Reflections on Writings from The Heart (Part 1)

We recently concluded Writings from The Heart  that was held from 10- 11 July at 72-13. Writings from The Heart premiered 9 new plays that were written by playwrights who were mentored by Tony Perez, a renowned Filipino playwright, novelist and visual artist since June 2014. Our Ambassador, Michelle Kee, shares with us her thoughts about the plays she watched over the course of the two days.

When I first got to know about this programme, I was interested as it was a new exposure to emerging Singaporean playwrights. Initially, I wanted to attend the sessions as an audience member, but I ended up helping out as a volunteer. Despite being a volunteer, I was fortunately still given the opportunity to watch the readings and managed to catch four of them. The readings I saw were the following: We Fell in a Marathon, My Father Wears Bras, Paper Thin and Hazy Pre-Nuptials.

Image Credit: Michelle Kee

I found it easier to understand and relate to My Father Wears Bras and Hazy Pre-Nuptials. Both plays dealt with social issues found in our everyday life, portraying the naturalistic behaviours and speech we commonly use. I especially liked My Father Wears Bras due to its context on how a stereotypical Singaporean changes his perception and attitude towards the LGBTI community. The impacts of this social issue were well represented by a homophobic character who aggressively hated and physically abused a transgender woman. In general, I thought the play was humorous but heart wrenching.

However, is it that easy to change someone’s perception on the LGBTI community in real life?

In sum, I think Writings From the Heart is a significant platform to nurture and develop local playwrights. As Singapore is striving to be a global arts hub, it is very important for us to develop our local talents and showcase more local works. Through engaging in dialogues and discussions with the audience base, playwrights can further improve their script, to create better quality works to showcase in the future. This is definitely an essential programme for the local arts community, and I am very supportive of it.

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