“Thinking about our ideal life leads us
ponder the value of human existence.”
Boon Teck, why do dreams matter?
We have many dreams in our lives. Which dreams are true? Which dreams are imaginary? Are there dreams we should not even think about? These are important questions we should ask ourselves.
Thinking about our ideal life lead us to ponder the value of human existence – the effort and sacrifice one makes in pursuit of one’s dream, and what one ultimately achieves in the end.
Was staging The Dream of a Southern Bough a dream for you?
I have been developing the concept of A Dream Under the Southern Bough for several years now. For people around the world, this work will be filled with new meaning. No one in the world has seen this work as a stage play. Audiences will have seen it performed either as an opera or a Kun opera.
I hope to present A Dream Under the Southern Bough on the international stage, as we’ve reinterpreted it in a very novel style. I believe it will be a completely different Chinese theatre performance.
What was the audience’s response after the first part, Beginning, in SIFA 2018?
After the performance, the audience offered us many comments. We were able to understand what they care about and what they don’t care about. Many of the comments were related to how Singaporean actors are able to speak Mandarin so well! To me, that isn’t a hard thing to do. As long as we work at it, we are able to produce very professional Chinese plays.
What happens to Chun Yu Fen in Reverie?
We will see Chun Yu Fen entering the Ant Kingdom, which is also his ideal world. In this dream world, he encounters many beautiful things, so he will indulge and enjoy everything, living a happy life. This is the story of the second part, Reverie. The character of Chun Yu Fen allows us to reflect: are we able to live our ideal life in reality?
What will audiences expect to see Reverie?
For the creation of this trilogy, we are putting in a hundred and ten percent. Reverie is especially challenging as we have 22 chapters to produce. Each chapter must be
This requires tremendous creativity and skill, but we are happy to take on the challenge. In addition to focus, hard work, as well as deliberating over the script, we need to do deep research to produce a work with the greatest artistic tension.
What does SIFA mean to you as an artist?
I believe that if Singaporeans were free to write the scripts we want, to present the productions we want, our work can be on par with artists on an international level. Local artists need such a platform to deepen our work, make our thoughts more playful, and allow our creations to have more gradation. An arts festival is a driving force that allows us to fully bloom with a higher and more exciting artistic ability.
Goh Boon Teck is the director of A Dream of A Southern Bough – Reverie. He is the Chief Artistic Director of Singapore’s leading bilingual theatre company, Toy Factory. Goh’s works are soulful explorations of human issues treated with contemporary sensitivity.
Don’t miss A Dream Under the Southern Bough: Reverie by Toy Factory Productions Ltd taking place from 31 May - 2 Jun, Fri - Sun. Click here for more.