Guest Post by Haresh Sharma, playwright, The Necessary Stage.
‘Future Perfect’ – a play about human enhancement. Three interwoven stories, light-hearted, dramatic and poignant, will unfold before your eyes and pull you in as the characters struggle with ethical issues on the biomedical front. Future Perfect’ runs at the Science Centre from 5-9 March, 2.30-3.30pm. For more information or to register, please visit SCS Events Calendar.
When I first met the people at the Centre for Biomedical Ethics, I was given this brief: To create awareness in youth on the ethical issues involved in human enhancement.
It was challenging and scary at the same time. The issue of human enhancement has long been a polarising one – amongst experts let alone lay people like us. I had to think of a way to write a play which would appeal to the youth audience and at the same time include issues which they would want to talk about after.
I decided to create 3 stories focusing on different aspects of enhancement. One is about a young couple who decide to take a serum that can prolong their lives. The next story is about a shop that sells stem cells. And finally, a man brings his mother to a shop called ‘Designer Babies’ because he wants to have the perfect child.
The stories have a Sci-fi feel to them, but yet they very much have the essence of the present.
As part of my research I read several articles provided to me by the Centre for Biomedical Ethics. I also discussed the issues with them in order to get different points of views.
When we started rehearsals more changes were made to the script. It has been challenging for the actors as well because they each have to play three totally different characters. But they have risen to the challenge admirably and the performance is going to be a really exciting one.
The play incorporates a lot of drama, humour, conflict and emotional scenes. At the same time, it is also accessible and honest, and leaves much room for contemplation and discussion.
It’s been such a fantastic experience working on this play. I’ve written many plays for youth audiences, but this has been one of my most meaningful.
About Haresh Sharma
Haresh is the Resident Playwright of The Necessary Stage and has written more than 70 plays to date. His play, Off Centre, was selected by the Ministry of Education as a Literature text for N and O Levels, and republished by The Necessary Stage in 2006. Haresh was awarded Best Original Script for Fundamentally Happy, Good People and Gemuk Girls during the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Life! Theatre Awards respectively. A collection of his plays has been translated into Mandarin and published by Global Publishing with the title