Tuesday, September 06, 2011


OVERVIEW: A workshop to help participants grasp what it takes to write a play, and how dramatic writing can be applied to other uses. It will be interactive and conducted over two days during which participants are expected to take part in writing exercises and discussions. At the end of it, they would have written at least a 10-minute play. They will also experience the sensation of having their plays read out in class. Participants are encouraged to come with an appetite for fun, sharing and learning.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: By the end of this course, you’d be able to:

* Read and understand plays better
* Write short sketches and longer plays
* Employ the techniques of playwriting not just for writing plays but for any other purposes that make use of drama to communicate, e.g. event launches, radio advertisements

TRAINING OBJECTIVES: Gain understanding of what goes into the writing of a play:

* Grasp the basic ingredients of a play
* Appreciate plays through reading them
* Learn that the basis of drama is conflict
* Learn about crisis, complications, rising action, inciting incident, point of attack, climax, resolution, denouement
* Learn how to plot a play
* Learn how to construct characters
* Learn how to write dialogue
* Learn how to write a 10-minute play
* How do you sell your play?
* Find out the uses of drama and its applications in everyday life and work

* Students who want to learn more about plays and playwriting
* Professionals in the creative industry who use drama in the course of their work, e.g. advertising copywriters
* Those who aspire to become professional writers
* Those who have ambitions of becoming playwrights
* Arts lovers

TRAINER’S BIODATA: As a playwright, Kee Thuan Chye is best known for 1984 Here and Now and We Could **** You, Mr Birch. The former is included in the international anthology Postcolonial Plays published by Routledge UK. We Could **** You, Mr Birch is a text studied in Malaysian universities.
Another play, The Big Purge, was featured in Typhoon 4, a playreading festival in London held in 2005. All three plays are published by Marshall Cavendish.
Another play, The Swordfish, Then the Concubine, came out among the top 5 in the International Playwriting Festival 2006, organised by Warehouse Theatre, UK.
It premiered on stage in 2008 as the opening play of the Singapore Theatre Festival, directed by leading Singapore stage director Ivan Heng. In January 2011, it was restaged in Singapore by Young ’n’ Wild.
Kee has also written numerous radio plays many of which were broadcast on RTM in the 1970s.
He has also directed about a dozen plays for the theatre.
As an actor, his acting credits over the last 30 years include speaking roles in the films Entrapment and Anna and the King. Other international productions he has acted in include the Hallmark TV-movie Marco Polo and Secrets of the Forbidden City for the BBC and the History Channel.
He played Tan Cheng Lock in Shuhaimi Baba’s film 1957 Hati Malaya, and was in the main cast of the film Sell Out!, directed by Yeo Joon Han, which won an award at the 2008 Venice Film Festival (Critics’ Week).
On Malaysian TV, he was the regular character Han Lee in the long-running series City of the Rich. He has also appeared in guest roles in the series Kopitiam, Each Other, Impian Ilyana, Realiti, Gol & Gincu II and Bilik No. 13. His latest role is as the villain in the TV series 10 (Sepuluh).
He has also appeared in numerous TV series and TV-movies in Singapore, including Phua Chu Kang, Perceptions and Sense of Home: Kampung Kid.

He tells it like it is. He will point out your mistakes, and suggest remedies. He doesn’t mince his words or try to give you a false sense of security.
He treats everyone the same, be they royalty or peasant. He has no time for titles.
He encourages everyone to speak freely on any subject. And also to challenge him on whatever he says. He only expects you to be honest.

This outline is subject to change according to the trainer’s discretion.
These issues will be addressed, accompanied by writing and other exercises:
Types of plays and staging styles.
What is a play made of?
The basis of drama is Conflict.
The playwright’s vision.
How to write believable characters.
How to write snappy dialogue.
How to tap your imagination for ideas.
The 3-Act Structure.
How to write a 10-minute play.
How to write a sketch.
How to write a 30-second radio advertisement.

Please email Kee Thuan Chye directly for more information and registration.

News: The novel dies again

Neil Cross says in his Soap Box story: what is the point of the novel? He starts, "All the important things I know, I learned from novels. I learned about hate and love, about poverty and wealth, about idleness and about the workplace. I learned about the infinities of space and about ugly, windswept houses on Yorkshire moors. I learned what it was like to work in a blacking factory, to fight in the Korean War, to be part of a race gang in pre-war Brighton and to be a spy in Cold War London. I earned how to trick my friends into whitewashing a fence."

So have we, so have we. But I get confused when he says, "... To a contemporary teenager, a world without Facebook is like a world without running water." What? Is King Lear less relevant because his three daughters didn't have access to Facebook? I don't get it. He says that Jonathan Franzen's Corrections was published before the (now) ubiquitous iPod and how, "... the world has always been in flux, but the rate of change
has become such that novelists are struggling to keep up ..." and "... Suddenly, all novels are historical novels." Is keeping up with technology the only preoccupation of the novelist?

But when he says, "'The only reason for the existence of a novel is that it does attempt to represent life,' said Henry James. I don’t believe he was right; I believe he was talking about what became known as the ‘literary novel’, a tyrannically illustrious genre in the process of becoming redundant." Ah, so that's the beast Neil Cross wants to slay. At this point, I am thinking, 'Yes, that is an unruly monster that one doesn't quite now weather to love or hate, a moster created and nurtured by the Anglophone world and dwells almost entirely in it.' I cannot disagree with what "... Walter Scott called ‘the land of fiction’ – the artistic conventions of storytelling and the creation of myth ..." It is something that has facinates me -- storytelling and the creation of myths, which is the basis of Silverfish publishing. Niel Cross concludes, "Scott’s ‘land of fiction’ may represent both the novel’s deepest, truest form, and the shape of its future ... I kind of hope so."

Read the entire story here: http://alturl.com/t422c

News: Collateral damage

A Telegraph report says, "Heavy discounting by supermarkets, the rise of internet retailers and the growing popularity of e-readers such as the Kindle have forced nearly 2,000 bookshops to close since 2005 ... There were 2,178 high street bookshops left in Britain in July, according to research carried out by Experian, the data company, compared with 4,000 in 2005. A total of 580 towns do not have a single bookshop."