Aarne Neeme (Australia), Acting – Full-time (periodic)

Involved in theatre since the 1960s, Aarne Neeme is a freelance director who has frequently been engaged for theatre as well as television work. He has also taught at various tertiary institutions over the past forty years.

He was previously Artistic Director of several Australian theatre companies, Head of Department of Theatre at the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts, and Senior Fellow at the National University of Singapore.

In 2013, he was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his significant service to the performing arts as a director and educator in theatre and television. Neeme has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New South Wales.

 

Gopalan Nair Venu (India), Kutiyattam – Full-time (periodic)

Gopalan Venu is Director of Natanakairali Research and Performing Centre for Traditional Arts and Artistic Director of the Kutiyattam Repertory Troupe. He received his training in Kutiyattam from Gurus Ammannur Madhava Chakyar and Ammannur Parameswara Chakyar in the traditional Gurukula System. He is active in the field of Kutiyattam as a performer, researcher and director. The nine-hour long Kutiyattam play, Sakuntala, which he directed has been presented in Italy, Switzerland, France and Japan.

Venu has also written several books on the traditional art forms of Kerala. He was nominated as one of the four honorary directors of “World Theatre” along with eminent Swedish theatre director Peter Oskarson and Beijing Opera master Ma Ke. In 2000, his brainchild, the International Acting Laboratory or Abhinaya Kalari, was inaugurated. Venu has professional certification in the Gurukula system (Guru status). The Gurukula system is recognised by UNESCO.

 

Guillermo Roberto Angelelli (Argentina), Acting and Movement — Full-time (periodic)

An actor, director and teacher, Guillermo Angelelli studied drama at the National School of Dramatic Arts in Buenos Aires and continued his training with teachers such as Carlos Gandolfo and Cristina Moreira. He was one of the founders of Clu del Claun, a pioneering group that defied tradition in the 1980s and gained legendary status in Buenos Aires. In 1986, he began to develop training and research work with Iben Nagel Rassmusen of Denmark’s Odin Teatret, and is now a member of the Vindenes Bro Group (The Bridge of Winds) managed by Rassmusen. He has been teaching since 1986 in drama institutions and at workshops, focusing on clowning, physical and vocal training, in Argentina and other parts of Latin America, as well as Europe.

He has won many awards for his work in theatre including the Harlequin Award for Best Actor and Director for Asterion (1992), GATEA Award and Maria Guerrero Award for Best Actor for The Threepenny Opera (2004) and Hamlet (2004), and Maria Guerrero Award for Best Actor for Woyzeck (2006).

  

Kanze Yoshimasa (Japan), Noh Theatre — Full-time (periodic)

The only son of Kanze Yoshiyuki, the fourth head of Kanze Kyuhkoh-kai (Kanze School of Noh), Kanze Yoshimasa was taught and trained by his father and made his stage debut at the age of three. A shité master, one who is an exponent in principal roles, he is well known for his dynamic voice. He is also a respected teacher of Noh and has lectured at Kogakkan University and Hosei University. He is a board member in Kanze Kyuhkoh-kai and founded Know Noh Company. He is also a director of the Nohgaku Performers’ Association. Kanze Yoshimasa is certified vocationally as Jun-Shokubun Menjo (professional actor) by the Kanze School and has a Bachelor of Laws in Political Science, Keio University.

 

Kapila Venu (India), Kutiyattam — Full-time (periodic)

Kapila Venu was initiated into Kutiyattam at the tender age of seven by the legendary master Guru Ammannur Madhava Chakyar. She regularly performs at important festivals and other venues throughout India and internationally such as in Japan, Europe, and New York. She was described as “astounding” and her performance “extraordinary” by the New York Times (9 Sep 2012). She is also frequently invited to conduct workshops. Kapila has professional certification in the Gurukula system (Guru status). The Gurukula system is recognised by UNESCO.

 

Karen Jordan Heng Po-Chu (Singapore), Taiji for Actors — Part-time

Karen is a practitioner in traditional Taiji Gong and is a disciple of Master Sim Pern Yiau of the Nam Wah Taiji Gong Association. Well-known for its award-winning practitioners in the martial arts and self-defense disciplines, the Nam Wah Taiji Gong Association was founded as the Nam Wah Pai Martial Arts Association in 1964 by Grandmaster Sim Pooh Ho. Grandmaster Sim is a lineage holder disciple of the renowned late Grandmaster Wu Tu Nan of Beijing. Karen has been a practitioner since 2010. She is certified vocationally as a Taiji Quan 24 instructor by World Nam Wah Taijigong Association (Singapore). 

 

Koh Wan Ching (Singapore), Acting and Movement — Full-time

Wan Ching is a performer, theatre-maker, and acting teacher. Acting credits include Night Just Before the Forests directed by Sinead Rushe for Dirks Theatre, presented at the Macao Arts Festival, and Immortal Sole choreographed by Edith Podesta. Directing credits include precise purpose of being broken, independently produced at the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, and co-direction for Tanah•Air 水•土: A Play In Two Parts, presented by Drama Box. She has trained with SITI Company as well as the Suzuki Company of Toga, and is a graduate of the inaugural SITI Conservatory Program for international theatre artists. Wan Ching has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Theatre Studies from the National University of Singapore.

 

Kuwata Takashi (Japan), Noh Theatre – Full-time (periodic)

Kuwata Takashi was trained under Kanze Yoshiyuki, the fourth head of Kanze Kyuhkoh-kai (Kanze School of Noh). He has played many shité (principal) roles in his professional career. He teaches Noh in various parts of Japan and also supports interest in the art form by conducting classes for amateurs and supervising the Noh activity club in Meiji University. He is certified vocationally as Jun-Shokubun Menjo (professional actor) by the Kanze School and has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Meiji University.

 

Li Qiu Ping (China), Beijing Opera – Full-time (periodic)

From the mid 1960s till the late 1970s, Mdm Li Qiu Ping was an actress and teacher with the Shanghai Opera School. She now teaches at the Opera and Dance College of Shanghai Theatre Academy as Senior Lecturer. A member of the Shanghai branch of the Chinese Drama Association, she has won numerous awards as a critic of arts education, and also for her work as an outstanding teacher. These include the 4th Hu Chu Nan Award for Outstanding Teachers, Shanghai Cable Television Professional Dedication Award, National Award for Coach of the Physically Challenged, National Opera Peace Cup Competition Teacher’s Award, Chinese Opera Institute Teacher’s Award and Shanghai Woman of the Year. In 2012, she was recognised as an Exemplar Lineage Holder for Beijing Opera, which is part of Shanghai’s Intangible Cultural Heritage, by the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture, Radio, Film and TV. Mdm Li has a professional certificate specialising in Beijing Opera from the Shanghai Opera School.

 

Lim Chin Huat (Singapore), Movement – Full-time

Lim Chin Huat is a cross-disciplinary artist who has over two decades of experience as a visual artist, performer, dancer, choreographer, costume designer, facilitator and educator. In particular, Chin Huat is known for his stunning visual creative works which are cross-disciplinary, site-specific, outreach and non-conventional in nature. Chin Huat has worked with Toy Factory Theatre Ensemble (1990-1996), and later, as co-founder and artistic director of ECNAD (1996-2013).

A prolific creator, he has more than 70 works to his credit, mainly full-length dance, since 1993. Some of his signature and collaborative works were seen and presented in Singapore Arts Festival, Belgrade International Theatre Festival, Vienna Arts Festival’s Asia Village, Festival of Asia (New Zealand), Asia Interaction (Indonesia), The Actors Studio (Kuala Lumpur), Chaoyang Cultural Centre (Beijing), Esplanade Raw Series, Gardens by The Bay Opening, Mercedes-Benz Asia Fashion Award, Artwine Festival, Singapore River Festival, MediaCorp Star Awards, Asian Civilisation Museum and others. Chin Huat is a recipient of the Young Artist Award (2000), and a nominee for the Spirit of Enterprise Award (2004). Chin Huat holds double Diplomas in Dance and Fine Arts from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.

 

Lim Poh Poh a.k.a. Li Xie (Singapore), Acting — Full-time (periodic)

Li Xie is a director, playwright, actor and teacher. Her works include The VaginaLogue, Little White Sailing Boat, House of Sins and mockumentary newspaper theatre NewsBusters!. Formerly an associate artist with Drama Box for community theatre, she has also created forum theatre pieces that deal with social issues. She is a recipient of the Young Artist Award (2005) and The Straits Times Life! Theatre Award for Best Director (2009). Her participatory production The Lesson (Singapore International Festival of Arts) was also nominated for Best Director and Production of the Year at The Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards in 2016. In 2012, she set up SOBX, the School of Biomechanics for Theatre. Her training includes physical theatre (Odin Teatret, Denmark), Vsevolod Meyerhold’s Biomechanics (Gennadi Bogdanov, Russia), Alexander Technique (Niamh Dowling, UK), Commedia dell’Arte (Antonio Fava, Italy), Theatre of the Oppressed (Headlines Theatre, Canada) and mask making (Donato Sartori, Italy).

 

Pujiyani (Indonesia), Wayang Wong – Full-time (periodic)

Pujiyani is a Javanese Sinden and dancer with more than 20 years of experience. She has performed regionally in various festivals and has been a core member of famous dalangs such as Ki Anom Suroto, Ki Warseno Slank and, currently, Ki Manteb Soedarsono. Pujiyani has taught at ASGA Surakarta and ISI Yogyakarta and is currently a Deputy Director of the Dance Department at ASGA Surakarta. She is part of a collaboration with the Center for Science and Technology Excellence (PUI) Javanologi, Universitas Sebelas Maret (UNS) Surakarta to form a dance department. She also co-authored Yati Pesek: Seniman Populer Serba Bisa and has been published in Gelar: Jurnal Seni Budaya, a journal that publishes research on arts and culture by academics and practitioner-researchers.

In 2018, she was conferred the title of Nyi Ngabehi from the Istana Mangkunegaran in Solo, Indonesia, as a steward in the performing arts. Pujiyani has a Master of Arts (Dance & Research) from the Indonesian Institute of the Arts, Surakarta, and a Bachelor of Arts (Dance) from the Indonesia College of the Arts.

 

Qin Zhanbao (China/Singapore), Beijing Opera — Full-time (periodic)

Born into a family of traditional opera practitioners, Qin Zhanbao has been a performing artist since the 1990s and has worked with opera companies in Qingdao and Beijing. A director, actor and mentor, he has been based in Singapore since 2006 and is currently Artistic Director of Chinese Opera Centre. He has adapted, directed and performed in a wide range of Chinese operas, Chinese theatre and crosstalk. He has also represented Singapore in cultural exchanges to Canada, Malaysia, Beijing, Indonesia and Russia. A recipient of top acting awards in Beijing Opera in his youth, he has a diploma from the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts.

 

Simon Stollery (Australia), Voice & Speech — Full-time

Simon is a vocational trainer of actors in the field of Voice and Speech with more than 2​0​ years of experience.

He is a Certified Master Trainer of Estill Voice Training (EVT), an internationally recognised training qualification, and has a career track in the performing arts spanning ​26​ years — first as an actor, then as a specialist pedagogue in voice.

Simon has taught at many of the major actor training organisations in Australia, among them the National Institute of Dramatic Art, Australia (NIDA), the Actors College of Theatre & Television (now AFTT) and the Australian Academy of Dramatic Art (now AIM). Prior to ITI, he was the Lecturer for Voice and Speech at Adelaide College of the Arts (2009 – 2017). Simon has also served as a Voice and Dialect coach for the State Theatre Company of South Australia (STCSA) and the local film industry. In 2017, Simon was the resident Voice and Dialect coach for Royal Shakespeare Company's Matilda the Musical, for the Adelaide and Auckland seasons.

Simon holds a Bachelor of Performing Arts (Acting) awarded by the University of Western Sydney, Australia (UWS) and a Graduate Diploma of Dramatic Art in Voice Studies awarded by NIDA. 

 

T. Sasitharan (Singapore), Director, ITI, and Teacher, Acting and Humanities/Cultural & Literary Theory — Full-time

 

Wong Chee Cheong a.k.a. Kenny Wong (Singapore), Technical Theatre — Full-time

Trained at Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and Symphony Hall in Birmingham, UK, Kenny Wong was closely involved in the pre-opening preparations at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay and its opening festival as its first Production Manager. He developed and taught Singapore’s first tertiary level programme in technical theatre at LASALLE College of the Arts. He has provided his expertise as a consultant for performance venues (School of the Arts, LASALLE, TheatreWorks’ 72-13, Singapore Pavilion Expo 2005), as well as worked on a wide range of theatre productions and events. He was the Technical Director of the 2011 National Day Parade and the 2015 Southeast Asian Games. Kenny has a Bachelor of Dramatic Art in Technical Theatre from NIDA.

 

Last updated on 12 August 2021