Another (National Library Board, That's The Story of My Life) and Hands (Method Productions, Metaphors Be With You). Ranice is currently also pursuing a Theatre Studies degree at the National University of Singapore, where she is a recipient of the Performing and Visual Arts Scholarship.

Benches - A Play