Shirley Tan

COUNTRY Singapore


Shirley always wanted to be on the stage, but did not venture near theatre till she was in her 20s. The turnabout came when she watched Jacob Rajan in The Guru of Chai, and Oliver Chong in Roots.

She stepped into theatre, first as a volunteer production crew before making a choice to pursue full-time actor training.

Prior to ITI, Shirley was working as an administrator, but made the life-altering, mid-career switch so that she would not regret a life of missed choices. Deeply inspired by the vision and beliefs of Kuo Pao Kun, Shirley decided that the only place she wanted to train at was ITI.

Shirley believes that good theatre is like magic, for the surprises and immersive experience it can bring the audience, far surpassing the silver screen. She is also a champion of the story-telling might of theatre, to touch people’s hearts and minds. In 2016, Shirley performed in The Moonlit Smile for Esplanade’s MoonFest.

A bilingual theatre-maker, Shirley hopes, after graduation, to create works that involve movement, as well as to include the traditional art forms that she has learned at ITI into puppetry. She also has an interest in scriptwriting and hopes for opportunities to pursue it.


Read her Q&A here


Last updated: 19 January 2022