Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What is Octopus?

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you were infected by a deadly sexually transmitted disease?

What if you have exposed your loved ones to the deadly infection by your own choices?

What would your love ones do if they found out that they were infected because of you?

These are the questions that the main characters in “Octopus”, written by Steve Yockey, are forced to deal with after a hastily planned night of “fun” with the 4 of them places them in the situation where one of them turns out to be positive. As the story progressed, audience gets to see how the newly discovered information threatened the relationship that both couples have with each other and how each reacts differently to the news. In the actions that the characters take as the story unfolds, “Octopus” puts out a mirror for the audience to reflect on themselves and discover if what they see on stage would be something that they could consider doing if they find themselves in similar situations.

“Octopus” is not all doom and gloom as love in the age of AIDS/HIV is still love nevertheless. It is also a story of commitments and the lengths that people would go to keep what’s most important to them. It presents the audience with 2 different and parallel ways that people deal with the problem that still plague us even after all these years. One may have a better outcome than the other but it may not be the easier path to choose when all is said and done.

While “Octopus” is firmly situated in the context of the gay community, it is by no means limited by it. The questions raised, motivations scrutinized and message reveals resounds on a universal level no matter which part of the sexual preference spectrum the audience choose to identify with. Like the disease itself, the message in “Octopus” does not discriminate. It is for all to hear, understand and share.

So what is Octopus?

Short answer … it is a play directed by Kelvin Wong, featuring Malik Taufiq, Jack Lua, Nandang Abdul Rahman, Edmund Wong & Will Quah which will be performed at Pentas 2, klpac from Dec 16 – 22nd,2010.

It is also an unapologetic gay play to opens a window into a situation that most people would never want to find themselves in which allows them to examine the possibilities of the what ifs within the context of the universal story being presented on stage.

It’s something that you will miss out if you don’t go and watch it yourself

(Cast of the Malaysian production of "Octopus by Steve Yockey


Date & Time: 16 – 18 Dec & 20 – 22 Dec @ 8:30pm; 19 Dec @ 3pm
Venue: Pentas 2, klpac
Venue Map: http://www.klpac.com/Welcome.asp?c=venuelocation
Ticket Price: RM38 (adults), RM25 (students & the disabled)

Monday, December 06, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tackling the World 10 minutes at a Time

I'm definitely going for the workshops this year after chickening out at the last minute last year. Anyone else coming?
Want to learn the Art of 10-minuters?

SHORT+SWEET Malaysia 2010

Workshops Now Open for Registrations

SHORT+SWEET Malaysia will be returning for a third season! And we're growing our SHORT+SWEET family in Malaysia once again... Last year, we introduced a new member, SHORT+SWEET DANCE. This year, we will be welcoming another addition SHORT+SWEET MUSICAL. You can look forward to six weeks of SHORT+SWEET festival this year.

As usual, we'll be starting off with a whole host of workshops conducted by SHORT+SWEET experts Alex Broun, who will be running the theatre workshops, and Nicole Stinton, who will be running the musical theatre workshops.

It's a fantastic opportunity to familiarise yourself with the whole SHORT+SWEET concept and it'll give you an early start to prepare for the festival in September / October 2010... do sign up with your friends!

Playwriting Level 1: 2 April @ 7pm - 10pm
Playwriting Level 2: 3 April @ 2pm - 5pm
Directing / Acting Level 1: 3 April @ 10am - 1pm
Directing / Acting Level 2: 4 April @ 10am - 1pm
Combined Session - Playwriting / Directing / Acting Advanced: 4 April @ 2pm - 5pm
Public Reading & Showcase: 4 April @ 7pm - 10pm

Composers & lyricists: 11 April @ 10am - 2pm
Performers: 11 April @ 2.30pm - 5.30pm
Performers / Composers / Lyricists: 11 April @ 6.30pm - 10pm & 12 April @ 6.30pm - 10pm

E-mail michelle@klpac.org your contact details & state which workshop you'd like to attend
(registration fee of RM10 applies)

SHORT+SWEET 2010 Festival Dates
SHORT+SWEET Musical: 22 September - 3 October
SHORT+SWEET Dance : 6 October - 17 October
SHORT + SWEET Theatre: 20 October - 31 October

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Open Auditions for klpac's T4YP 2010 Ensemble

Do you want to be in the limelight? Do you want to try to see if you're cut out for the theater stage? If you're between 16 to 25 years old, here's a chance for you!

Since 2008, klpac’s Theatre For Young People (T4YP) programme has been providing a platform for young people to express themselves by creating meaningful theatre.

Once again, we would like to welcome young people between the ages of 16 to 25 years old to be part of the T4YP Ensemble as actors for Season 2010. Previous theatre experience is not essential. However, commitment, creativity and dedication are …

Season 2010 runs for a period of six months from April to September and features three mainstage productions in Pentas 2 and a 2-week season of experimental theatre in the Indicine. Throughout the season, compulsory weekly rehearsals on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights as well as Saturday afternoons.

Audition Details:
One Day Only: Saturday, March 27
Time slots: 10am to 1pm, 2pm to 6pm & 7pm to 9pm
Venue: Indicine, Level 2, klpac

Come Prepared with:

ONE Classical Monologue (2 minutes)

  • Text in verse by Shakespeare, Monologue must be memorised

ONE Contemporary Monologue (2 minutes)

  • Non-comedic/Serious, text in prose from any contemporary 20th, 21st century playwright or any movie screenplay, Monologue must be memorised

ONE Contemporary Monologue (2 minutes)

  • Comedic/Funny, text in prose from any contemporary 20th, 21st century playwright or any movie screenplay, Monologue must be memorised

OPTIONAL: ONE Song (1 minute) to be sung acapella

Looking for monologues for the audition? Try these sites :

Audition is by appointment only!

Contact Ashraf Zain (Production Manager, klpac) on 03-40479037 or ashraf@klpac.org

Closing date for registration: Thursday, 25 March by 6.30pm
After this date, no entries will be accepted. No walk-ins will be entertained on the day.

For more information on T4YP and their past productions visit their blog at http://t4yp.wordpress.com/ also visit http://www.klpac.org/

Friday, March 05, 2010

The Week That Was – Feb 22 – 28, 2010

It was a quiet week at the office work-wise. People were just coming back from their long Chinese New Year break and we mostly catching up with all their messages and action items for work. For us who started work the week before, it was just a normal week at the office.

Highlight of the week was the “Bernarda Alba” musical that I watched at klpac on their preview night. It was definitely not the type of musicals that I was accustomed to so it was really an eye opening experience for me to watch. I have actually heard the soundtrack of the original cast production but it never really registered in my head until I actually got to see a full production of the piece. I guess it just goes to show that while listening to the original soundtrack CD might be enjoyable, it is still a poor substitute to actually watching it on stage.

“Bernarda Alba” was quite dark and somber but it was not without moments of charm and frivolity. A character study in effects of repression and social control, it tells the story of a domineering mother how literally imprisons her 5 daughters after the death of her 2nd husband in an attempt to protect them from the outside world. The reactions and conflicts that arose from this decision drove the narration which was beautifully conveyed through the songs being sung on stage. I definitely enjoyed myself at the performance even with the minor technical details that bugged me a bit while watching.

The other highlight of the week was my board gaming overdose. We had planned to have a board game session at a friend’s house on Sunday but a few of us wanted to have another session on the Friday before because it was a public holiday and they were all in town. We ended up going to the Boston’s Café near my place and staked out our own little corner to play our board games. We played and played and played! By the time we stopped, we had actually played almost 12 hours of board games in one sitting! We had “Settlers of Catan”, “No Merci!”, “Wits & Wagers”, “Times Up: Title Recall” & “Pictionary” on the table that day. Other than the 1 hour that we had to spend virtually in the dark thanks to a power outage at the café, it was just games and good company for the whole evening.

I was afraid that the guys would be all boadgame-ed out when Sunday came along but I guess that the board game bug has hit my group hard. After lunch at a nearby kopitiam, we adjourned to a friend’s house for games. We decided to whip up a batch of double chocolate chip cookies for the afternoon and proceeded to play several board games till it was time for dinner. We ended having rounds of “Settlers of Catan” (a group favorite), “Tribond”, “Kill Doctor Lucky”, “Wits & Wagers” & “Who Am I” that afternoon. I still didn’t get a chance to introduce the group to “Small World” yet but I hope to do so next time we come together for games.

It was a great weekend of games and great friends.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

“Bernarda Alba” at klpac

klpac presents



“Bernarda Alba”, a musical, tells the tale of a powerful matriarch who imposes a strict rule on her household following her second husband's funeral: "Not a breath of outside air is going to enter this house. It's going to feel like we've bricked up the doors and windows," she proclaims.

Bernarda's five daughters, however, struggle with her cold wishes. The girls' dream and desires challenge their mother's harsh rules and the outside world begins to slowly permeate their isolated existence.


Executive Producer: DATO’ FARIDAH MERICAN
Artistic Director: JOE HASHAM OAM

Musical Director: TONY LEO SELVARAJ
Choreographer: PETER ONG
Vocal Director: STEPHEN TOK
Lighting Designer: SANDEE CHEW

Date & Time:
25 FEB (Preview)
26 – 27 FEB, 2 – 6 MAR @ 8.30pm
28 FEB & 7 MAR @ 3pm (Matinee shows)

Pentas 2, klpac

RM48 (adults)
RM38 (senior citizens)
RM28 (students & disabled)

RM28 flat for preview night and Tues – Wed (2 & 3 MAR) shows

Box Office:
klpac @ Sentul Park (03-4047 9000) &
The Actors Studio @ Lot 10 (03-21422009/03-21432009)

Tickets also available at:
TicketAxcess @ Head office (Jln. Semangat), 1-Utama outlet & Alamanda Putrajaya outlet

Venue Website: http://www.klpac.com/
Venue Map Link: http://www.klpac.org/Welcome.asp?c=venuelocation
Facebook Event link: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=235846122777

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Two Weeks That Was – Feb 8 – 21, 2010

The first week was quite busy in the office with everyone trying to finish things off before they leave for their Chinese New Year break. Being the only one in the office who doesn’t need to rush back home for reunion dinners, I had the luxury of taking my company mandatory leave days ahead of everyone else which I did during the week before Chinese New Year. Most of those dates were spent with household chores and some repairs especially those involving the electrical supply.

I guess that it’s a fact of living in a place that when you’ve live there long enough, you’ll bound to have to deal will problems related to aging electrical wiring and the like. For months, I’ve been having power supply brown outs whenever I turn on one too many electrical appliances. Electrical sparks at the power distribution boards became more frequent and things got worse when I can’t even run my microwave without tripping the power supply. I finally had enough and called the electrician to replace the power distribution board before I accidently burn the house down. Good thing that my landlord agreed to have the repair bill deducted for the month’s rent.

Several friends came together to organized birthday dinner with another friend who is celebrating his birthday in the same month. We all went to a small, out of the way, Japanese restaurant called “NIHON KAI” off Jalan Kelang Lama. I have to say that it was a wonderful find for me as they had a really good spread of dishes to choose from and all of them were priced reasonably well. All of us were led into one of those tatami mat private dining rooms where we proceeded to party like drunk Japanese salary men the night through. I’m sure that we sounded like that as we enjoyed the great food, drinks and company.

Chinese New Year came and went without much to mark it for me. We did get 2 boardgame sessions in during the break. The first one was with a group of friends in Sentul which lasted for a few hours where we tested out Settlers of Catan, Wits & Wagers as well as Taboo. Our hosts made us a wonderful lunch in between the games and we ended the day with dinner at Pavilion. The second session of games was on the following day at a café near to my apartment. We ended up spending almost 7 hours there playing “Settlers of Catan”, “Wits & Wagers”, “Kill Doctor Lucky” and “Wasabi!” The funny thing was that everyone else at the café seemed to have the same idea as every table there that night had some type of game happening. I’m guessing that people were already quite bored staying at home during the long break and hence why it seems like everyone was out with games there.

Being at work during Chinese New Year week was a bit if a drag since the whole office was almost empty expect for a few of us. Fortunately, nothing major happen during the period and I was able to handle a few of the issues that cropped up during the period on my own. I ended up taking some time during the week to visit Toybox and get my own copy of the “SmallWorld” board game that I hope to give it a test drive some time soon.

I ended the week with good food and company at a friend’s place on Sunday to watch as many episodes of “Glee” that we could squeeze in. We all ended up only finishing half of the 13 episode season but it was still a great time. I even got to do some cooking since we wanted to make cookies to go with the show and made dinner once everyone got their fill of the TV show. Having a proper kitchen is one of the things that I missed most after moving out of my parents’ house to live on my own. I definitely want to get a proper kitchen in the next place that I move in.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Week That Was – Feb 1 – 8, 2010

Few highlights of the week.

Went to watch “Women of Silk River” which was staged at TAS@Lot10 on their opening night. I noticed that the crowd who came that night was not the usual crowd that I see at klpac but I’m guessing that a lot of them were friends, family and supporters of the production team as well as the cast. Overall, I loved the story even though there were parts of it that could have benefitted with a firmer editorial hand. I have to say that it is always interesting to watch a staging of a performance based on a devised play. When all the separate contribution comes together properly, things flow seamlessly that makes the audience forget that several voices contributed into the story of the piece.

After the show finished, a few of us stay back to have supper at a friend’s newly open eatery at Lot10. “Alsree Treasures Kitchen”@Lot10 had just opened the day before but because we know the proprietress, we got her to extend the dinner menu until they closed for us. I finally got her famous Beef Macaroni Soup that I have been hearing about from her but never got to taste. After the supper, we all agreed that the place would definitely be out hangout place for a pre or post show meal when we come for shows at Lot10.

This past weekend was also the weekend when my old school mates came back together for our 20th year anniversary reunion. Having transferred to a boarding school after my Form 3 year, I actually have two 20th year reunions to attend this year. Good thing that the one for the school that I attended from Form 1 to Form 3 decided to hold theirs in the beginning of the year and the other one towards the end of the year.

I have not seen most of the people who came to the reunion that day for at least 23 years and to say that a lot has change would be a major understatement. There were people there who I remember being so small and scrawny back then who have now blossomed into a person twice my size and at least a foot taller from me. A lot of them were shorter than me when I was in the same class with them back then but I’m guessing had a growth spurt after I left. It was nice actually getting back in touch with them but I have to say that I could scarcely remember about 75% of the people there. They have already started planning for the next gathering later in the year so hopefully more memories of those years will get jogged back in my mind.

The other thing that happen was me turning 37 on Sunday. Scary to think actually, turning 37 when there was a time back in darker days that I wondered if I would live past 28. If only my younger self could see me now and know that things would turn out all right despite how hopeless the situation at the moment felt. Still I cherish the years that have passed as life lessons that have made me the person who I am today. Without them, I guess I would have been a different person altogether and whether it would be for the better or for the worse, well that’s just another of the what-ifs that goes unanswered in my life.

The guys threw a party for me and one other friend who celebrates his birthday just 2 days after mine. As usual, good food & good company are the best ways of celebrating getting to add another year to the age box. The presents were a nice surprise with a highlight of a boardgame that they got out of my recent boardgame want list. I would be definitely breaking it out for the next games night with them. Still it was having friends like that that makes all the difference in the world.

I would not trade it for anything in the world!

Friday, February 05, 2010

The Week That Was – Jan 25 – Feb 1, 2010

The first month of the year closed off on a quite note work wise. Not much, other than the usual day to day work, has been happening in the month. Most of the time was spent planning for the rest of the year which hopefully will help once the next few months roll around.

The biggest item that happened in the past week was me being reminded of my parents’ mortality. As children, we always think that our parents will be there for us forever but as we grow older those youthful ideas get jarred by sometimes harsh realities that they don’t.

My father had recently been having some health problems and had to go for a checkup at the hospital. He was the type that would previously refuse to do so despite being asked to so many times by the family so for him to finally relent to go for the check up signaled to us that he was really hurting this time. True enough, he came back with a whole list of aliments that he has been ignoring all these years and now have caught up on him.

We all immediately knew that this is a major health scare for him when the first thing that he did after coming back from the checkup was to throw away all his cigarettes. Being a smoker for as long as I can remember, we knew that he must have finally come to the realization of what all that smoking was doing to his lungs. I have not personally seen his chest x-rays but according to my mum who did see it, his lung was already in bad shape. To top it all off, my father finally accepted that he does have diabetic condition that he has been in denial for years even with the doctor’s diagnosis.

My father has always been a confident person but after the medical checkup it seems that his confidence has been deeply shaken by the news. The family had long known that he has been in denial about his health issues and now it was already too severe to be ignored even by him. He now has his off and on days, health wise, but it is taking a toll on his confidence and the family.

He is currently still strong, walking around on his own and able to manage himself but I can’t help that eventually his strength will fail him. I have experience death in the family before but as they say, death of a parent is something totally different. I may even have many years ahead before it happens. As my father would often remind us that the males in our family generally lived well into our 80’s and he still has at least 20 years to go. But what kind of life would that be if you spend the next 20 years in a vegetative state? I duly hope that scenario is something that would never come to pass.

Mortality is quite disturbing when confronted.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

“Women of Silk River” at TAS@Lot10

klpac presents
Women of Silk River

Cleopatra. Joan of Arc. Nefertiti. Somehow we have always associated strong, courageous women with other parts of the world. This February, klpac's latest addition Kimmy Kiew takes a look at the lives of the unassuming Amahs in Malaysia.

Long before the influx of Indonesian and Filipino helpers, there were the Amahs from China. These women, often from poor families, were brought over to work as maids and were instantly recognisable by their white top and black bottom 'sam fu' attire and neatly plaited or bunned hair.

Women of Silk River takes a look at these invisible women who were employed to serve the household and make it run as smoothly and comfortably as possible. And yet there is so little known about their lives, their traditions, their beliefs, and, most importantly, the sacrifices they have made to to serve the household.

The devised play opens with the "sor hei" ceremony where their hair is combed into a bun and this signifies their new life as an Amah. Then, the tale of four Amahs, a British woman and a Japanese man unfolds...


Director: KIMMY KIEW
Executive Producer: DATO’ FARIDAH MERICAN
Artistic Director: JOE HASHAM OAM

Date & Time:
4-6, 8 – 9 FEBRUARY @ 8.30pm
7 FEBRUARY @ 3pm (Matinee shows)


RM35 (adults)
RM28 (senior citizens)
RM23 (students & disabled)

Buy 7 tickets and get 1 FREE!

Box Office:
The Actors Studio box office – 03-21422009/21432009 (walk-in purchases)

Tickets also available at:
TicketAxcess @ Head office (Jln. Semangat), 1-Utama outlet & Alamanda Putrajaya outlet

Venue Website: http://www.theactorsstudio.com.my/
Venue Map: http://www.theactorsstudio.com.my/new-venue-the-actors-studio-lot-10/map/
Facebook Event link: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=226830045988

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Fortnight That Was – Jan 10 – 24, 2010

“Hopefully I could keep to a schedule of a minimum of 1 blog entry per week this year. “


That went out the door almost immediately after I said it :-p

Anyway … I promise myself that I will update the blog once a week so that I don’t get too rusty when it comes down to writing. Which by the way also applies to my stage play writing which I still have yet to start. I have all these stories running around in my head but have not found the drive to sit myself down and write them all out. This has always been a problem for me. Once I get started then I would usually sail through the process but to find the momentum to overcome the initial bump to start can be at times infuriating. This is why I am totally envious of some of the people I know who can just sit there and churn out full plays in just a few weeks.

Work continues on steadily. Not many surprises in the 2 weeks. I guess it’s the nature of the work that I only really into high gear when something breaks down. Other times, I have plenty of down time to plan for improvements and other things that I want to do during the day. The only exciting thing that came up was the news that our team will be going for a team building excursion at the end of Feb. I have never been on one so I guess that you can say that I’m looking forward to the experience.

Had a few gaming nights within the 2 weeks. The first was to play “Munchkin Quest” that I finally got a copy of after waiting for it for months. As exciting as it was to get it, I have to say that our session experience was less than exciting. I don’t fault the game or the people playing but I think that MQ is a bit difficult to introduce to non gamers especially those who have never played any of the Munchkin card games before.

We had better luck with playing “Castle Keep” and “Wasabi!” in the other sessions. Both are simple tile laying games that people can get into pretty fast and were high on the fun quotient. “Wasabi!” especially got a vote from the group for a return engagement the next time we meet up for some games. I’ve read about the game for some time from the BGG website and knew that it would go down well with them.

My birthday’s coming up in a few weeks. Will be turning 37 this year. Every year is a happy surprise for me since there was a dark time in my life that I thought that I would never make it beyond 30. Happily those clouds are behind me and I look forward to each day with as much gusto as I can muster.

No one can ask for more.

Friday, January 08, 2010

The Week That Was – Jan 3 – 8, 2010

Another year rolls by and a new entry for this oft-neglected blog :-p

Hopefully I could keep to a schedule of a minimum of 1 blog entry per week this year.

2010 rolled in for me with the company of great friends who we celebrated with in Melaka. I could have not asked for a better group to see the new decade in. It’s actually funny to see the digits “2010” roll in as growing up we have always seen this decade to be the one to look forward to for all the futuristic bits and bobs. Having finally reached the promised date, I could not help but feel a bit disappointed that the reality didn’t really turn out as fantastic as the promise. Of course we do have technology now that we would never dream of 30 years ago but we are definitely still far away from the vision that the sci-fi masters have put out in both literature and films. Guess we will have to wait for another 30 years before the Jetsons style personal jet packs solve the traffic problems in KL.

Work continues to be without any surprises this week. Most of the time, I spent tying up loose ends from what was left over from last year’s work load. I’m looking forward to start implementing a few new projects and changes that I’ve been planning to at work. Hopefully I would be able to contribute more improvement ideas for the team in the year ahead. I’m definitely sure that some of the items I have planned would help out but it would take some time to get it in.

2009 saw me put in 3 plays to be staged at klpac and I look forward to be able to pen more for consideration. KL has been chasing me to submit something for “IndicineLive!” but I find myself hesitating because I don’t know if I can actually write something funny. It’s one thing to have humor in the script as an unintentionally byproduct but it’s a whole other ball game of trying to write something that you hope people would get a laugh out off. Still it is an intriguing challenge and I still have one more week to figure out if I’m up to the task. I probably try to put pen to paper this coming weekend and explore if I do have a funny bone to tickle.

Board games have recently featured a lot in my social life of late and I’m thoroughly enjoying them. Just recently we played a round of “Kill Doctor Lucky” with a group of people who never played it before and everyone had a good time. I’ve also found really good small plastic containers from the chain of 100Yen stores in town that help made the games pieces I already own more organized. To top it all off, I’ve caved in an purchased the iPod version of the popular “Settlers of Catan” board game and have been enjoying it since then. I would definitely be adding the game in my board game want list so I can get it and introduce me gaming rookie friends to it.

On a sad note, I woke up today to the news of the torching of a church in Desa Melawati that people are might link to the recent controversy of the court ruling of allowing the usage of the word “Allah” by the Herald. I stand by the belief that if Heralds wants to use the term in their mass publication then they should use the full terms that are used by the Christian Arabs throughout the Middle East. Using the terms "Allah al-‘ab" (الله الأب) meaning God the father, "Allah al-ibn" (الله الابن) mean God the son, and "Allah al-rūh al-quds" (الله الروح القدس) meaning God the Holy Spirit instead of just “Allah” to refer to the aspects of the Catholic Trinty would clearly differentiate the usage of the terms.

Regardless, I personally condemn those who burn down/destroy/deface houses of worship as people who belittle the importance of religion for the people and have no right to claim themselves as being pious or religious. An eye for an eye will only leave us with a people who are blind physically, mentally and spiritually who would have no discourse to accept the first one eyed man as king.