Why We’re Excited About TheatreWorks’ New All-Women Creative Project, N.O.W.

We pick seven performances and workshops you should catch or join

Photo: TheatreWorks

What happens when you gather a team made up of only women to put together a creative public project? Would it be very different from any other project that involves men? These are the questions that prompted Noorlinah Mohamed to design N.O.W., a three-year season presented by TheatreWorks that shines a spotlight on women creators and change-makers, and the work they do.

"I wanted to experiment with the idea of how it would be like to play with women, entirely women," Noorlinah, who helms the project as the Artistic Director, shares. "What would change in terms of the set-up of the work, is there a different working style or voice? It's an experiment to raise questions for ourselves as women, whether there are more things we can talk about besides motherhood, for example."

It is the first female-centric project by TheatreWorks, a long-running Singapore performing arts company. Women are leading not only the team of collaborators and key presenters, but also the production and administrative crew. Furthermore, Noorlinah tells us that N.O.W. is also the first all-women project in the nation, for an entirely Singapore-run and operated project. It should not have had to take this long, but we're glad it's happening now (pun intended). N.O.W. celebrates the Not Ordinary Work that women and the women-aligned in Singapore are creating. The three-year season launches this July 2019, for three weeks from 10 to 28 July.

We are particularly excited about the diversity of the project's team and content. The collaborators and crew come from varying ethnic and creative backgrounds, lending their voices to an interdisciplinary programme. There's stand-up comedian Sharul Channa leading a comedy writing workshop, a series of film screenings, a staged reading of Akshita Nanda's novel, panel discussions, and more. All events are held at TheatreWorks (72-13 Mohamed Sultan Road). If you're as excited as us to support this vital project, the following are some of the highlights in the programme to look forward to. Check out the full programme and register for events at the official N.O.W. website.

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7. 24-Hr Playwriting Competition

Put your playwriting skills to the ultimate test at the 24-hour playwriting competition! This popular competition by TheatreWorks dates back to 1996, and it’s back this year with Munah Bagharib being the game mistress. Participants are tasked to write a new and original full play in 24 hours, with various prompts and activities to stimulate your creative juices along the way.

“If you want to tell a story and you can do it within twenty-four hours, because there’s a time crunch, come and join!” Munah says. “It’s an experience you’ll take with you for sure.” This year’s competition also takes place at a secret location – the intrigue begins already!

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The competition is split into two categories for youths (15–18 years old) and the open category (19 years and above). Registration fees (inclusive of a two-hour basic playwriting workshop on 6 July, 5 to 7pm, and a ticket to Three Fat Virgins Unassembled on 10 July, 7:30pm) are $55 for the youth category and $65 for the open category.

Register here for youths by 10 June, and here for the open category by 28 June.

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