Will Wong Keng Ip is a performer from Macau. He is an alumnus of the School of Theatre (formerly known as the School of Drama) under the Macao Conservatory, where he was taught by ITI alumni Jose Ku Ieng Un and Maria Au Mong Chao.
In his works, Will took on various roles such as freelance actor, musical performer, acapella singer, stilt walker, lights and sound operator and stage manager. He also worked with The Funny Old Tree Theatre Ensemble before coming to ITI.
His credits include My Princess (Macau Fringe Festival), Expo 2010 Shanghai China, Our Town, The Silly Girl and the Funny Old Tree and The Boat People Saga. In 2019, he was the assistant stage manager of Kaléidoscope, a joint collaboration by various international theatre collectives and directed by Shaghayegh Beheshti, a core member of Théâtre du Soleil.
In Singapore, Will was in the production team of alumni Regina Toon (a.k.a. Ora) and Wendy Toh’s Viddsee original short film, Heart Shape 莲蓉包. Seeking to experience different art forms, he trains in Odissi at Chowk.
After graduating, Will intends to work as an actor, director and arts educator.
Will is a beneficiary of the Möbius Fund.
What were you doing before coming to ITI?
I was working as a freelancer, mostly backstage. I was also a member of The Funny Old Tree Theatre Ensemble.
Tell us how you came to know of ITI. What made you choose to come here?
After working for more than three years backstage, I knew I needed to decide my career. I knew I wanted to direct, so I wanted to study and pursue it properly. I really wanted to study properly and pursue it. I asked alumnus Jose Ku Ieng Un about this and he recommended ITI.
Think back to your first day here: what were some of your thoughts and emotions then?
I went to the "White House" on the first day and I couldn’t find where the school was. I was lost and confused but I eventually found the studios. I met alumna Kyongsu Kathy Han, who passionately welcomed me. I remember Sasi asking us to share about what theatre means to us and I was greatly moved by his speech. I felt that I had come to the right place — a very unique place that’s full of love. I was so excited.
What is it like to train here at ITI?
Training at ITI was tough, to know what you are good and not good at. To learn to work with people from different cultures is also a big challenge — different languages, values, mindset and ways of seeing. Through my peers, exercises and presentations, I learnt more about myself. ITI is a safe place for me to try, fail, scream, cry, laugh and express as well as a place for me to become a better human being and actor. Every day is a failure and success, but that doesn’t matter at all since another day of training would come very soon.
What are the most memorable experiences you’ve had at ITI?
There are many of memorable moments, but if I had to pick one:
The day when the school announced that we couldn’t go to school for a while due to the pandemic.
We didn’t know what the world would be after that day.
We didn’t know how we were going to continue the training.
We didn’t know when we could come back to school.
We didn’t know where, when, what, who, or how many could gather, study and eat together.
But we knew that we would be facing this together.
We took a group photo, with our laughter.
How has what you’ve learnt here shaped or changed you as an actor?
My sensations, feelings, physicality and awareness are much stronger now. I see them as very important to being a good actor and human being.
What are your plans for after graduation?
I want to continue to experience different forms and cultures, and to seek opportunities to work with people from various cultures.
What would you say to a new student or someone considering joining ITI?
Accept who you are, but grow. Be humble, open and enjoy. Rethink that again and again.
Any special thanks?
I would like to give a special thanks to Sasi for giving me this chance to study here. Without him, I wouldn’t know what I might be doing now.
Thank you Jose for recommending ITI to me.
Thank you to my teachers — Beto, Simon, Chin Huat, Wan Ching, Karen, Aarne, Li Xie, Oliver, Jean, and the traditional form teachers.
Thank you to my classmates — we experienced so much.
Wan, Jinyi, Jun Kai, Daisy, Ruthi, Kaleem, Karlwinn, Ismael, Oliver, Yuan Ci and Jemima.
Thank you to the management team for supporting ITI, including those supporting anonymously and silently.
Thank you to my juniors and seniors.
Thank you to Raka Maitra, Caroline, and Chowk Productions.
Thank you to the people that I’ve met in ITI and Singapore. You helped me so much. Thank you.
Profile photo and ASYLUM production shot by Bernie Ng