2020: An Extraordinary Year

It's the end of another academic year at ITI, and with great pride, we have graduated another cohort of students who will make a difference in their communities.

2020 has been challenging for everyone, and ITI is no exception. In response to the pandemic, ITI has worked innovatively to continue training our students, reconfiguring lessons for home-based learning when COVID-19 advisories necessitated it and adhering to safe management measures upon the reopening of campus. Our curriculum is being reviewed, and it will evolve to ensure that ITI actors are suitably trained and adequately skilled to meet the new challenges that theatre will face in a post-COVID world.

Many of our events also had to be postponed or cancelled, including the triennial Asian Intercultural Conference and two new fundraising events originally planned for 2020. As a result, ITI has lost over $300,000 of raised income.
"The biggest challenge for ITI is this: the programme is premised on the possibility of interactions, of a world where people can connect and literally touch each other so that cultures can grow out of differences and commonalities. We need to find ways of continuing to interact and build our cultural ballast so that we can grow, so that humanity can grow.

What COVID-19 forced us to do was to consider theatre without a live audience. That was new, and it created enormous anxieties in the actor because there is a feedback loop that any performer has with their audience. You cannot do away with it. But here we were, faced with an empty studio, and this was exceedingly difficult." 

~ ITI Director T. Sasitharan (Sasi), on Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay's podcast, Making A Scene
Your support will provide critical help for the school and the students during this crisis. 
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Donations to ITI are eligible for 250% tax exemption and dollar-for-dollar matching by the government's Cultural Matching Fund. 
"A Play of Cultures"
By Shweta Parida, 
Singapore International Foundation's
Singapore Magazine
"Arts institutions pressed for space"
By Ong Sor Fern, The Straits Times
ITI events go online
During the circuit breaker period, final-year students adapted their original works for an international online audience for their Final Year Individual Project (FYiP).

In July and August, voice teacher Simon Stollery led an online workshop on Voice & Text for the arts community.
Before the year came to a close, ITI presented an ambitious production, FIVE, in collaboration with Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay from 12 – 14 November in the Esplanade Theatre Studio and livestreamed via Zoom. The show was uniquely designed by Singapore’s leading artists to bridge the experience between live onsite theatre and digital filmic performance. The cast and creative team also talked about the creative process in an online talkback session.
“[FIVE] is a really moving and powerful work in a strange mysterious amazing deep way. The multimedia is first-rate and gives it an added dimension. Haven't seen something so good in quite a while.” 

~ Tan Tarn How, playwright
Continued thought leadership in arts & culture
Image credits (from L to R): LASALLE College of the Arts, The Substation, ArtsEquator
Sasi continued his work as a longtime thought leader in the arts and civil society, penning an op-ed, "Theatre in the Time of Pandemic", which was published in The Straits Times.

He also spoke in various online events, such as:

Sasi and alumna Grace Kalaiselvi (‘14) also facilitated an online theatre workshop for SingLit for Solidarity, a project led by ITI board member Nazry Bahrawi (Senior Lecturer, Singapore University of Technology and Design). Participants roleplayed and discussed literary works, including plays by ITI co-founder Kuo Pao Kun, with the aim of promoting integration between local and international students.

Alumni Impact
In a Snapshot
Awards and Nominations 
Yeo Yann Yann ('03):
  • nominated for International Emmy Award (Invisible Stories
  • won Asian Academy Creative Award (Invisible Stories)
  • won Youth Film Handbook’s Actress of the Year (Wet Season)
  • nominated for Asian Film Award (Wet Season)
  • nominated for ContentAsia Award (Invisible Stories)
Grace Kalaiselvi ('14): Nominated for Indie Series Award (Best Guest Actress, Drama) (People Like Us)

People Like Us, which also included alumni Tysha Khan ('19), Hope Tinambacan ('19) and Ted Nudgent Fernandez Tac-an ('19) in the cast, was nominated for an International Emmy Award (Best Short-Form Series)  
Chang Ting Wei ('15): Young Entrepreneur in Taichung Award for the Most Potential for setting up theatre company V.TheatreGroup

Saran Jith ('17): JC Daniel Kalashreshta Award (Nalpathiyonnu)

Miyuki Kamimura ('05): Best Performance Award, Dreamanila International Film Festival (Tanabata's Wife
In Gratitude
2020 would not have been possible without the ITI angels; principal donor Stephen Riady; Friends of ITI; grant-makers Tan Chay Bing Education Fund, Chew How Teck Foundation, Hong Leong Foundation, National Arts Council and Cultural Matching Fund; and our partners Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Pek Sin Choon and RJ Paper. 
Full list of supporters

Thank you and we wish you well in the new year!

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Donations to ITI are eligible for 250% tax exemption and dollar-for-dollar matching by the government's Cultural Matching Fund. 
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UEN Charity/CPE No: 200818680E | CPE Registration Period 13 Jul 2020 to 12 Jul 2024
Intercultural Theatre Institute is a recipient of the National Arts Council’s Major Company Grant for the period from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2021
Copyright © 2020 Intercultural Theatre Institute, All rights reserved.