21 March 2005 by chenboying


									Annex 1

SPIRITS Toy Factory Theatre Ensemble (Singapore) SYNOPSIS
Five of Chinese history‟s most infamous femme fatales, Bao Si, Sai Jing Hua, Lu Hou, Yu Xuan Ji and Ke Shi have had controversial lives of murder, betrayal and heartache. They were known to be unusual women of their times, cunning, cruel and gutsy when women were expected to be the very opposite. They achieved great achievements – Lu Hou was China‟s first female ruler while Yu Xuan Ji was a celebrated poetess – but often at great personal loss and suffering. Vilified and celebrated by people throughout history, they have been called murderers, martyrs and survivors. But what really were they? Were they really evil spirits who desecrated empires or were they simply women fighting to live in a man‟s world? Let these five internationally renowned opera masters show you these naked faces behind their pretty paints to show who they really are. Using five diverse opera styles on one stage, these acclaimed nan dans will show you the painful realities of being a woman.

Annex 2

SPIRITS Toy Factory Theatre Ensemble (Singapore) THE STORIES OF THE FIVE “YAO JING”
塞金花 Sai Jing Hua - Qing Dynasty Born in 1872, Sai Jinhua was sold to a brothel at a very young age. In 1887, she married Hong Jun who became an ambassador at the tender young age of 15. When Hong Jun died of an illness, just as the allied armies conquered Beijing, Sai Jinhua was forced to go back to the brothel. She became the lover of a German marshal and persuaded the Germany marshal to implement a peace treaty. In 1903, Sai Jinhua was arrested for torturing young prostitutes and imprisoned. She spent her old age in poverty and eventulally died in Beijing. 褒姒 Bao Si - Zhou Dynasty Bao Si, an orphan, was picked to enter the palace to serve the Emperor because of her good looks. She was given to the Emperor by the Bao tribe, was named „Bao Si‟ and became the Emperor‟s favourite concubine. In a bid to please Bao Si, the Emperor tricked all the warlords by lighting the beacon towers, offending the feudal lords. Bao Si meddled in the country‟s affairs, maintained good relations with high-ranking officials, abolished the system of having an Empress and Crown Prince and thus was very much hated by the common people. It was believed that Bao Si was actually reincarnated from a lizard. Finally, when a coup was staged and the enemies invaded and occupied many parts of the capital and both the Emperor and Bao Si were killed, their only child was taken away by force. 吕后 Lu Hou - Han Dynasty Named Zhi at birth, Empress Lu became the Empress when Liu Bang was Emperor. She was the first empress in the history of China to possess great political power, having rose to power after Gao Zu and forced the Emperor to kill all court officials. When in power, she got rid of the Emperor‟s favourite concubine Qi by digging out Qi‟s eyes, cutting away her nose and tongue, chopping off her limbs and throwing her into the toilet and giving her the nickname „Human Pig‟ in order to have her anger appeased. Empress Lu‟s son, Emperor Hui, died of anguish over his mother‟s evil doings. 鱼玄机 Yu Xuan Ji - Tang Dynasty Yu Xuan Ji was a talented, learned lady from the Tang Dynasty. Her poems were well written and full of emotions. At the age of 17, she became a courtesan, and later was forced to marry Li Yi and became his concubine. She was chased out of the house because she refused to obey Li Yi‟s wife. Later, she went to Chang-an and became a Taoist priestess, changing her name from „Yu Youwei‟ to „Yu Xuan Ji‟. All over Chang-an, her name and reputation was known by all. Many scholars would come and visit her. However, none of them seemed to have made an impression on her. She was known for unintentionally killing her maid Lu Qiao, and sentenced to death. A famous quote from her reads: “If there were really a life after death, I would rather be a fish than a woman, so that I can swim worry-free in the sea of love.” 客氏 Ke Shi - Ming Dynasty During the Ming dynasty, Ke Shi the wife of a peasant and nanny of the prince earned the trust of the Empress because of her resourcefulness and intelligence. When the prince ascended the throne, she was bestowed the honorable title of “Great Madam”. As a result, Ke Shi attained great power in the imperial court and conspired with a eunuch to engage in all kinds of evil doings, causing the deaths of concubines Zhang, Feng and Li. After the old Emperor died, the new Emperor ordered Ke Shi‟s cohorts to be put to death and forced her out of the palace. Ke Shi was whipped to death while washing clothes by the river, and her relatives, more than fifty of them, were punished for their crimes.

Annex 3

Established in 1990, Toy Factory Theatre Ensemble is Singapore‟s leading bilingual theatre company. Known for its fiercely original, gutsy and edgy productions, Toy has constantly redefined boundaries with its creative approach to theatre making. From its humble beginnings as a puppetry theatre company, Toy has evolved through the years into a professional multi-disciplinary and full-fledged theatre company that strives to create works that are accessible to all audiences. Being bilingual (and more, if you count each local dialect as a separate language) enables Toy to address, perform and reach out to both the English and Mandarin-speaking audiences, a role which has been doubly challenging, demanding and ultimately, rewarding. In recent years, the successful tour of Toy‟s award-winning play Titoudao and Chief Artistic Director Goh Boon Teck‟s recent well-received international multi-cultural Japan-Asean collaboration has propelled the homegrown theatre company into an ambitious ensemble with a regional and global vision with its eyes firmly set on the rest of the world. Guided by a bold spirit and an attitude of risk-taking, Toy has carved out an indelible niche for itself in Singapore, garnering 10 Life! Theatre Awards since the inception of the prestigious annual awards event (arguably Singapore‟s equivalent to the Tony Awards) in 2001. As Toy rapidly and ceaselessly negotiates and defines its role locally and internationally, it still strives to maintain its simple philosophy of the theatre being a platform for intellectual, educational, spiritual and joyful exchange ground. Awards 2001 Life! Theatre Awards, Best Play of the Year, Best Original Script, Best Production Design, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor. Young Artist Award (Theatre)- Goh Boon Teck DBS Life! Theatre Awards, Best Director (Beatrice Chia), Best Actor (Chua En Lai) DBS Life! Theatre Awards, Best-Set Design (Goh Boon Teck) Life! Theatre Awards, Best Play of the Year (Bent), Best Supporting Actor (Lim Yu Beng)

2002 2003 2004

TOY FACTORY is fabulously 15 in year 2005! After 67 productions and over a million audiences in Singapore, Japan, China, Egypt, Malaysia, Thailand, th Philippines and Indonesia, Toy Factory is celebrating its absolutely fabulous 15 anniversary this year. We want to thank you for nurturing a homegrown company into an international theatre company. Come book our seats and celebrate being fabulously 15 with us this year! Turning fabulously 15, we promise to provoke and inspire you more than ever before. Once again, come and play in our playground of creative energies, ageless imaginations and spirited thinking! In fabulous 2005, treat your families in outings to our Spring Singing (January), Spirits (June), Long House (August) and Ten Brothers (November). Wickedly adventurous and more adult audiences may titillate their senses in our electrifying Dangerous Liaisons (February) and Porcelain (April). We have something fabulous for everyone.

Annex 4

SPIRITS Toy Factory Theatre Ensemble (Singapore) PROFILES OF CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM
Lin Shao Ling (Singapore) (Bao Shi) Born in November, 1965, Fu Jian Chuan Zhou, China, Shao Ling began studying at the Fu Jian Arts School, majoring in Li Yuan opera in 1977. In 1982, after graduating with distinction both in the “Wen” and “Wu” role-play he worked in the Fu Jian province Li Yuan theatre company up till 1995. Shao Ling attained a gold nd medal in the 2 Fu Jian province Young Artist Award. From 1995 till today, he has been in the employment of Singapore‟s Siong Leng Musical Association, planning, directing and performing in various scales of productions organized by the association. Currently the artistic director of Siong Leng Musical Association and a permanent resident of Singapore, some of his productions include Chen San Wu Niang, Gao Wen Ju, Guo Hua Mai Yan Zhi, which are very well received by the Chuan Zhou opera audiences.

Qing Zhan Bao (China) (Lu Hou) Employed as artistic coordinator of Chinese Opera Institute in 2005, Qing Zhan Bao was born into a family of Beijing opera artistes in 1965 and had practiced the art and skills under his father‟s coaching. He graduated from Ji Lin Liao Quan Opera School and was under the employment of Beijing‟s Beijing Opera Institute and Qing Dao Beijing Opera Institute respectively. He practiced under various famous Wusheng (artistes who specialized in Chinese opera roles and well-versed in martial arts) and renowned artists. He was invited to represent Shandong Province to take part in a forum in 1990 and his performance of Fire at Fei Yuan Qing received great response and was the topic of discussion in forums and newspapers. In the following year, he won the first position and other prizes in many opera performing competitions in China. Since five years ago, he was often invited to perform in events in China. In 2004, Zhan Bao was invited to perform in the Singapore Arts Festival‟s Rising Stars at Hong Lim Park and in which he received favourable responses.

Ou Yang Bing Wen (Singapore) (Yu Xuan Ji) Ou Yang Bing Wen is one of the most acclaimed Cantonese opera performers in Singapore. For more than twenty years, he has been performing as well as teaching young aspiring opera actors. A student of the legendary Cantonese opera diva, Hong Xian Nu, he models his singing style on hers. Bing Wen also directs and choreographs opera for Kong Chow Wui Koon, a clan association established in Singapore for the past 162 years. He is also the only nan hua dan (female impersonator) opera actor in Singapore. He specializes in the „qingyi‟ role (virtuous and chaste woman), which emphasizes on singing technique and graceful movements. th In 1998, he was the only Singaporean artiste who sang at Diva Hong Xian Nu‟s 60 Anniversary celebration of her artistic career in Guangzhou. Bing Wen has performed in China, Japan, Malaysia, Egypt and London.

Ma Zi Jun (China) (Ke Shi) Ma Zi Jun is a member of the China Theatre of Artist Association, the China Opera Performing Committee, the An Hui Chinese Opera Association and the An Hui Talent Association. Currently with An Hui Huang Mei Theatre One Group, he is known as one of China‟s top ten Huang Mei actors. Zi Jun was also involved in the big-scale production Xi Shi, and won best actor for the role of Fan Yu at the China Cultural Award. His television role of Dong Yong in Qi Xian Nu Yu Dong Yong won him the National Television Golden Eagle Award.

Lin Jia (China) (Sai Jin Hua) Lin Jia grew up in a family with strong artistic traditions and in 1992, he joined the Shantou Arts and Culture School. He joined the Teochew Opera Troupe in 1998, participating in many performances around China. Lin Jia graduated from the China Opera Institution in 2002 under the tutelage of Mr. Ma Yu Lin and toured Indonesia in 2004 along with the Singapore Opera Institute. In 2003, he joined the Singapore‟s Chinese Opera Institute and toured Malaysia, Korea, Indonesia and India to great acclaim in 2005.

DIRECTOR & SET DESIGNER GOH BOON TECK Reckoned as a prominent creative force of Asian theatre, Goh Boon Teck‟s works are crossing country borders and enthralling audiences of different cultures. His works which are showcases of humanity dealt with post-modern sensitivity, throws the focus on profound human issues and morality. With a purposeful direction, Boon Teck delivers beautiful visions that he weaves with socially conscious messages. This young director oozes unapologetic courage and distinctive sense of aesthetics. A professional theatre director, playwright and production designer for more than a decade, Boon Teck is the first recipient of the VISA International Arts Scholarship to pursue a Masters in Theatre Directing in London, United Kingdom. Having graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore with a string of merit awards, he has a strong creative sense for the aesthetics, words, sound and visuals. Boon Teck is effectively bilingual in English and Mandarin. Presently, he is leading one of Singapore‟s most vibrant and productive theatre companies, Toy Factory Theatre Ensemble. Titoudao, a play written and directed by Boon Teck, won five out of nine awards at the inaugural LIFE! Theatre Awards in 2001. The awards include: Best Play of the Year, Best Original Script, Best Production Design, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor. This play has since toured Cairo, Shanghai, Beijing and Hangzhou. That same year, Boon Teck received the prestigious National Arts Council Young Artist Award for his contribution to the development of Singaporean theatre. In year 2003, he was awarded Best Set Design for Fireface in the LIFE! Theatre Awards and was commissioned by Japan‟s Kageboushi Theatre Company to write and direct a 6-countries collaboration Prism, funded by The Japan Foundation. That touring production premiered in Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space Theatre and toured to Singapore, Bangkok, Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. A prolific director, Boon Teck‟s works include Posteterne, Osean, I Have a Date with Spring, Purple, K, Mama Looking for her Cat, Storm, Under, Guys and Dolls, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, White Sails over Blue Sea, A Tinted Edge, The Eastern Line on My Palm, The Seventh Drawer, Beautiful Thing, The Morning People, Chessmaster, Oleanna, Mee Pok Man, Mad Phoenix and Prism. His recent stage design credits include Shopping and F***ing, Mr Beng, The Eastern Line on My Palm, Seventh Drawer, A Right Ritual, Beautiful Thing, The Morning People, Stop Kiss, Bent, Fireface and Chessmaster. COMPOSER SAIDAH RASTAM Saidah Rastam has written music for theatre, concerts, dance, commercials, corporate shows, documentaries and film. These include the musical The Storyteller (1996, Dramalab), written with Jit Murad which combined gamelan and angklung with electronic music, Scintillations (1997, Sutra Dance Theatre Company) which was a series of multimedia performances involving jazz and Indian classical musicians, Huang Li Po (1998, Kwaliworks), The Merchant of Venice (1999, The Instant Café Theatre Company), Occupation (2002, Straits Theatre Company), staged at the Singapore Arts Festival 2002 and The Japan Foundation‟s Setagaya Public Theatre‟s Pulau Antara (2001), staged in Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur. Saidah‟s composition have been performed in contemporary music concerts in Europe, Canada, United States and Australia, by, among others, the New York-based International New Music Consortium and the Australian a cappella ensemble, The Song Company. She was the musical director for the launch of the Petronas Twin Tower in 1999. In 2001, she wrote the soundtrack for Amir Muhammad‟s film, Lips to Lip, music documentaries on Malaysia fine arts and Wong Hoy Cheong‟s Relooking, for the Theatre Ohne Granzen, Vienna.

Last year‟s projects include composing dance music for Aida Redza‟s Feast Of Fools which premiered at the Copenhagen Arts Festival, the Australian Song Company‟s Lagu Project, music for Prism, a Japan-ASEAN theatre collaboration directed by Singapore‟s Goh Boon Teck and commissioned by Kageboushi Theatre Company, the Japan Foundation. She also wrote music for Akademi Seni Kebansann‟s 2003 production, AWAS, which received the Best Original Dance Music award at the Cameronian Arts Awards this year. Saidah‟s music ensemble, Mahna-Mahna performs West End music and „lagu semangat‟ by composers such as Jimmy Boyle, Ahmad Merican and Alfonso Soliano. It has performed extensively at corporate events and include prominent musicians Lewis Pragasam, Michael Veerapen, Greg Lyons and Zailan Razak and singers Sean Ghazi, Redman Rushed, Ad Bah Nor and Joanna Bessey. Saidah is also a qualified barrister (non-practicing) of Gray‟s Inn, London, an advocate and solicitor of the High Court of Malaya and a litigation lawyer for seven years. She was a founding member and director of Malaysia‟s foremost satirical comedy group, the Instant Café Theatre Company. From 1996 to 1998, she worked as a music producer at Scat Productions, Michael Veerpen‟s music production studio in Kuala Lumpur where she wrote music for TV commercial and documentaries and has completed courses in filmscoring and contemporary music composition at New York University, in Applied Music Technology at the School Of Audio Engineering (SAE), Kuala Lumpur. She teaches music at Akademi Seni Kebangsaan and the Universiti Teknologi Mera (MUiTM) and has lectured on sound design at the Multimedia University (MMU) and The Centre for Advanced Design (CENFAD). PLAYWRIGHT KOH TENG LIANG Koh Teng Liang is the most reputable screenwriter with MediaCorp‟s Channel 8 drama division. In 1996, he won Best Script at the Asian Television Awards and Best Movie and Television Script Award at MediaCorp‟s Star Awards. Between 1994 and 1998, he studied directing at the Practice Performing Arts School. Teng Liang had previously collaborated with Toy Factory Theatre Ensemble in two of its productions, A Right Ritual and Under. He recently completed his Masters degree in Film-making in Beijing, China. He is now base in Beijing where he can contribute his vast experiences in drama writing to Asia at large. As one Singapore‟s most prolific writers, Teng Liang has written more than 30 scripts. LIGHTING DESIGNER TOMMY WONG Founding chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Theatre Technician & Scenographers, Tommy obtained his Master of Fine Arts degree in Lighting Design from Purchase College, State University of New York. He was awarded the British Council Scholarship to study theatre management & design in United Kingdom and Asian Cultural Fellowship to study lighting design in Yale School of Drama. Some of his production credits include Reminiscing The Moon by Singapore Dance Theatre (Production Manager and Lighting Designer), Mei Lan Fang in Guangzhou and Beijing (Set and Lighting Designer) by Legend Theatre. Tommy received both the Best Lighting Design Award and the Best Set Design Award for his work on Hong Kong Dance Company‟s Yellow Earth, Yellow River at the 2001 Hong Kong Dance Award. He also received the Wen Hua Award for his work with the Shenzhen Song & Dance Troupe in 2000. His designs were also selected to represent Hong Kong at the Prague Quadrennial 1995 - The World Theatre Design and Architecture Exhibition. Tommy‟s previous collaborations with Toy Factory Theatre Ensemble include productions such as White Sails Over Blue Blue Sea, I Have A Date With Spring, The Seventh Drawer and Titoudao. He also designed the set and lighting for Singapore Chinese Orchestra‟s concert Marco Polo & Princess Blue during the Esplanade‟s Opening Festival in 2002. COSTUME DESIGNER TAN HONG CHYE Hong Chye graduated from the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts in 1990 with a Diploma in Costume Technology. He first worked with Toy Factory Theatre Ensemble as a costume designer in I Have a Date with Spring and Titoudao. Other Designing credits include The Morning People, La Boheme, Twist of Fate and Dan Xin Pu. HAIR DESIGNER ASHLEY LIM A professional hairstylist by training, Ashley has been a hair designer for stage performances since 1988. His prowess has been displayed in Toy Factory Theatre Ensemble‟s I Have A Date With Spring, A Tinted Edge, K and Morning People. His designs were also seen in Ah Kong’s Birthday Party, Madame What’s Next? and Hot Pants. Ashley now runs a salon, “Ashley Salon” located at Orchard Road.

Annex 5

SPIRITS Toy Factory Theatre Ensemble (Singapore) PRODUCTION CREDITS
CREATIVE TEAM Director Assistant Director Music Composer Playwright Opera Advisor Lighting Designer Costume Designer Hair Designer Original Jing Opera Tune Original Huang Mei Opera Tune Original Li Yuan Opera Tune CAST Bao Shi Lu Hou Yu Xuan Ji Ke Shi Sai Jin Hua Wu Sheng 1 Wu Sheng 2 Wu Sheng 3 Wu Sheng 4 Wu Sheng 5 and Narrator Saxophonist Chinese Percussion Violinist Sound Artist Drummer Goh Boon Teck Li Shi Yao Saidah Rastam Koh Teng Liang Dr Chua Soo Pong Tommy Wong Tan Hong Chye Ashley Lim Wang Yuan Yuan Ma Zi Jun Wang Zhao An Lin Shao Ling Qing Zhan Bao Ou Yang Bing Wen Ma Zi Jun Lin Jia Gordon Choy Wang Yan Bin Liu Liang Wu Yi Long, Willie Bai Ying Wen Timothy O‟Dywer Zhuang Haining Gerard Chia Darren Ng Rizal Sanip

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