Beyond Representation: Appropriating Suffering and Critical Strategies in Artistic Responses to Disasters in The Necessary Stage's Boxing Day: The Tsunami Project (2017)

Principal Investigator: Mr Shawn Chua

 

Boxing Day: The Tsunami Project was staged in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami that devastated the region. This theatre work responded to the event through the Verbatim Theatre method in incorporating narratives derived from interviews carried out in Aceh, Phang Nga, Phuket and Pengang. This research articulates how theatre-makers respond to a catastrophe that is, in some ways, necessarily beyond representation, and how they attempt to move beyond a ‘representation’ that speaks on behalf of those affected. It does so by highlighting the human experiences of suffering and evoking local moral worlds, and explores whether theatre should even begin to engage with such subject matter.

 

Theatre and Citizenship: Young People's Participation (2013)

Principal Investigator: Ms Claudia Wong

 

Through a workshop process with young people, this study explores the efficacy of theatre in eliciting views of young people on matters of citizenship through an experimental space to understand the various ways in which young people negotiate and understand their Singaporean citizenship in a sociogeographical laboratory that allows for possibilities within a cocoon of mental and emotional safety. The tendency for self-censorship in participants illustrates their negotiations of different power relations. In young people, this also means that what is not being said, or the attempts to silence themselves, is as important as what is being expressed. As a result, this research aims to see the effectiveness of theatre in bringing forth such views, by passing self-censorship, as well as participants’ views of contemporary Singapore through the medium of theatrical techniques.