CONTENT CREATION: A DIRTY PHRASE
Theatre is a very limiting word. It limits you to those four walls of a black box or a 1000-seater auditorium. It limits you to that raised platform in front of the thousands of cushioned seats. So is content. I think it's a dirty word. It suggests quantity and not quality. It's about speed and not the process. My work has always been about defying that. About creating something that is truly about the work and the story that is presented. And about stepping outside the comforts of the theatre space to do that.
There is so much potential to make theatrical content that exists outside of that norm, especially in Singapore.With our culture and our history, theatre can afford to live on the streets and in and amongst the people.
This has guided the theatrical content I create first and foremost with my companies Patch and Punnet and Strawberries Inc. Is what I'm writing different? Not just in terms of content, but in its form and its style. Secondly, who am I writing it for and why am I writing it. I cannot continue writing if I don't know these answers. And most of the time it's for Singaporeans who want to have a novel experience - and yes there is a novelty to the theatre.
This is what guides my storyteling and content creation. It's about adding a local flavor to relatively universal stories. In creating our content, we choose to approach most of our shows with comedy with a touch of profundity- what we call the HAHA-EH effect. What it means is to create a hilarious show with gags and jokes throughout, but at the core of the show lies a heart of provocation- challenging audiences' perspectives as much as it provides them with a good time and a good laugh. We also love absurdity, creating storylines that are silly and mad. From a play about a dog and a fish and their unlikely friendship to a play around Haw Par Villa hosted by Aw Boon Haw, we love larger-than-life characters and costimes that seem ridiculous. But in our content creation and storytelling, we love to see a meaningful message or a provocative discourse arise from it.
Content creation for the stage or in our case at a park or shophouse is unique in the sense that you present it live in front of an audience. You get to experience their laughter and their energy and the story lives moment to moment.
The intimacy created is something Tik-Tok will never give. To me, the beauty of writing for the stage is the fact that you don't have to necessarily think of SEOs or content strategies, or branding even. It's all about the content and what you want to say. It's truly about the story and nothing else…
Copywriter, MillStirling aka Nofinerlife
Theater Director, Strawberry Inc