Tanah·Air 水·土: A Play In Two Parts (2019)

16 October 2019 – 20 October 2019 @ Malay Heritage Centre


Tanah•Air 水•土:A Play In Two Parts looks at the dispossession and loss of the indigenous Malays and Orang Seletar of Singapore. "Tanah" (land) and "Air" (water) were their homes (Tanah Air) until the arrival of foreign interventions, displacing them from both. The deep sense of loss continues to be felt today.

Tanah is inspired by Isa Kamari’s Duka Tuan Bertakhta. Set in 1819 Singapore, a young girl loses her home on the sea and is forced to come ashore. As she navigates around the various parties who stake their claims to this land, she questions her identity, and struggles to find her footing on this land she calls home.

Air is a verbatim performance that looks at the displacement of the Orang Seletar, an indigenous community of Singapore, and how as Singapore evolved, they had to resettle in Johor, only to face the threat of being displaced again with the impending development of their customary territories.

What happens when a community’s ties to their land are severed? How do we know when to fight, negotiate, or simply succumb to agents of power?

Creative Team 

Directors: Kok Heng Leun, Koh Wan Ching (Tanah) and Adib Kosnan (Air)
Director's Assistant: Chng Yi Kai 
Playwrights: Neo Hai Bin (Tanah), Zulfadli Rashid (Air)
Dramaturg: Zulfadli Rashid 

Set Designer: Akbar Syadiq
Lighting Designer: Lim Woan Wen
Sound Designer/"Live" Performer: Bani Haykal
Costume Designer: Max Tan


Chng Xin Xuan
Roslan Kemat
Koh Wan Ching
Jereh Leung
Wendi Wee Hian
Farez Najid
Suhaili Safari
Dalifah Shahril
Lian Sutton
Deonn Yang 

Production Team

Producer: Tay Jia Ying
Production Manager: Ng Siaw Hui
Technical Manager: Muhammed Muzzamier bin Abu Bakar
Technical Crew: Muhammed Muddatsier bin Abu Bakar, Nasrulhaq bin Ramlee, Joel Manuel Fernandez, Tang Yeow Seng, Darren Lee 

Marketing & Publicity: Nicole Lim, Amanda Leong
Front of House: Khaw Han Chung 

Production Team (Tanah)

Stage Manager: Lam Dan Fong
Assistant Stage Manager: Ang Cheng Yan
Crew: Tan Yan Ying
Surtitle Operator and Crew: Vanessa Poh Yu Jun
Surtitle Translation: Shelly Bryant (Chinese to English), Adib Kosnan (English to Malay), Zulfadli Rashid (English to Malay)

Production Team (Air)

Stage Manager: Nadia binte Noordin
Assistant Stage Manager: Mariam Arshad Abdullah
Crew: Rees Safina Mohd Shahar 
Surtitle Operator: Sarina binte Sahari 
Multimedia Operator and Crew: Loh Wanqi 
Surtitle Translation: Hing Jia Wen (Malay to Chinese), Adib Kosnan (Malay to English)
Transcriber: Siti Rusydia 

(Source: Drama Box Website)


Adib Kosnan
Director, Surtitle Translator
Chng Yi Kai
Assistant to Director
Neo Hai Bin
Zulfadli Rashid
Playwright, Dramaturg, Surtitle Translator
Akbar Syadiq
Set Designer
Lim Woan Wen
Lighting Designer


Tanah·Air 水·土: A Play In Two Parts (2019), Review
Sifting Through Seas and Soils A shadow emerges from the drain covers in front of the Malay Heritage Centre, doused in a gentle blue light. An invocation to call upon histories of this land we stand on, histories that we have obscured and neglected, voluntarily or not. A few other figures emerge, their heads and backs affixed with dark feelers and antlers, masquerading as creatures. Thus begins Tanah, the first part of Tanah•Air水•土:A Play In Two Parts by Drama Box. Through the Bicentenn
Teo Xiao Ting
Reviewed: 16 October 2019