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The Necessary Stage’s (TNS) developmental platform, The Orange Production, is back for a second instalment. For 2019, two brand new full-length works will be featured: We Were So Hopeful Then, written by up-and-coming theatre practitioner Ellison Tan Yuyang and directed by Alvin Tan, and Acting Mad, with text by Haresh Sharma and recent School of the Arts graduates Harris Albar and Maryam Noorhimli, and directed by Sharma.
Other creative personnel involved include Lighting Designer for both productions Stella Cheung, Dramaturg Melissa Lim and Multimedia Designer Yusri Sapari, the latter two for We Were So Hopeful Then.
Interestingly, both works within 2019’s The Orange Production cast the spotlight on issues within the theatre industry that are not often discussed.
We Were So Hopeful Then is set in 2025 during a fictitious Singapore Theatre Icon Awards, which aims to pay tribute to industry personnel that remain backstage and are not adequately acknowledged. It seeks to ask how much we care about invisibility in our work environment, as well as implicit biases entrenched in public accolades. The play features Henrik Cheng, Myra Loke, Sindhura Kalidas and Zaaki Nasir.
Acting Mad looks at mental illness and stigma within the theatre industry, and specifically for actors, and explores whether theatre-making can serve as support for these individuals. The work is based on verbatim texts of interviews done with local actors who have experienced or are experiencing mental health issues. The play features Al-Matin Yatim, Andre Chong, Karen Tan and Masturah Oli.