Guest Post by Alvin Tan, artistic director, 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.
The script Haresh wrote inspired me because it had three narratives fleshing out the different aspects of the theme. Each narrative resonates with another to give a holistic idea of the issues one anticipates will prove to be social concerns. The script itself is imaginative and visionary, helping us to travel in time, propelling us to the future so we can confront some of these dilemmas today. That is the sole inspiration that fueled the way I directed the play.
The cast, playwright and myself sit down to read the script. That’s what we usually do when it’s a new play. It is important for us to hear how the characters sound like. There are three stories and the actors had to make the characters distinct so as not to confuse the audience. The director has to imagine the costumes they should be wearing as these are markers to help audience along so they can appreciate the play with some ease. Already there are three stories intertwined. So clarity is very important so the audience is able to access with ease the complex issues in the work and be engaged with them so they can mull over the points and form an opinion.
Then we have a set proposal and we begin organising the characters in the space – how they move, what tableaux they form. What are their motivations, what are the shapes of the scenes, where is the climax of the play. After we have draft the whole play, we revise and refine as the actors learn their lines and become script-free. That is when the play begins to take shape and soar.
Future Perfect will definitely make people think. It is provocative without being offensive. That is the work of a true master craftsman. I am very honoured to be working with Haresh Sharma, a skilled playwright who is able to craft a work that is both cerebrally challenging and poignant. A work that can inspire both director and cast because it is ultimately about humanity and the social condition.
About Alvin Tan
The Founder and Artistic Director of The Necessary Stage, Alvin has directed more than 60 plays staged locally and at international festivals. He had been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and was a member of the curatorial panel for TransLab, an initiative created by the Australian Council for the Arts to promote intercultural theatre and performance. In 2010, Alvin was conferred the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. Alvin was most recently awarded Best Director at the 2011 Life! Theatre Awards for Model Citizens by The Necessary Stage.