Tunjuk Arah/ Iyakkunar: A Development Programme for Malay & Indian Theatre Directors

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Directors' Sharing & Presentation
11 March 2022 | 8:00pm
12 March 2022 | 8:00pm
18 March 2022 | 8:00pm
19 March 2022 | 8:00pm
Black Box, 42 Waterloo Street

(By invitation only)

Click here to Register for an Invitation


Tunjuk Arah/ இயக்குனர் is a developmental programme for directors of Malay and Indian theatre. It opens the space for them to reflect on their practice and grow, be groomed by various local and regional directors, and enjoy a structured learning environment made up of a series of masterclasses and workshops, and mentorship. Participants will practice directing engaging and affective works for Malay and Indian theatre, apply good directorial strategies and grow their confidence in developing and maturing their directorial identity.

As a culmination to the programme, Directors will be presenting either a 20min dramatised reading or a theatrical essay adapted from a script of their choice. The presentation will be followed by a dialogue with the audience, where other than sharing their learning and process, the directors will also be practising strategies on how to garner the right feedback for their process.

The Directors' Sharing and Presentation of Tunjuk Arah/ இயக்குனர் is supported by Teater Ekamatra and Centre 42.

Directors' Sharing and Presentation

11 March 2022, 8pm - 9.30pm
Hemang Yadav & Indumathi Tamilselvan

Directed by Hemang Yadav

Rishyashringa: Virgin Boy
Written by N. Palanivelu
Performed in multiple languages with English sur-titles

When a kingdom faces drought and the only way rain can be brought to the parched land is the entry of a true celebate, the Queen of Anga sets the task to her maid Sukumari. In the forest lives the austere ascetic Vibhandakar and his son Rishyashringa. Vibhandakar has brought his son up with no knowledge about the existence of women. To lure this pure celebate to Anga, Sukumari disguises herself as a male ascetic, and the innocent virgin boy finds himself irresistibly drawn to this unusually beautiful man. The play explores and explodes various binaries- forest vs city, abundance vs asceticism and most importantly, masculinity vs femininity.

Directed by Indumathi Tamilselvan

A Litany of Broken Prayer and Promise
Written by Natalie Hennedige
Performed in English

What happens where there is a clash between humanity - our unique mess of emotions, obsessions and urges - and society's perception for success?

A Litany of Broken Prayer and Promise is an abstract piece that explores various notions of entrapment, desire, punishment, and fear. Set in differing contexts, it expressively portrays the caging that happens to human minds when it has been restricted for so long.

This dramatised reading of A Litany of Broken Prayer and Promise presents a distorted version of the truth - with its direction inspired by Mexican American painter, Emilio Villalba, whose works represent the feelings of societal oppression.

12 March 2022, 8pm - 9.30pm
Hazwan Norly & Kaykay Nizam

Directed by Hazwan Norly

Pisang Ahmad Berbuah Lagi
Inspired by Noor Effendy Ibrahim's Ahmad (1996)
Performed in Malay with English sur-titles

Content Warning: Sexual Violence 

How does the Malay man navigate his masculinity within the structure of the Malay/Muslim community? What are the various forms of ritualistic sexual violence and objectification that persist through the Malay body between and within gender groups? This piece explores these key themes presented in Ahmad (1996) written and directed by Noor Effendy Ibrahim while attempting to find its place in the current spectrum of discourse on gender-fluid identities in Southeast Asia.

Pisang Ahmad Berbuah Lagi is a performative response through the lens of a queer Malay/Muslim director accompanied by an ensemble of three heterosexual Malay men. It also uses and is inspired by text found in Being and Performing the Masculinity in Karim Raslan’s Go East and Sexual Identities Of The Malay Male In Karim Raslan’s Go East And Neighbours by Collin Jerome, Men and Masculinities in Southeast Asia edited by Michele Ford and Lenore Lyons, and The Dancer by Ahmad Tohari.

View Productions

Directed by Kaykay Nizam

Chip nak cakap, Chip tak nampak
Inspired by E Lee Loong and Rizman Putra’s By The Book
Performed in Malay with English sur-titles

What is at the heart of making art in Singapore as a Malay artist? What do we sacrifice in our pursuit of making art in Singapore? Chip nak cakap, Chip tak nampak is a multidisciplinary performance that is inspired by E Lee Loong and Rizman Putra’s By The Book (2016) and Martin Heidegger's Being and Time (1927) and The Question Concerning Technology (1949).


Kaykay Nizam
E Lee Loong
Original Playwright
Rizman Putra
Original Playwright
18 March 2022, 8pm - 9.30pm
Saleem Hadi & Hidayat Nordin

Directed by Saleem Hadi

... and the Cat
Inspired by Kuo Pao Kun's The Eagle and the Cat
Performed in English

When life gets tough, the tough gets going. But it might not be as easy as how it is said. When there is so much going on in one’s mind in any given day, it can be overwhelming. And in those moments, all you might need is just someone to talk to, to hear you without any judgments. …And the Cat brings you close to one such person. Drawing inspiration from the local theatre icon Kuo Pao Kun's The Eagle and The Cat, this presentation aims to address themes of biasness one feels and the internal struggle he goes through to integrate back into the society. In the most trying of moments, everyone needs someone to listen to them, to make them feel worthy and they will be thankful – even if the listener is a cat. 

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Saleem Hadi
Kuo Pao Kun
Original Playwright

Directed by Hidayat Nordin 

...dan tiga dara terbang ke bulan
Written by Aidli Mosbit
Performed in Malay with English sur-titles

...dan tiga dara terbang ke bulan tells a story about 3 friends growing up without having a chance to celebrate Hari Raya together. The play tackles various issues that the girls face growing up and holds deeper conversations about the patriarchal system, female empowerment and the struggle to afford a dream growing up as female in the Malay-Muslim community.


19 March 2022, 8pm - 9.30pm
Adi Jamaludin & Fadhil Daud

Directed by Adi Jamaludin

Written by Zulfadli Rashid
Performed in Malay with English sur-titles

When you google the word jodoh, you will find that it is translated as partner or a soul mate, undefined by gender, age or wealth. It is said in Malay that once a person has been destined to be your partner, or jodoh, nothing can change the fact that the person is fated to be yours. Fated and destiny are two words that will always intertwine with the idea of jodoh – that it is fixed and pre-set. Yet, how many of us can truly embrace our jodoh, or be happy for other people’s jodoh?


Zulfadli Rashid
Original Playwright

Directed by Fadhil Daud 

Aku Anak Melayu Too
Inspired by Noor Effendy Ibrahim's Anak Melayu (1992)
Performed in Malay with English sur-titles

What does it mean to be Malay? How much does language, religion, and culture influence the definition of the Malay race in contemporary Singapore? And what impact does this have on those who exist on the fringes of this ever-changing definition?

Aku Anak Melayu Too is a highly personal theatrical essay that speaks to a lifelong quest by a Malay artiste who has always felt 'not Malay enough'. Inspired by characters from Noor Effendy Ibrahim's Anak Melayu (1992), this performance aims to re-situate and re-articulate the Malay narrative from a personalised viewpoint.

View Productions


Fadhil Daud
Noor Effendy Ibrahim
Original Playwright


Fezhah Maznan
Producer, Curriculum
Edith Podesta
Producer, Curriculum
Theo Chen
Assistant Project Manager
Fadhil Daud
Hazwan Norly