For all things there is a season. For ITI, 2013 has been a season of recognition. For sure, we were known before; our curriculum had been lauded for its uniqueness and our graduates praised for their excellence. This year, however, we achieved recognition on an unprecedented scale.
10 years ago, when our pioneer cohort of students graduated, I said that ITI would stand or fall by the quality of their work in Theatre. I am proud of my students. Alumni from our first 4 cohorts are beacons of excellence. They lead innovative theatre companies, initiate important community work using theatre, spearhead international arts projects, teach Technique, Directing, Theatre Making and Acting at universities, academies and community groups. What is more, they are leading the charge all over the world: in Singapore, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Macao, Hong Kong, China, Mexico, France and Japan.
Felimon Blanco won the 2013 Most Outstanding Zambosurian (Arts and Culture) award from the Provincial Government of Zamboanga del Sur in The Philippines. Yeo Yann Yann won the Best Supporting Actress Award for her role in Ilo Ilo at the prestigious 50th Golden Horse Awards. In her acceptance speech in Taipei, she thanked her mentors, ITI's Co-Founder Kuo Pao Kun and faculty members John Saltzer and Ma Hui Tian.
The International Research Centre â€œInterweaving Cultures in Performanceâ€ in Berlin invited ITI to participate in their symposium on Intercultural Actor Training, and decided to use the ITI pedagogical approach as the model and cynosure for discussion. The entire 2nd-year class were invited to Berlin to demonstrate their training and work. The educators, scholars and artists at the symposium immediately recognised the quality and integrity of the studentsâ€™ work and the value of ITIâ€™s unique intercultural approach to Actor Training.
What we achieved in 2013, indeed in each preceding year since inception, would not have been possible without the support and faith of friends like you. We hope you will continue to stand by us as we move forward into 2014.
A very promising class of actors from Singapore, Argentina, Brazil, Hong Kong, India and Taiwan will start their 3-year, fulltime Acting training in January. ITI will be running at full capacity with three cohorts of students training and learning concurrently.
The 2nd-year students will for the first time encounter Kutiyattam and Beijing Opera and several new contemporary acting methods.
For the graduating 3rd-year class, it will be the Year of Truth â€“ they will be called upon again and again to stand on stage and prove themselves as actors to paying Singapore audiences â€“ in three graduation shows. If they prove themselves, they will go forth and join those who have gone before to be Actors and Theatre Artists and to make a difference.
We are looking forward to doing even better next year; scaling new heights. Come with us.
Happy New Year!