On and off book: contemporary Singapore theatre’s print rhythms

Riordan, Kevin (2021) On and off book: contemporary Singapore theatre’s print rhythms. In: Arrhythmia Performance Pedagogy and Practice, 11:30am to 1:00pm - 5th June 2021, Online.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Title: On and off book: contemporary Singapore theatre’s print rhythms

Recent Singapore productions have put books prominently on stage. In An Actress Prepares (2016), Siti Khalijah Zainal reads aloud from a tattered copy of Stanislavski. In The Necessary Stage’s Civilised (2019), the audience compiles lists of civilised and uncivilised things in two circulating books; these words then become part of the actors’ script. Loo Zihan begins Catamite (2019) with the following: “I will be reading off a script. This is an acknowledgement of the licensing process that all public performances are subject to.” Loo clearly knows the words — he is “off book” — and yet he pulls his eyes back to the page.
In this presentation, I assess this recent theatrical bookishness. Loo emphasises, for example, how live performance is restrictively tethered to print. At the same time, these practitioners are more broadly embracing the twenty-first century’s “documentary turn,” producing work that records and contests history. This kind of theatre self-consciously performs print while also leaving its own traces and scripts for the future, in and out of the theatre.
Given this event’s theme and format, this presentation will also reflect on the role of researchers and reviewers, as well as educators and students, in how we read and write about this readerly and writerly theatre.

Uncontrolled Keywords: Interlockingrhythmspanel13
Subjects: Performing Arts
Divisions: Publications > Conference Paper
Depositing User: Ms Ashalatha Krishnan
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2021 04:06
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2021 07:54
URI: http://drlib.lasalle.edu.sg/id/eprint/1012
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