Transfield from Asia
What happens when you die? Streaming online, a whimsical and inventive play that untangles the relationship between community, suicide, and illness
This is an online screening of “Berak” by Teater Ekamatra, a company committed to establishing Malay theatre and confronting the multiethnic reality of Singapore. After the March performances of “Berak” in Singapore were canceled due to the coronavirus, the company filmed the play instead, which is now presented at Festival/Tokyo.
“Berak” is adapted from the play “Poop” by Chong Tze Chien (The Finger Players), which draws on Buddhist ideas in a portrayal of a family that must deal with suicide, illness, and death. In this new version, the family is Muslim.
How will the family handle the illness of the young daughter and the suicide of the man who was their mainstay? Imaginatively mixing fantasy and comedy, the dialogue between the daughter and her father’s spirit as well as the relationship between the wife and mother vividly illuminate the community’s attitudes toward family and life and death.
Featuring shadow puppetry and silent film techniques, and made in the company’s signature “transcreation” approach, which relocates the source material to other sociocultural contexts, the play’s inventive yet profound style embraces diversity, universality, and synthesis.
F/T20 originally planned to present Teater Ekamatra’s “Tiger of Malaya,” but this production is now postponed until next year due the coronavirus.
Transfield from Asia
Exploring the ways in which the power of fiction in the performing arts can affect the city, F/T has since the 2018 edition fully embraced its identity as a theatre and dance festival born from the city through integrating a wide range of programming directly within the neighborhoods and communities of Tokyo. One of these is Transfield from Asia. Started originally at F/T14 as the Asia Series to showcase culture and the performing arts from one country in Asia each time, the project relaunched in 2018 as a “transfield” endeavor emphasizing the interdisciplinary nature of Asia in which borders, national and otherwise, are constantly blurred. The collaborations and encounters presented by the series offer a renewed sense of the lateral possibilities of Asian culture. At Festival/Tokyo 2020, the series aims to deepen that experience further and, together with audiences, form a platform for cultivating future culture in Asia.
|Name||Teater Ekamatra “Berak”|
|Dates||Streaming 10/16 (Fri) 12:00 p.m.–10/29 (Thur) 11:55 p.m.|
|Venue||F/T remote (available online)|
|Running Time||approx. 60 min.|
|Language||Performed in Malay with Japanese, English, Malay, and Chinese subtitles|
You can stream the performance as many times as you want during the period it is available.
Tickets can be bought up to 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 29.
Established in 1988, Teater Ekamatra aspires to develop a contemporary and experimental Malay theatre that fuses traditional performances practices from Southeast Asia with present-day theatre techniques. Led by artistic director and performer Mohd Fared Jainal, its work cuts deep into political issues as well as spotlighting the diverse ethnicities, cultures, and languages of Singapore. Alongside training programs for the next generation of talent and holding theatre festivals, it is also involved in archiving Malay-language plays.
Mohd Fared Jainal
A theatre director, performer, visual artist, stage designer, and artistic director of Teater Ekamatra, Mohd Fared Jainal is also a founding member of the theatre design collective neontights and teaches at the School of the Arts Singapore. He researches space, the body, and design from the twin perspectives of visual art and the performing arts, exploring body craft in performance as part of a physical theatre practice. At the Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards, he won the Best Ensemble Award along with the rest of the ensemble in “Dark Room x8” (2013) by Edith Podesta, and Best Director Award for Cake Theatre’s “The Comedy of the Tragic Goats” (2009), among many other accolades.
Cast & Creative
|Adapted from||“Poop” by Chong Tze Chien (The Finger Players)|
|A Teater Ekamatra production|
|Directed by||Mohd Fared Jainal|
|Assistant Producer:||Khairina Khalid|
|Cast:||Aidli “Alin” Mosbit, Fir Rahman, Siti Hajar Abdul Gani, Siti Khalijah Zainal|
|Cameraman & Editor:||Eric Lee|
|Assistant Cameraman & Editor:||A. Syadiq|
|Sound Designer:||Safuan Johari|
|Production Assistants:||Nurarina Nasir, Irsyad Dawood, Haziqah Hashir|
|Supported by||National Arts Council, Singapore|
|Subtitles Supervisor:||Ken Takiguchi|
|Japanese Subtitles:||Takuya Maehara|
|Production Coordinator:||Momoka Yunoki|
|Grant:||The Japan Foundation Asia Center
Grant Program for the Promotion of Cultural Collaboration
Project Design: Sceno-ha (Scenographers’ Collective)
Dates: 10/16 (Fri)–11/15 (Sun)
Venues: online, shopping streets in Toshima, other locations around Toshima
Partner: Bangkok International Performing Arts Meeting
Dates: 10/30 (Fri)–11/1 (Sun)
Venues: Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre (Theatre West), F/T remote (available online)
Written by Shu Matsui
Directed by Kim Jeong
Adapted from “A Dream Play” by August Strindberg
Streaming 11/2 (Mon) 12:00 p.m.–11/15 (Sun) 11:55 p.m.
Venue: F/T remote