Q&A with Ng Yuan Ci

25 October 2022 | Journal

1 Ng Yuan Ci QnA

Ng Yuan Ci is a theatre practitioner from Malaysia and a graduate of the Drama and Visuals Department (Theatre Major) of New Era University College.

Before deciding to further develop her skills at ITI, she independently practised performance, direction and design. She committed herself to three years of freelance and backstage work, where she performed and participated in puppet shows, children’s plays and urban festivals. She also completed a theatre internship with Sun Son Theatre, a cross-disciplinary performance troupe in Taiwan, in 2017.

She has travelled to various parts of China to perform in works such as Wizard of Oz (China-ASEAN (Nanning) Theatre Week), and Dragonland as a shadow puppeteer. In Malaysia, she performed in Hoong Siamang Hoong which was nominated for Best Group Performance at the 16th BOH Cameronian Arts Awards, Don’t Let Writer Know: Mulan Mulan and The Story of Ah Loy (Urbanscapes 2018).

After ITI, Yuan Ci hopes to continue expanding her experience in performing arts no matter where she finds herself. She hopes her work can continue to move, connect, and inspire people while also giving her the opportunity to travel the world.

Yuan Ci is a recipient of the Tan Chay Bing Education Fund Scholarship and a beneficiary of the Möbius Fund.



What were you doing before coming to ITI?

I was a theatre freelancer for two and a half years.


Tell us how you came to know of ITI. What made you choose to come here?

My teacher suggested this school as a way to further my studies. Knowing this school offered a programme that focuses on acting and gives me the opportunity to learn traditional theatre forms, I decided to come here.


Think back to your first day here: what were some of your thoughts and emotions then?

At first, I was quite shocked by the school’s environment — isolated on a hill and surrounded by nature. However, the atmosphere and people made me feel safe and comforted. The Covid pandemic hit us right in our first year of study. It was really tough and the atmosphere sort of fell apart, but we slowly got it back together this year.


What is it like to train here at ITI?

The intense training constantly challenged our creativity and physical capacities. It also groomed my mind to be strong to work through the three years.


Any reflections on your experience working with classmates from various countries?

We had a class called Intercultural Exchange, where we learnt how other cultures create art. It was so beautiful to have a chance to learn and collaborate with my classmates. I used to be a very serious and stressed person but being exposed to different working styles from various countries has helped me become more at ease and calmer in my work.


What are the most memorable experiences you’ve had at ITI?

The celebration parties of different cultures and festivals by my peers!


How has what you’ve learnt here shaped or changed you as an actor?

I know myself better now and am more grounded in facing difficulties in life. I have more fun now when learning new things.


What are your plans for after graduation?

I’ll go back to my hometown to re-think and restart my mind, before continuing my work as a performer and artist.


What would you say to a new student or someone considering joining ITI?

Be determined and clear of what you want before you come to ITI, as it will require a lot of your focus. You might not need to know exactly where you are at, but be clear of what you want.


Any special thanks? 

Thank you to everyone at ITI that helped me through my difficulties and made my world more beautiful.

Thank you Tan Chay Bing Education Fund for supporting my studies at ITI. 


I know myself better now and am more grounded in facing difficulties in life. I have more fun now when learning new things.


3 Ng Yuan Ci Kutiyattam

2 Ng Yuan Ci Asylum

4 Ng Yuan Ci FYiP


Profile photo and ASYLUM production shot by Bernie Ng