"... I want to briefly mention another ‘institution’, on the other side of the world, that has also been through various difficulties of survival and reinvention but which is thankfully flourishing today – it is the Intercultural Theatre Institute (ITI). Similar to my own organisation, the CPR, ITI began more as a theatre organisation to offer short courses for professional development, conferences, master classes, summer schools, retreats and intensives – a necklace of opportunities and structural interventions into performance training and thinking. But in recent years, ITI has determined to offer complete three-year professional diplomas and is now regarded as a stable, independent theatre school occupying a beautiful villa on Emily Hill right in the centre of Singapore.
ITI was originally founded by Kuo Pao Kun, the pioneer of Singaporean theatre: playwright, director and arts activist, and founder of several seminal institutions of Singapore culture: the arts centre The Substation, and The Practice Theatre Company. Originally conceived as The Practice Performing Arts, it aimed to integrate dance, drama and music training, and create a symbiosis between creative performance and arts education. Today ITI, now functioning through the charismatic... ‘Sasi’ (T. Sasitharan), develops Pao Kun’s founding vision of intercultural actor training using a matrix of traditional theatre systems and conceptions of theatre-making from different cultures, with a view to producing critically and socially engaged artists who make original contemporary theatre. So, here we have a trans- and interdisciplinary approach within an Asian context drawing upon the great traditions of Asian theatre and dance, but open too to Western theatre-training techniques; working across all disciplines, seeking a symbiosis and, along the way, enabling young performance-makers of multicultural backgrounds to envision and embody the potential of new and emergent intercultural performance practice: new theatre for progressive transcultural times."
Future Proof (With Courage & Curiosity): Training for a theatre that does not yet exist
Author: Richard Gough
Publisher: Polish Theatre Journal, Theatre Institute in Warsaw