Professional Diploma in Intercultural Theatre (Acting)

The ITI Acting Programme is a distinctive actor training programme that features an intercultural learning methodology, set to rigorous standards, to develop skills in performance and original theatremaking.

It is a three-year, full-time, systematic training programme for professional actors interested in working in contemporary theatre. Conceived by renowned dramatist, the late Kuo Pao Kun, and current ITI director, T. Sasitharan, in 2000, it is inspired and informed by over four decades of contemporary theatre history and development in Singapore as well as Pao Kun’s unique artistic vision and multicultural practice.


Approach and Objectives

The Acting Programme is characterised by its performer-centred, practice-oriented training that emphasises intercultural work and original creation. It immerses students in traditional theatre forms from Asia, and juxtaposes these intense interactions with both Stanislavskian and post-Stanislavskian actor training techniques. The process of skills acquisition and recombination takes place in a plural, intercultural environment marked by a variety of languages, a multiplicity of cultures and a broad, inclusive theatrical palette.

Its aim is to train professional actors and performers capable of working in a variety of contemporary theatre genres and forms. The ITI actor is skilled in stagecraft and adept at the techniques of theatre, s/he is knowledgeable about theatre, is able to maintain a personal practice, is critically aware and socially engaged, and is capable of working autonomously as a creative person or artist.

ITI recognises that life, in all its variety and diversity, and imagination are the alpha and omega of all creativity in theatre. The programme is set up as a series of dialogues – between Cultures, Languages and Forms, and between Craft and Theory, the Contemporary and the Classical, the Technical and the Imaginative, and Structure and Spontaneity.


Distinctive Features

Small: Designed to cater to a select number of dedicated and gifted performers from diverse cultures. Acting cohorts typically consist of between 12 and 16 students, with the teacher-student ratio ranging from 1:12 to 1:32.

Specialised and intensive: Packed with para-theatre, skills and technique training, and seminars on the humanities, arts, theatre theory and critical studies.

Conservatory style model: For the first two years, students undergo up to 50-hour weeks of training that include Immersions in Theatre Traditions, Acting, Movement, Voice & Speech, Taiji, Humanities and Technical Theatre, as well as Post Modular Lab. In the third year, students focus on devising and performing publicly ticketed productions.

Varied modes of teaching: These include studio work (group and individual), rehearsals, workshops, field-work and research, reading and textual analysis, exercise demonstrations, lectures, tutorials and seminars, and performance presentations (in-camera and public).

Intercultural & multilingual: Operates in diverse and plural social and learning environments. The medium of instruction is English but when necessary other languages are used with English translations. Work involving classical text, singing, and enunciation and diction work have to be learnt in the original language. Students with other mother tongues or adopted languages will be encouraged to use these in individual projects and presentations.


Commitment to Students

ITI is committed to helping all students discover their unique way of training, learning and working. We will endeavour to help each student shape a personal journey towards acting and theatremaking excellence.

ITI stands on its excellent reputation, the high quality of its graduates and outstanding impact they continue to make in their communities, and the eminent faculty and partners it consistently attracts. The professional theatre communities are the final arbiters of quality