Make History Today!

Introduction: Singapore, 18 May 2005 – The Arts House and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore, are pleased to announce the start of the History Playwrights’ Circle, a mentorship programme and writers group led by Huzir Sulaiman, the 2005 NUS-FASS/The Arts House Writing Fellow.

Join The History Playwrights’ Circle Led by Huzir Sulaiman - 2005 NUS/FASS / The Arts House Writing Fellow

Singapore, 18 May 2005 – The Arts House and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore, are pleased to announce the start of the History Playwrights’ Circle, a mentorship programme and writers group led by Huzir Sulaiman, the 2005 NUS-FASS/The Arts House Writing Fellow.

Said Mr Huzir Sulaiman, “The most vibrant modern societies, to my mind, are those in touch with their history. It's important for us to continually look at Singapore's past with fresh eyes and fresh perspectives, to unearth forgotten narratives and to challenge received wisdom; only by knowing where we came from can we figure out where we want to go.  In recent years, my work as a playwright has moved in this direction, and I'm delighted to have the chance to bring others along with me on that journey, be they writers interested in history but without theatrical experience, or those familiar with the stage but tackling historical themes for the first time.”

The History Playwrights Circle will allow up to six writers the opportunity to be mentored by playwright Huzir Sulaiman in an intensive five month writing process between July and November 2005. The writers, selected by Huzir through an open invitation, will meet twice a month – once as a group, and once in individual meetings with Huzir, who will give feedback and constructive criticism as each writer works on his or her own play. At the end of the period, in early December, the writers will have their work presented to the public in rehearsed readings.

This is a rare opportunity for playwrights interested in historical themes to get both group support and personal attention from an experienced writer, culminating in a public performance. The programme is free of charge.

The public is invited to attend a lecture by Huzir Sulaiman on Friday, 8 July 2005 at 8.00 pm at the Living Room, The Arts House. Entitled “Techniques and Strategies of the History Playwright” the talk will examine the writing methods of some Singapore and international playwrights as well as offer insights into Huzir’s own experiences and current work as a Writing Fellow.

Huzir Sulaiman, was appointed the inaugural NUS-FASS/The Arts House Writing Fellow in December 2004. The play he is currently writing looks at Singapore’s legislature in the mid-1950s, while a subsequent project will deal with the port of Singapore and the island nation’s relationship to the sea. He first burst upon the Singapore arts scene with his powerful Occupation which was commissioned by the National Arts Council for the Singapore Arts Festival 2002.  Since then, productions of his satirical Atomic Jaya and Election Day have attracted both sold-out shows and critical acclaim.

The History Playwrights’ Circle

How To Apply

  1. The History Playwrights’ Circle is open to all Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents aged 18 and above. Senior citizens are particularly encouraged to apply.
  2. Interested writers should submit the following:
    • A brief account of their experience or training in theatre and/or history
    • A proposed theme or historical period that they wish to incorporate in their work, e.g. Women in the anti-Japanese guerillas, early Malay rulers of Singapore, the rickshaw-pullers strike, etc.
    • A sample of their creative writing: a play, screenplay, short story, novel, or group of poems
    • Contact details including:
      1. Name
      2. Age
      3. Occupation
      4. Citizenship
      5. Address
      6. Telephone Number
      7. Email address
  3. Meetings of the Circle will be held in the evenings or weekends at The Arts House to allow working persons to take part. The time of the meetings will be confirmed at a later date.
  4. Please note that Huzir can only give feedback on plays written largely in English, though some use of other languages is acceptable if a translation is provided.
  5. Applications should be addressed to:

    The Arts House at the Old Parliament
    c/o Phan Ming Yen
    1 Old Parliament Lane
    Singapore 179429

    And should be submitted by 18 June 2005

  6. Enquiries on the Circle should be addressed to The Arts House:

    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Telephone: 6332 6900

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The Arts House at the Old Parliament

Opened in March 2004, The Arts House is Singapore’s newest arts and heritage venue where all are inspired by the arts and where the arts become a fundamental in life through a connection with artists and their works. Built in 1827, Singapore’s first Court House and former Parliament House, is the only gazetted government building designated as a multidisciplinary arts centre. At The Arts House, audiences connect with artists and arts organizations through a broad spectrum of engaging, contemporary arts and entertainment events. The Arts House is managed by Old Parliament House Limited, a not-for-profit full-service arts management company limited by guarantee.  For further information, please visit www.theartshouse.com.sg

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For media queries, please contact

See Ling Ling
Manager, Marketing Communications
The Old Parliament House Limited
1 Old Parliament Lane
Tel: 65 6332 6903
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.