The third edition of Five Arts Centre’s Tiga emerging theatre series welcomes two new directors and two new works.
“These new and emerging performing arts practitioners are the future of this industry and also the country. They should be given an opportunity to experiment and develop their ideas and voices,” says producer Hoe Hui Ting.
The upcoming Tiga 3 takes place at the Kotak space, Five Arts Centre , Taman Tun Dr Ismail in Kuala Lumpur from Sept 20-23.
In every edition of Tiga, the practitioners have to come up with a performance revolving around three objects.
In its first edition in 2016, the three objects were knife, bed and chair. Last year saw the practitioners working with a left slipper, a bouquet of flowers and a speed-limit sign. This year, Tiga rings in the spirit of Malaysia with the sarong, pottu and wantan mee.
While previous editions of Tiga had the writer selecting the three objects for the next year’s work, this time Hoe and executive producer June Tan decided to jump in with their choices.
“It was a deliberate choice to choose objects that represent Malaysia, or things familiar to a Malaysian, for this edition of Tiga. We encouraged devise work, that is, text generated during the rehearsal process. From this year’s Tiga, we hope that the audience will ponder on the role of young people in our new Malaysia, and how their voices can affect and create change for our society,” adds Hoe.
The two works that will be presented are Three, directed by Theyvapaalan S. Jayaratnam, and Perkhidmatan Bibir, directed by Josh Asedass and written by Zaheera Zahari. The same three performers will be acting in both plays: Fadhli Masoot, Tess Pang and Hannan Barakbah.
This production is supported by Five Arts Centre and Yayasan Sime Darby.
In Three, Theyvapaalan draws on personal experience to kick start the creative process.
“I recently found myself in a situation where I lost all hope in myself. Malaysians are now fired up with this new national notion of hope. So I wanted to discuss what is hope. Can it be harvested? How do we spread it? How does fake hope affect us? What happens to the body when there is no hope?” says Theyvapaalan.
In this piece, the performers explore movement, sound and text in response to the pressures of a contemporary Malaysia. What is the role of religion, politics and family in tending to hope and the formation of an identity?
“It was a challenge to find the voice of this piece. I had all these strong images but I initially struggled with finding their voices or a uniting cry to glue them all together. But I love how the devising process is an empowering one, and I love playing with all the different observations and forming a collage,” he adds.
This year, he is also involved with Six, part of his final year project at Sunway University, and will be embarking on a residency with Galerie Huit in Arles, France, soon.
Expect the unexpected in Three, especially as this director gravitates towards images that are more abstract in nature.
Josh’s Perkhidmatan Bibir, a work that zooms in on hypocrites, is something current and relatable as well.
“The characters are based on personal stories and news on the hypocrisy of a leader. It is my first time directing a production, and I hope that this piece will make the audience realise that we are all hypocritical to a certain extent,” says Josh.
Like Theyvapaalan, Josh, who is a performing arts student at Universiti Malaya, talks about all the different ideas that came fast and furious during rehearsals.
“But we had to choose and show only the most relevant to our story, which will hopefully leave thoughts on hope of an ideal Malaysian to the audience,” he says.
Five Arts Centre’s Tiga is guided by a belief that we learn by doing, and the platform strives to find the balance between nurturing, and allowing practitioners to take risks.
The goal is to produce Tiga every year, and in doing so, expand the network for emerging practitioners without Klang Valley.
“Tiga’s work will probably never be done, because things should always develop and evolve. But I think it can be deemed ‘extended’ when the new and emerging artists jump off this platform and continue experimenting and working outside Tiga,” says Hoe.
Tiga 3 will be presented in English and Malay.