Under the tutelage of Singapore’s theatre doyen, Kuo Pao Kun, and having graduated from the school he founded - Intercultural Theatre Institute - with a Professional Diploma in Intercultural Theatre (Acting), Peter’s skillset is extensive and far-reaching. Also holding a Master of Arts in Advanced Theatre Practice from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London, he has served as a theatre faculty staff for 7 years at the School of the Arts (SOTA) to impart performance skills and provide mentorship to the next generation of young artists, many of whom have since furthered their training and professional development, and are on their way to becoming professional theatre artists, educators, arts managers and curators in Singapore. He also directed and taught at National University of Singapore, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and LASALLE, as well as many international and government high schools in Singapore.
Peter is a recipient of the Young Artist Award in 2011 conferred upon by the National Arts Council and is named ‘Best Actor’ during the Life! Theatre Awards 2015, for his performance in ART under Nine Years Theatre. Some of his notable works as a director include A Madwoman’s Diary (2009, Esplanade Studios series) which he also wrote, K (2010, Esplanade Huayi Festival 2010) and solo performance, Tell Me When To Laugh And When To Cry (2012, Esplanade Studios series) which he also performed in.
Peter was the founder of Singapore-based theatre collective, Traditions & Editions Theatre Circus (TETC), now defunct. As an ambitious producer who dares to take risks, his role as producer resulted in three very important productions: The Spirits Play (2009, Singapore; 2010 Bharat Rang Mahotsav, New Delhi, India), The Juggler’s Tale (2011, Singapore, Esplanade Studios season) and Transformations (2012, Hyderabad, India). These featured the international graduates of ITI from 11 countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, China, India, Japan, Mexico and Poland). Their work reflects the ethos of ITI - cross-cultural experimentation which the late visionary cultural leader of Singapore and Peter’s mentor, Kuo Pao Kun, had started and envisioned for Singapore.
As the founder and leader of the disabled artist theatre collective, Project Tandem, with an artistic vision informed by 18 years of professional theatre practice and the ethics of the disability arts scene in the UK, Peter has been working with d/Deaf and disabled artists where everyone involved is perceived as an asset and not a deficit (as defined by the medical and charity model). He has been designing and implementing innovative structures with artists with different disabilities to engage their unique skills, lenses and perspectives to dive into embodied and multidisciplinary live performances.
In 2018, he pioneered two disability-led projects. As associate director and performer of And Suddenly I Disappear…The Singapore / UK ‘d’ Monologues, an Unlimited International Collaboration commission, he worked with lead artist and playwright Kaite O’Reilly towards a premiere in Singapore before touring to London, Cardiff and Oxford. As lead director, head of creative mentorship and dramaturg, he created Making A Stand, a project supported by the National Arts Council Creation Grant, to develop an original theatre work that combined promenade and proscenium performances by artists of Project Tandem. This project integrated site-specific intimate storytelling encounters with verbatim monologues generated from interviews with 40 public interviewees from the Deaf and disabled community in Singapore.
2020 was a trailblazing year for his disability arts work. He was commissioned by National Gallery Singapore to present the first professionally-paid, pan-disability theatrical performance, Something About Home, for the Light to Night Festival, showcasing the highest quality of performance work the industry demands. He also conceptualised, produced and directed three important disability-led performances — landmark female monologue, The Vagina Monologues written by Eve Ensler, to be performed by a blind Singaporean actress for the first time; Untitled Women in the Sea, a development residency at the Esplanade of two local plays written by Haresh Sharma, Cultural Medallion recipient 2015, to be performed by four disabled actresses for the first time (which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic); as well as multi-art neuro-cosmopolitan experience Scherazade Sea, conceptualised and performed by Dawn-joy Leong, who is autistic, and joined by two artists with Down syndrome.
He is currently the Head – Performing Arts and Artistic Development at ART:DIS, a leading charity dedicated to creating learning and livelihood opportunities for persons with disabilities in the arts.
Profile photo: Tan Ngiap Heng
1. Director, Scheherazade's Sea: continuing journey, 2021 (conceptualised by Dawn-joy Leong) (2021; YouTube)
2. Mentor, Beyond Dis:play (theatre training and artist in residency programme) (2021, supported by ART:DIS)
Last updated: 19 January 2022