A Whole New World?

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The Vault Lite: A Whole New World? Artist-in-Residency Sharing
26 February 2021 | 5:00pm

Admission is free, donations encouraged.

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Register for one or more time slots. Each sharing will be followed by a Q&A with the artist.


About the Projects

The Vault: Lite is an eight-week residency aimed at the creation of  contemporary responses to Singapore Theatre classics. The pilot edition of The Vault: Lite saw five projects selected from an open call, each responding to a play of their choice. 

Since January 2021, the artists-in-residence of The Vault: Lite — Cheryl Tan and Isaiah Lee, Ke Weiliang, Lim Si Hui, Lim Shien Hian and Ruzaini Mazani — have been exploring and experimenting with local plays along the theme “A Whole New World?”, inspired by monumental changes to human lives brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic since 2019.

At the end of the residency, the artists will share their ideas and interpretations of the plays through reimagined contexts, mediums and genres. 

  • Les autres Latifahs by Ruzaini Mazani

    Responding to La Libre Latifah by Aidil ‘Alin’ Mosbit

  • Those Who Can’t Teach: An Interactive Fiction Piece By Lim Shien Hian

    Responding to Those Who Can’t, Teach by Haresh Sharma

  • Rehearsals for (Im)permanence by Cheryl Tan and Isaiah Lee

    Responding to Poop! by Chong Tze Chien

  • Bodies in Community by Lim Si Hui
    Responding to Breastissues by Ovidia Yu
  • Letters to/from Rosnah by Ke Weiliang

    Responding to Rosnah by Haresh Sharma

5.10pm – 5.50pm
"Les autres Latifahs"

Artist Statement:

My project attempts to reimagine Aidli Mosbit’s La Libre Latifah in the context of nostalgia-making and performance of self. During the lockdown period in Singapore there were attempts by the Facebook and Instagram community to relive a period where “it was all good.” There was a surge of pictures, videos, even Spotify playlists, that remind us of a less stressful time and I find that fascinating.

In Latifah, there aren’t any specifically nostalgic moments except for the diary entry scene. It is because of that scene that I had a hunch that perhaps the play was Latifah’s way of creating her nostalgia despite it not being “warm and fuzzy memories.” It is this idea that inspired me to research and explore further about nostalgia-making.

The play has other performative elements too such as video and songs, and it’s a monodrama. The playing of different characters to me is a way of performing different sides of one’s self. With that in mind, I hope to intertwine the idea of self-performance with the notion of nostalgia-making.

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6.00pm – 6.40pm
"Those Who Can’t, Teach: An Interactive Fiction Piece"

Artist Statement:

My project will attempt to reimagine Those Who Can’t, Teach within Circuit Breaker-era Singapore. The school is a wonderful place where students learn to laugh, cry, love, and most importantly, grow up, and teachers are integral to that journey. Those Who Can’t, Teach brought the essence of the Singaporean classroom to life with unforgettable characters like Su Lin, Teck Liang and Jali, showing us how the jobs of teachers can be tiring, enjoyable, thankless and fulfilling all at the same time. During Covid times, teachers’ workloads must have suddenly multiplied overnight, having to deal with the logistical nightmare and technical issues that come with coordinating a class of kids for digital lessons. Talking to some of my teacher friends, I realized there were so many stories to tell, and what’s more, every school had their own way of dealing with things. So, I hope to situate the story and characters of Those Who Can’t, Teach into the strange year of 2020 and see how Su Lin and co. would have coped.

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Haresh Sharma
Original Playwright
7.00pm – 7.40pm
"Rehearsals for (Im)permanence"
This project deals with themes of death and suicide. Please be advised.
Selected play
Poop! (2010)

Artist Statement:

How does the relationship between absurdism and alienation, negotiated in Chong Tze Chien’s POOP!, reimagine an afterlife for trauma in post-pandemic Singapore?

Throughout the course of this residency, we interrogate how postmodern drama, which embodies an incredulity toward metanarratives and linear thought, confronts trauma through absurdism. In estranging realities from expectations, Chong’s work reconciles the rift between an initial position of trauma and a progression toward a future reality which must move on from that traumatic encounter. That is, Brecht’s alienation effect achieved in POOP! reimagines ways of negotiating trauma in post-pandemic Singapore. Through a research process that looks specifically at voices of alterity and marginalised narratives in POOP!, we aim to devise a new work that responds to the negotiation of a new normal in a destabilised world after trauma.

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Chong Tze Chien
Original Playwright

Rehearsals for (Im)permanence deals with themes of death and suicide. Please be advised.

7.50pm – 8.30pm
"Bodies in Community" by Lim Si Hui
This project features post-mastectomy images some might find graphic. Please be advised.

Artist Statement:

While ‘a new normal’ belies tragic, permanent changes in society, I put forth that tragic, permanent changes happen all the time for women. Bodies in Community responds to Breastissues (Ovidia Yu, 1997), which explores the relationship between three women weighing life- and body-altering events: Pregnancy, breast cancer, and breast augmentation.

These bodily changes, whether actively acted upon or passively accepted, come with a community’s judgment, support, and beliefs; whether conscious or unconscious, women’s lives are thus shaped. To me, both the pandemic and this play pose the same question: How does a human body experience change, community, and crisis in the public and private sphere? How do our lives and bodies inform the experiences of others, and vice versa?


Ovidia Yu
Original Playwright

Bodies in Community features post-mastectomy images some might find graphic. Please be advised.

8.40pm – 9.20pm
"Letters to/from Rosnah"

Artist Statement:

Letters to/from Rosnah is a research project responding to Rosnah by Haresh Sharma, a monodrama that revolves around its titular female Malay-Muslim protagonist and her journey leaving Singapore for the first time to pursue undergraduate studies in London. Aside from Rosnah’s very relatable struggle with personal identity in an increasingly intersectional world, I was fascinated by the time capsule-like conversations that happens between Rosnah and the actor embodying her. I was also inspired by Teo Xiao Ting’s response to The Necessary Stage’s 2019 staging of Off Centre, where she wrote a letter addressed directly to Saloma and Vinod after watching the showIt made me dream about the possibility of similar, yet different interactions happening between such a legacy character and audience members.

What if a character like Rosnah time travelled to the present day for x number of days, before returning to the universe that they originally lived in?

What might happen if audience members had the chance to write and receive letters to and from this character during the latter’s stay in the present day?

Is there a future for scattered, physically distanced theatrical experiences that do not require artists and audience members to be a communal physical and/or digital space in real time?


Haresh Sharma
Original Playwright

More Resources

On 26 February 2021, we held the final Artist-in-Residence Sharing for The Vault: Lite on Zoom. The session was opened to the public and each project was given 40 minutes to showcase their research findings and methods as well as a walkthrough of their creative responses. Thereafter, attendees could ask the artists any additional questions.

Nine Zoom windows with the artists of The Vault Lite, as well as the Centre 42 team overlayed into a turquoise background with clouds and the label of the programme, sharing, and the date: 26 February 2021

The six artists of The Vault Lite: A Whole New World, as well as the Centre 42 team, during the final artist-in-residence sharing. View the full Facebook Album at https://www.facebook.com/media/set?vanity=Centre42&set=a.3959531687473437.


Ke Weiliang
Ruzaini Mazani
Isaiah Christopher Lee
Cheryl Charli Tan
Lim Shien Hian
Lim Si Hui


Second Link (2005), Review
Split Standards I congratulate W!ld Rice and Five Arts Centre for delivering an impressive recital of texts, ultimately quite unlike any other I've witnessed before in Singapore. I arrived at the Drama Centre with mixed expectations for Second Link. As a W!ld Rice production, as well as the finale event of Writer's Festival 2005, the performance was sure to be of a certain quality, yet the premise of the production seemed suspect: a troupe of Malaysian actors was to perform a selection of Sin
Ng Yi-Sheng
Reviewed: 3 September 2005