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The Necessary Stage's (TNS) Artistic Director Alvin Tan invited several members from Theatre for Seniors to create short monologues, sharing their personal responses to COVID-19 and how it has turned their lives around.
After their video-monologues in the first part of Reflections from Home, TNS and the four senior performers excitedly re-grouped to discuss what could be done next. They decided to shift away from monologues towards exploring their group dynamics via an interactive piece co-created over Zoom.
This became an interesting ‘up-skilling’ experience, as the seniors had to learn how to install the application and manoeuvre around its functionalities. Melissa Lim, TNS’ General Manager, orientated them with a Zoom tutorial, and after some initial hiccups — weak wi-fi connections, and differing functions depending on the devices used — the team managed to sort things out and embarked on recording their first online improvisation.
The improvisation included in the playlist of videos is the second take, with a brief for the seniors to go beyond what their initial brief was, and to discuss about those who are less fortunate and living in Singapore during COVID-19. What did they think of these vulnerable communities and how they are coping? Alvin coached them from the side via Zoom’s chat function, feeding them questions as they improvised.
Biographies of Performers
Daisy Yeo is 69-years-old. She speaks English, Mandarin, Teochew, Hokkien and Cantonese. She has been involved in drama since 2003 and has worked in community outreach plays, skits, puppetry shows, stage performances, television commercials and photoshoots. She has taken on roles on television, movies, telemovies, short films, videos and YouTube. Daisy has performed for different government departments and the National Library Board, and has also collaborated on stage with BUDS, Faithworks , Cake Theatrical Productions, W!LD RICE, Peranakan Siblings, ITE College Central, and Glowers.
Padma Krishnan is 69-years-old. She has been involved in theatre and film for 17 years, and speaks English, Tamil and Malay. After retirement, she found her niche in the performing arts and has been actively enjoying performing on stage. She has a supportive husband who encourages her to continue doing what she enjoys besides cooking. Her retirement years have brought her closer to the people she loves, who share similar passions and life experiences.
Irene Ong is a Peranakan dramatist and restaurateur. She discovered her passion in theatre following her debut in 2002 in a Peranakan play by Gunong Sayang Association. Notably, she was in the televised Ways of The Matriach (2003-2008). Irene joined Theatre for Seniors in 2011 and has not looked back since. These days, she enjoys rehearsals, music, dancing, and working with theatre professionals and like-minded friends. She is enjoying her last lap in life so that in her final days, she can smile and say, “Indeed, I loved life.”
Anne Lee is 72 years old. A retired teacher, she speaks several languages including English, Malay, Mandarin and Teochew. Anne has found her decade in retirement fulfilling, especially the past two years with Theatre for Seniors and Glowers. She has performed with the Flamenco Dancers at the National Library for the Silver Arts Festival and at The Substation. Anne acted in two episodes of Channel 8’s ‘Prank It’ , and has worked in videos, short films and in-house commercials. Anne volunteers with the Children’s Society and is a trained National University of Singapore standardized patient, where she takes on the role of a ‘patient’ for medical students taking exams.