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Coming Soon: The Woman in Black

January 20, 2014
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WomanInBlackSculptureSquare1Event: The Woman in Black
Venue: Sculpture Square Chapel Gallery
Run: 7th – 9th Feb 2014

First things first – this has nothing to do with the production of “The Woman in Black” that played at the Kallang Theatre last month.

This production, based on the same text, will be staged at the Sculpture Square Chapel Gallery by an independent local theatre group, and will star Lasalle alumni Ethan Chia and Riccardo Cartelli.

If you’ve never caught “The Woman in Black” before, I would recommend you give it a go just to experience what is in my opinion one of the scariest stage plays I’ve ever witnessed.

I’m very much looking forward to attending this play to see how it turns out at the Chapel Gallery, as it would be my first time there.

Ethan Chia, who is also the play’s director, is better known for his appearances as Alan Strang in “Equus” (2011) by Toy Factory, and other roles in “Macbeth” (2011), “Twelfth Night” (2012) and “Lord of the Flies” (2012) by the Singapore Repertory Theatre.

Ethan has kindly allowed us to interview him with the following 3 burning questions:

1) Could you tell me a little bit more about this independent group that is putting up “The Woman in Black”, and how this group came about?

This group began forming in August when I started talking about it to people. I typically ship the idea around and develop it by talking to people about it. It began with myself and Riccardo (Ricky) over some frozen yogurt, and we gradually brought more and more people on board. Everyone on the team has a very unique skillset and flair for what they do, but what was most important was building a team that had the humility to dive into a very collaborative process. More than just being great collaborators, we also had to grow as friends.

2) I guess the first thing that came to my mind when I saw that your group is staging “The Woman in Black” was that it was just only recently staged at the Kallang Theatre last month. Is it merely a coincidence or are the two events linked somehow? Also, could you tell me why you guys chose “The Woman in Black” for your theatrical debut?

I had already chosen to do this play before the publicity for the Kallang Theatre show went up. Something bizarre has been happening the past couple of years where everytime I want to put up a show, someone else just happens to be developing it. At that point, I normally just throw in the towel and drop the project, but this time around, I put my foot down and went ahead with it. And I am glad I did, because I went to watch the production at the Kallang Theatre and I can safely say that our version of it is the same text, but a different play.

“The Woman In Black” has got all the elements of a great story. The content is so expertly crafted that it becomes a question of how we package it for an audience. It also terrifies me as a theatre maker, because the contemporary audience is so intelligent nowadays and so not as easily fooled and easily bored. So it is a challenge to tell this story in a way that will keep the audience of the 21st century active and engaged. I like a challenge.

3) The Sculpture Square Chapel Gallery is certainly an interesting choice of venue and it will be my first time there. How did you guys settle on this location for the play?

It was quite a serendipitous thing. I was going around the country looking at spaces that had, for lack of a better term, character. Spaces that had a unique quality to them, a history, a story that was inherent in the walls. We are surrounded by too many tall glass monoliths that places like Sculpture Square which have been around for so long, go unnoticed.

The chapel itself is quite haunting, for one. It is 200 years old. It has a fake wall built around the inside that feels the same leaden gray as described in the text. The acoustics are otherworldly because the sound seem to emanate straight from the walls. The lights have their own sounds and tempers. Essentially, Sculpture Square is a eccentric space and it is that same eccentricity that is unfamiliar but supports the story of “The Woman In Black” incredibly well.

Play Duration: 90 mins (no intermission)
Ticket Purchase: www.indiegogo.com/projects/twibtix
Event Website: twib2014.tumblr.com

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