This is belated, but I thought I'd share the video recordings of the cozy Q&A session I had with prolific and popular Singapore playwright Alfian Sa'at last month (August 17). It was organised and hosted by Centre 42, Singapore's centre for text-based work for the stage. This is the write-up that accompanied the videos on the Centre 42 website:
Part 1: Corrie gets Alfian to talk about his childhood as a “Mendaki kid”, singled out for his strong academic performance. The pair then move on to Alfian’s mentorship under The Necessary Stage’s Resident Playwright Haresh Sharma, and how it actually spurred him to move away from English play-writing towards poetry, short stories and Malay plays, all in a bid to differentiate himself from his prolific mentor. Corrie also brings up Alfian’s shortlived career as a theatre reviewer for the Straits Times.
[*Due to technical difficulties, audio quality temporarily drops from 02:32 to 05:34.]
Part 2: Alfian and Corrie talk about censorship in the arts; telling alternative histories; verbatim theatre; developing memorable characters; intertextuality; and using social media as a public platform for discourse. Plays mentioned include “sex.violence.blood.gore” (1999), “Asian Boys Vol. 1: Dreamplay” (2000), “Asian Boys Vol. 3: Happy Endings”, “Cooling-Off Day” (2011), “To Cook a Pot of Curry” (2013), “Hotel” (2015), and “GRC” (2015).
Part 3: Alfian fields questions from the audience.