The Vault: The TRUE Awards

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January 2024
11 April 2024 | 7:30pm
12 April 2024 | 7:30pm
Black Box, 42 Waterloo Street

Admission: By Donation

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Synopsis

The TRUE Awards is a devised performance responding to A White Rose at Midnight.

Lim Chor Pee's A White Rose at Midnight was first staged sixty years ago by the Experimental Theatre Club at the Cultural Centre Theatre. It centres around disillusioned English-educated scholar Lee Hua Min and his tumultuous relationship with Chinese-educated ex-nightclub singer Ching Mei. Written and staged in the uncertain, volatile years before Singapore became an independent country, A White Rose at Midnight is a humorous, witty and prescient portrait of both a soul and a nation divided. 

This year, in commemoration of the play's 60th anniversary, seven students from the National University of Singapore's Theatre & Performance Studies TS3103 Theatre Lab will present The TRUE Awards, a performance response to A White Rose at Midnight. In accompaniment to this performance-response, audiences will get to hear excerpts of the original text read by veteran actors Serene Chen and Nora Samosir in The Vault 1.1 – Nineteen Sixty-Four.

Join us on 11 & 12 April at the Black Box, 42 Waterloo Street, to experience this performance-response and celebrate the nominees of the TRUE Awards. 


The TRUE Awards

The Rightful Unifying Excellence (TRUE) Award is Singapore’s highest form of recognition for young people, presented only to Singapore’s future leaders with the most potential.

To protect the integrity of this scholarship, a prep course has been established to ensure all 6 candidates can uphold the standards necessary for Singapore’s future leaders. At the end of this course, each of these candidates will seek to answer the question: “what makes a TRUE Singaporean?”

Artists

Ashie Singh
Charmaine Teo
Jade Ow Yanhui
Joshua Seow
Kevin Tay
Ong Shi Han
Swathi Mahaganapathy 

Dramaturg

Dr Robin Loon

Producer

Thong Pei Qin

Technical Consultant

Henrik Cheng


Message from the Course Chair

THE TRUE AWARDS marks the 6th collaboration between TS3103 Theatre Lab and Centre 42 Vault, and it feels like a full circle moment.

The presentations on the 11th and 12th of April will see the students responding to Lim Chor Pee’s A White Rose At Midnight, and will be prefaced by a screening of excerpts from Centre 42’s first Vault presentation Nineteen Sixty-Four, presented in 2014.  This screening will see Serene Chen and Nora Samosir reading excerpts from A White Rose At Midnight, providing context for the responses.

As with previous iterations, the students went through a workshop conducted by Tim Wan, where he took the students through exploring the body in performance. Ms Thong Pei Qin is producer of the performance, and she also provided additional dramaturgical feedback.

This cohort of 7 TS major students respond to the identity issues and the sense of belonging explored in A White Rose At Midnight by reconstituting those questions in an imaginary but very real competitive arena.

Dr Robin Loon
Dramaturg and Course Chair
TS3103 Theatre Lab


About A White Rose at Midnight

A White Rose at Midnight was written in 1964 by playwright Lim Chor Pee, founder of the Experimental Theatre Club and a pioneer of local English-language theatre. Prior to the 1960's, theatre in Singapore and Malaya was dominated by Western plays produced and performed by English expatriates. Lim was driven instead to write plays that reflected the state of Singapore's society during the period, and depicted characters whose lives and stories were relevant to local theatregoers. Set in staunchly Singaporean circumstances with characters born and bred on the island, A White Rose at Midnight was without doubt one of the first ever truly Singaporean plays. 

In 2014, Centre 42 presented The Vault 1.1 - Nineteen Sixty-Four, a lecture-performance which investigated the texts of A White Rose at Midnight as well as Goh Poh Seng's When Smiles Are Done. Collaborators Nora Samosir, Serene Chen, Casey Lim and Robin Loon presented partial dramatised readings of both plays, contextualised by personal reflections and local news articles from the 1960's. 

Click on the links below for more information about A White Rose at Midnight,The Vault 1.1 - Nineteen Sixty-Four, and 1960's Singapore. 

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