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 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.
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).
Beijing Opera artist and teacher Huang Ping has been based in Singapore since 1995. Prior to that, after the completion of her artistic training in 1985, she was a lecturer at the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts as well as performer and choreographer for opera productions, including for the China Central Television (CCTV), Beijing Radio & Television Station and many large-scale celebratory events. Currently the Artistic Director of the Chinese Opera and Drama Society (Singapore), Huang Ping has performed, choreographed and served as artistic advisor in a wide range of projects and productions. Organisations she has worked with include the Singapore Chinese Opera Institute, MediaCorp, SAF Music and Drama Company and Singapore Chinese Orchestra. She has also provided choreography and training for schools, clan associations and community clubs, and conducted opera appreciation classes and Beijing Opera classes for organisations and individuals. She has a professional certificate from the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts specialising in Performance.
The only son of Kanze Yoshiyuki, the fourth head of Kanze Kyuhkoh-kai (Kanze School of Noh), Kanze Yoshimasa (観世喜正) 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. In 2014, he was recognised as holder of the Valuable Intangible Cultural Property of Nohgaku by the Japanese government. Kanze Yoshimasa is certified vocationally as Shokubun Menjo (highest level of accreditation for an actor) by the Kanze School and has a Bachelor of Laws in Political Science, Keio University.
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 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).
For almost 20 years, Wan Ching has worked as a theatre-maker with several companies in Singapore including Drama Box, Nine Years Theatre, The Necessary Stage and Wild Rice. She has performed in and presented work at festivals in Beijing, Brisbane, Hong Kong, Macao, Seoul, and Toyama as well as the Singapore International Festival of Arts (2015, 2021, 2023) and the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival (2018, 2019, 2021). From 2008–2012, she was part of the theatre collective A Group Of People (AGOP), which focused on experimental and collaboratively devised works.
Notable works include co-directing two outdoor productions, It Won’t Be Too Long: The Cemetery (2015) with Kok Heng Leun at Bukit Brown Cemetery, and Tanah•Air 水•土：A Play In Two Parts (2019) with Kok Heng Leun and Adib Kosnan at the Malay Heritage Centre. Her work builds upon her practice based in physical and movement studies. She trained with SITI Company and the Suzuki Company of Toga and is a graduate of the inaugural SITI Conservatory Program, a 9-month immersion program for international theatre artists. Wan Ching holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Theatre Studies from the National University of Singapore.
Kuwata Takashi (桑田貴志) 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. In 2020, he was recognised as holder of the Valuable Intangible Cultural Property of Nohgaku by the Japanese government. He is certified vocationally as Jun-Shokubun Menjo (second highest level of accreditation for an actor) by the Kanze School and has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Meiji University.
From the mid-1960s till the late 1970s, Mdm Li Qiu Ping (李秋萍) was an actress and teacher at 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 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.
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).
Andy Ng Wai-shek (吳偉碩) is an acclaimed actor, director, critic, playwright and educator. Before joining the faculty of ITI, Andy was the Programme Deviser & Acting Teacher at the Acting Research Centre in Hong Kong from 2013 to 2021. He also taught at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Tang Shu-wing Drama Workshop, HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity and the Psycho-physical Acting Training Programme by Blank Space Studio.
As a performer, Andy was lauded for his role in Tang Shu-wing's productions of Titus Andronicus (World Shakespeare Festival 2012) and Macbeth that premiered at Shakespeare’s Globe before touring around Europe and East Asia. He was awarded Director of the Year at the 2019 International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC) (Hong Kong) Critics Awards.
His critiques have been published in City Magazine, Hong Kong Economic Journal, Ming Pao and Sing Tao Daily. He also served as Chairperson for IATC (Hong Kong) from 2007 to 2008.
Andy is a graduate of the pioneer cohort of ITI (then known as TTRP) and also holds a Master of Arts in East/West Theatre Studies from Middlesex University.
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 Wayang Kulit communities with 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 — Part-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 is a vocational trainer of actors in the field of Voice and Speech with more than 20 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.
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 8 Sep 2023