Story and photos by DENIELLE LEONG
LOVERS of the arts and budding performers can rejoice at the installation of new endeavour TheatreThreeSixty. Founded by Christopher Ling, Alex Chua, Nandang Abdul Rahman and Nicole Ann Thomas, this spanking new performing arts company promises to ramp up the excitement in the local scene.
Ling revealed that this “pasar malam of funny things” is a joint effort between him and his partners, a niche pursuit that they have been eyeing for awhile now.
The foursome came up with the concept in February and the company kicked off with a month-long We Are TheatreThreeSixty series this month, which concludes with The Moving On Emporium and gala night on April 26. It all came together very quickly, which just goes to show that this company means business.
“At one of our early discussions, we talked about what we wanted to stand for (as a company) and if we were here for the long haul. We’ve seen so many production companies popping out of nowhere and some would just do a few shows, and then that would be the end of it.
“But that’s not how we want to approach it,” the company’s artistic director Ling explained.
In just over a month since its inception, TheatreThreeSixty acquired projects for the entire year. Its impressive line-up of events includes performances at the CoswayEXchange Festival in Singapore in June and a musical at the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the performance arts company also organises sessions to reach out to aspiring writers and actors. Every other Saturday, it holds its WordBox writing workshop, which is open to all and sundry.
“There are two parts to WordBox. Part one is the writing workshop, and part two is when we get our actors to read the scripts. We feel that it is very important for the writers to hear their own works,” co-executive producer Chua revealed.
TheatreThreeSixty has also started its very first Actors’ Gym, a 16-week workshop to educate and equip actors with all the necessary skills, concluding with a graduation performance.
Ling intimated that plans are afoot for a proper young actors programme, though that won’t be seeing the light of day this year.
“We always want to provide opportunities for young people, but at the moment, we don’t have anyone to lead a youth wing.
“It’s not just directing or teaching; you’re coaching and you’re helping these actors grow as individuals, too. That’s why, for something like this, you really need people who are truly passionate,” Ling said, before adding: “We’ll definitely start on it once we find that person. It could happen today, it could happen tomorrow, or it could even happen after that person reads this article.”
One thing’s for sure: TheatreThreeSixty is here to stay, and its presence will contribute to the growth of our local performing arts arena. And the company treads a path less travelled, giving it an edge.
“We want it to be more intimate, more accessible, and more in-your-face. The other thing about us is that we don’t want to pretend to be anything,” Chua asserted.
Find out more on TheatreThreeSixty at www.theatrethreesixty.com and follow @theatrethreesixty on Twitter and Instagram for updates.