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Writers Lab Diary
House Of Sensibilities

16 Jan 2003
Finally...the first meeting! Was grinning to myself for the past few days, after hearing news that the lab thing is going to happen.
 
Maybe here's a little history on what's happened....
when we guys met jeffrey prior to the rehearsals of the play:write project last year, he mentioned sth about a playwrights support grp, which got most of us really excited....wow, finally a platform where we can help each other and see our plays read or performed
 
But at the end of the year, we didn't receive any updates by him, and when we approached him on the last day of arty party (24/11/02) he began to tell us all the admin matters that theatreworks has to go thru before there cud be a lab thing. And some more, he isn't going to lead the group, instead, it'll be another guy - Tan Tarn How. That got us a bit anxious. We've heard of Tarn How's Hearing Voices project, which's probably the most well-known playwright's support grp here. So are we gonna join that grp? Are we good enough? Is the company serious about us.
 
To cut a long story short, I told myself then not to have high hopes. Well, I'll just take it that I'm on my own now. I'll not stop writing cos I know I'm really passionate abt it. If I don't here from them then I'll just have to find opportunities on my own. I believe God will help me find a way. At the same time, i was in touch with fellow writers agnes and liz to update and encourage one another.
 
Then...lo and behold, a few days ago, I heard fr agnes tt there is to be a writers lab meeting on thursday. I took it half-heartedly at first, thinking that agnes, tired of waiting for news fr theatreworks has organized a grp on her own. It was only later that i realized theatreworks has revived their interest in us. Come to think about it, maybe they have been all the while...it's just paranoid and impatient me!
 
We had the first meeting today, and were introduced to tarn how, who's a journalist and also an associate director for theatreworks. he has written a no. of political satires such as "undercover" and "lady soul and her ultimate s machine" tho i haven't read any of them.
 
He is an earnest looking person who has a sort of academic look, but nevertheless, he has no airs at all, and we were all very comfortable with him. 
 
It was a v large grp present, apart fr my frens fr play:write...joyce, liz(tan) and liz(boon), there were others from syda. I think there were close to 20 in all!
 
After every1 introduced themselves, we had a surprise excercise that rattled some nerves....we were asked to write a short scene on how we came to this grp....wah lau, it was really difficult to come up with sth decent within such short notice...
 
anyway, think i wrote crap...something about mother birds feeding their babies...haha...better try to forget abt it!
 
 
25 Feb 2003
This is our second meeting. 
 
The nos. were noticeably fewer. Prob people are busy but tarn how did mention abt trimming the grp....so dun know for now.
 
I agree that a smaller grp will gain more, but hopefully every1 who is commited and able gets to stay one :)
 
We sent our play ideas to tarn how a few days b4 and we had a discussion and elaboration on our ideas at the session.
 
here's a brief synopsis of the happenings:
 
andrew (the funky advertiser who is self-confessedly "obssessed with words") : he wrote an interesting morality play in the first session, and now he has come up with sth along the same lines...his sounds unconventional, and set to engage with other mediums during production.
 
zaza: the new malay gal who wasn't there at the first meeting, she's a copywriter and her play's to be someone wanting to do a sex-change. this is a popular theme somehow with local writers -(russell heng's lest the demons get to me)
 
pinquan: the earnest looking acjc guy is writing a play where the protagonist wants to kill his galfren...and the ending is top secret!
 
grace: one of the more eager members in the grp. caused a huge laughter when she intends to use a gay character for a childrens play. Nevertheless, she had the most no. of play ideas that night
 
agnes: hers is a family play...she seems to have endless exposure to family issues cos of her work as social counsellor
 
me: well, i had 2 ideas..first is a farce on 3 selfish pple vying for a job at an arts firm. 2nd is my fav theme....loss of innocence in an adolscent aft experiencing the cruel outer world....
 
that's all 4 now...was told by tarn how to read eugene o'neill's long day's journey into night
 
 
11 March 2003
Today is the first "real" session, where everyone read out what they wrote.
 
Andrew is doing a real unique one with someone wanting to "kill himself and bring everyone else with him"
 
Jocelyn and Chen Seong are both doing conflicts between couples
 
I read out part of my "ah kong at the esplanade".
 
Comments I received were "quite entertaining", "should think of whether I want audience to laugh with or laugh at the ah kong character"....
 
things to think abt till next time
 
 
25 March 2003
Read out the second part of my play today. Didn't want to turn up actually cos of term assignments but, well....
 
I actually typed out the second part of "ah kong" very quickly just yesterday,
so the quality isn't very good.
 
Sort of losing focus,
 
a bit like trying to milk more laughs w/o really getting into the theme, so have to try harder next time.
 
tarn how brought excerpts from plays by mary miller and david ives for us to read, so the meeting lasted till 10.30!!
 
was glad to take a ride in tarn how's car to coronation plaza, saved much time...