Connections 2023: Our Many Colours: Cultural Inclusivity in the Drama Classroom
Students in the drama classroom are expected to learn about various kinds of characters and walk in their shoes to tell a story on the stage. However, how often do these characters reflect our culturally diverse society? Who gets to decide the kinds of stories we tell in the drama classroom?
Join us at Connections 2023:Our Many Colours: Cultural Inclusivity in the Drama Classroom as we interrogate the cultural representation in our drama classrooms, syllabi, texts, and what role drama educators play in creating the safe space for explorations in cultural inclusivity.
This year’s Connections 2023 consists of a panel discussion that participants can join in person or online via Zoom. Speech-to-text interpretation will be provided for the event.
Panel Discussion Details:
Date: Saturday, 4th March 2023
Time: 3pm to 4:30pm
Venue: (In-person) library@esplanade(Online) Zoom
Akshita Nanda, Panelist
Akshita Nanda is a journalist, analyst and author of the novels Beauty Queens of Bishan (Penguin Random House SEA) and Nimita’s Place (Epigram Books). Nimita’s Place was adapted for the stage in 2019 by arts group T:>Works and in 2020 co-won the Singapore Literature Prize for English fiction. In 2022, she was a virtual resident at the National Centre for Writing UK, supported by the National Arts Council of Singapore.
Elnie S Mashari, Panelist
Elnie S Mashari is a dynamic & experienced theatre practitioner with nearly three decades of experience. As a performer, director, and drama trainer, she has worked with students aged 10 to 23, using drama techniques to help them express their inner voice in a safe and supportive environment.
Since 2012, Elnie has served as the Section Head of ITE HNITEC in Performance Production, where she oversees technical theatre education at ITE College Central. Under her guidance, students gain hands-on experience through industry projects such as the Singapore Night Festival and Esplanade productions. She also directs and trains the ITE Theatrical Ensemble, which produces a range of events including drama plays & musicals.
Elnie is passionate about developing both the performance and technical aspects of theatre, and believes that education is the key to making the arts in Singapore more vibrant.
Ezra Kamal, Panelist
Ezra Jazlan Kamal is currently studying Diploma in Theatre (English Drama) at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA). He was awarded as the Finalist for the Mendaki Anugerah Belia Cemerlang in 2021, and selected to be in the NAFA Talent Development Programme (NTDP) where he continues to develop his skills in Southeast Asian and Western movement art forms. Ezra’s experience include Cyril and Michael (Bridging the Gap), Offending the Audience (Emergency Stairs) and Marantau Balik Ka Alam (Kaum Collective).
Kah Gay Ng, Panelist
Working with the dynamic crew at Ethos Books and Pagesetters, Kah Gay focuses on making books and supporting an environment for literature, the arts, and culture. Kah Gay wants to build the foundation for a regional network of publishers, for the circulation of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and to find like-minded individuals who wish to work on publishing projects to spread environmental consciousness.
Serena Ho, Panelist
Serena Ho is a director and facilitator. She started her career as an actor and has since worked at many schools and theatre companies. She derives joy from collaborating with various communities. She enjoys work that is based on real life experiences and aims to realise new forms of empowerment through process work in classrooms and rehearsals.
Adeeb Fazah, Moderator
Adeeb is a drama educator and theatre director.
Adeeb works with youths as an educator for drama-in-curriculum and CCA programmes in various secondary schools, junior colleges and polytechnics. He currently serves as a Committee Member of the Singapore Drama Educators Association, where he trained and received the certificate in Drama Pedagogy: Essentials of Teaching and Learning.
As Artistic Director of The Second Breakfast Company, he advocates for youth talent on professional stages, directing works like The Singapore Trilogy (2021), The Essential Playlist (2022) and The Paiseh Pieces (2023).
Adeeb has also directed works for Toy Factory, Gateway Theatre, Impromptu Meetings, Centre 42, The Arts House, Bhumi Collective, Yellow Chair Productions, M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, Wisma Geylang Serai and so on.
Connections is a non-partisan platform for connecting stakeholders in the education sector through open dialogues on current challenges, issues and developments with the aim to inspire change.
Through the various activities organised under Connections, SDEA has:
- Used applied drama activities to explore the gaps in inclusivity in education
- Actively promoted the use of drama as a pedagogy to complement existing teaching practices
- Initiated and facilitated dialogues with/between various stakeholders such as NAC, MOE (CPDD, ECDA and AEB (formerly CCAB)), NIE (VPA), WDA, teaching artists, educators and various professional theatre companies
- Conducted drama workshops in partnership with The Kennedy Center (US), CCAB and NAC