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 conferred the Order of Australia Award in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Neeme has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New South Wales.
Alessandra is an actress, physical theatre performer, director, choreographer, and teacher. She trained in the Jacques Lecoq method at the London International School of Performing Arts as well as studied Butoh dance, acrobatic, and clowning. She was based in London for more than 10 years as a director and performer in various forms including physical theatre, devised theatre, dance theatre, site-specific works, opera, and short films. She relocated to Singapore in 2013 and founded TheatreLab. She has collaborated with Maya Dance Theatre, RDG Production and has participated twice in the M1 Fringe Festival, receiving an NAC Creation Grant for her work Under My Skin (2017), developed under the Centre 42 artist-in-residence programme. She has taught at LASALLE College of the Arts, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, and School of the Arts. She is also a member of the International Schools Theatre Association (ISTA) and a David Glass Ensemble associate. Alessandra has a Master of Arts in Contemporary Performance Making from Brunel University, UK.
Daniela Carmona has over 28 years of teaching experience in Brazil and Argentina. She is the founding director, a researcher and teacher at the Theatre School of Porto Alegre (TEPA) – Centre of Production, Research and Cultural Education, and the co-founder of theatre company, Cia do Giro. Daniela is also a director, playwright and choreographer. She has directed extensively for the academic and professional stage and received numerous awards for her stage work, most notably for her work on Ghetto Bufo. Her professional training includes work with Irion Nolasco, Maria Lucia Raymundo, Ecole Philippe Gaulier, Thomas Leabhart, Lenard Petit, the SITI Company and the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance. She also has training in the Michael Chekhov technique, mime, clowning, acrobatics, martial arts (Shaolin Kung Fu), classical ballet, jazz, modern and contemporary dance. Daniela has a Bachelor of Performing Arts by Federal University of Rio Grande du Sol.
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).
Indira Pensado is an actor, director and voice teacher.
Since 2000, she has conducted voice workshops in Buenos Aires, Argentina as well as Mexico. Some of the places she has taught at include Licenciatura de Teatro del Centro de las Artes, UAEH, Real del Monte; Centro Morelense de las Artes (CMA), Cuernavaca, Morelos; Laboratorio escénico La Rueca en Cuernavaca, Morelos; La Universidad de Sonora (UNISON) and Casa del Teatro and Argos Casa Azul. She also has served as vocal coach for several productions in Mexico for actors, and for personalities such as Cecilia Appleton (dance) and Juan Pablo Villa (music performer).
Indira trained with Kozanna Lucca from the Roy Hart Theater, with whom she has also developed a methodology for offering this work. She has also taken the following voice workshops: Intensive vocal training, with Derek Rosignol, David Goldsworthy, Anne Marie Letron and Judy Wilson, in the Roy Hart International Center in France (2001); Choreographic Theatre and Voice with Enrique Pardo and Linda Wise from the Pantheatre of Paris (2003); Harmonic singing with Robert Schwendeman; and singing lessons with Maria Huesca (2002), Ane Hegee (2004), and Verónica Ituarte (2008-2009). In 2009, Indira attended the VASTA conference in New York, where she took the masterclasses led by Kristin Linklater and Patsy Rodenburg.
She has been training in the Linklater Method since 2008 with Antonio Ocampo and Andrea Haring, and Kristin Linklater. She is presently a Designated Teacher at The Linklater Center for Voice NY, and is also a member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA) and a foundation member of Linklater Voice at Orkney, Scotland.
Indira holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Literature and Theatre from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
Jane Margaret Gilmer is an experienced performer, teacher, and director of theatre. She trained in the speech and drama techniques of Rudolf Steiner infused with the work of Michael Chekhov, at the Harkness Studio Sydney in the 1980s. Born in New Zealand, she has lived and worked with theatre internationally for most of her life. Most recently she spent the past 10 years teaching theatre in Singapore and lecturing at the National Institute of Education, an institute of the Nanyang Technological University. Jane performed with the Rose Theatre Company based in England for several years in the 1990s touring international performances of Shakespeare and giving workshops.
In 2008, Jane attained a diploma in Holistic Psychotherapy to deepen her pedagogical approach to teaching theatre. Her studies include the in-depth psychological work of C. G. Jung, particularly his work in psychological alchemy, and how this might be aligned with Steiner’s indications on Speech and Drama and Michael Chekov’s theatre technique. Currently, she is in the final stages of completing a book titled The Alchemical Actor: Performing the Great Work, to be published by Rodopi Press. Jane holds a B.A. in Theatre and Drama Studies and a PhD in Theatre from Murdoch University, Western Australia.
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 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 Taijigong and is a disciple of Master Sim Pern Yiau of the Nam Wah Taijigong Association. Well-known for its award-winning practitioners in the martial arts and self-defense disciplines, the Nam Wah Taijigong 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 and has been an Assistant Instructor with Master Sim for more than five years.
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 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.
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 is a cross-disciplinary artist who has over two decades of experience in capacities as 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).
As a prolific creator, he has created more than 70 creative works, 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), Actor Studio at Kuala Lumpur, Beijing’s Chaoyang Cultural Centre, 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).
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 20 years 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 on Matilda, the musical, for the Royal Shakespeare Company 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.
Yu Xiang teaches at Shanghai Theatre Academy, covering modules such as Selected Performance Pieces (Acting), Physical Training, and Sparring Techniques (Martial Arts). He has won awards for his work as an outstanding teacher. Yu Xiang has a Bachelor's degree in Performance from the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in China.