Singapore Arts Festival 2006 - Death and the Ploughman



Singapore Arts Festival 2006


~ One Season. Many Faces ~


1 – 25 June 06




Death and the Ploughman


SITI Company


(Asian Premiere) 


Date:               2 – 4 June 2006

Time:              8pm

Venue:            Drama Centre

Tickets:           $80, $60, $50, $30, $20

Duration:        85 minutes (no intermission)


“Ms Bogart’s rigorously choreographed theatrical method… results in clean, visually powerful stage pictures.” – New York Times, USA


Anne Bogart and members of SITI Company will conduct an International Theatre Workshop from 29 May to 1 June and 4 June.


A Talk “An approach to the Theatre: Viewpoints of an American on the world stage”, will be conducted on 3 June, 3pm at Drama Centre Theatre.


In the Asian Premiere of SITI Company’s powerful staging of Death and the Ploughman,acclaimed director Anne Bogart considers the complex question of what it means to be alive in the world.


Death and the Ploughman tells the tale of a grief-stricken farmer who loses his beloved wife in her prime and demands some answers for his ensuing pain. He asks Death to respond, arguing over the return of his wife. The work was originally written in German during the 15th century by writer Johannes von Saaz, a year after the death of his own wife. Bogart, who uses Irish writer Michael West’s poetic English adaptation, first noticed the play for its profundity and continued relevance. She brings a contemporary vitality to the hauntingly beautiful script.


The piece vividly presents a personal struggle to understand loss in relation to faith.


Bogart's evocative style enables an intimate exploration of Death and the Ploughman's spiritual questions, creating a rich theatrical experience for audiences.


As Anne Bogart once said, “Today, we are undergoing another paradigm shift where religion, values, and meaning must be examined from fresh new angles. This play by Johannes von Saaz can be a great help to us now. Listen closely and be transformed.”


The ensemble-based SITI Company uses unique approaches to acting which develops highly disciplined and skilled artists for the theatre. Two methods of actor training – the ‘Suzuki Method’ of actor training and ‘The Viewpoints’, are employed in the staging of the company’s works. The eminently qualified three member cast of Will Bond, Ellen Lauren and Stephen Webber likewise uses these methods in their rendering of Death and the Ploughman.


The ‘Suzuki Method’ by renowned international theatre director Tadashi Suzuki, focuses on restoring the wholeness of the human body to the theatrical context and uncovering the actor's innate expressive abilities through a rigorous physical discipline drawn from such diverse influences as ballet and martial arts. ‘Viewpoints’ is a technique of improvisation that grew out of the post-modern dance world. It allows a group of actors to function together spontaneously and intuitively and to generate bold, theatrical work quickly.


“The physical score and the text in Death and the Ploughman are sometimes unrelated and it was designed in a way to allow audiences to, in a sense, choose which line they will follow,” says Stephen Webber. 


With rich dialogue reinforced by the striking physicality of actors, and under the direction of Anne Bogart and her team, this production is set to engage audiences here in an exploration of highly pertinent themes in a completely fresh way.


Please refer to the attached annexes for more information:


  • Profile of SITI Company (USA)
  • Director’s Profile
  • Performers’ Profiles
  • Creative Team’s Profile
  • Note from Translator Michael West 
  • About the Author
  • Credit List