"13 years ago, I watched my first play by The Necessary Stage, Model Citizens, and was floored. Since then, it has been my dream to work with the company, and I am beyond honoured that I have the opportunity to do it now as an Associate Artist. In my own little way, I hope to learn and grow in creating meaningful work, to touch hearts, and to bring more light to the communities around me."
Shien is a theatre practitioner, director, writer, and actor most interested in real, lived stories that Singaporeans can intimately relate to. Primarily a director, he has most recently worked as an Assistant Director on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Wild Rice), Old Gaze (The Necessary Stage), Recalling Mother and The Fourth Trimester (both Checkpoint Theatre), the latter being The Straits Times Life Theatre Awards’ Production of the Year for 2022. Coming into his own, Shien spearheaded a production of Jean Tay’s Boom under pop-up pub theatre A Mirage.
Ever seeking to expand his repertoire, Shien most recently wrote The Battle of Waterloo Street under Centre 42 for the Singapore Night Festival, and has even moved into producing, bringing the show Do Rhinos Feel Their Horns? (Gangguan!) to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
With his rich experience in the different aspects of creating theatre, he hopes to now incorporate more focus on the community in his research and creation processes as an Associate Artist with The Necessary Stage.
“It feels like coming full circle… Like so many other theatre makers in Singapore, one of my first forays into professional theatre began at TNS, and I’ve always been grateful to Alvin, Haresh and the entire TNS team for playing a huge role in making me who I am today. TNS has taught me to care for the society around me with a critical eye, deeply investigate the issues that disturb me, engage with my audience, and most of all, be proud of my identity as a Singaporean theatre-maker. To have been a part of the TNS journey thus far, and to be called onboard to be a part of TNS’s Associate Artists Programme is nothing short of a dream come true for me. “During my journey as an Associate Artist, I hope to be a reflection to TNS and the Singapore theatre scene of everything it has given me so far and to continue my lifelong endeavor to be able to be a representation of this country.”
A Yagnya is a collaborative theatre-maker.
Yagnya’s playwriting credits include Help! Our Dead Have Dementia and Other Stories (SIFA X: there is no future in nostalgia), Between 5 Cows and the Deep Blue Sea... (Esplanade’s Kala Utsavam 2022, The Straits Times Life Theatre Award Nomination for Best Original Script) which she also co-directed, and Hi, Can You Hear Me? (The Necessary Stage’s Playwrights' Cove 2020).
She has also done the Japanese translation for Chong Tze Chien’s Kingdoms Apart (In New Light—A Season of Commissions, 2022), dramaturged for (un)becoming (Festival of Women N.O.W. 2021), co-written for GroundZ_0’s Prism of Truth (Esplanade’s Huayi 2020) and acted in Goddesses of Words: Angry Indian Women (Textures 2020).
She was a participant in Devising for Actors and Playwrights 2021 and Playwrights’ Cove 2020 by The Necessary Stage (TNS) and is currently a resident playwright at Centre 42’s Playwright's Professional Development Residency Pilot 2022-2023.
Yagnya enjoys creating socially conscious works that challenge her audience into breaking out of their echo chambers.
"I think the works created by TNS thus far has always been honest, truthful and sincere, balanced with humour, wit and vulnerability. This is also something I strive for in the works I create. I am interested in creating socially engaged works that gives a voice to the everyday people. I think there is a lot of beauty and magic in these stories that may often get overlooked or sidelined. So I do feel like a complementary fit to the company and I look forward to sharing in our common vision and expanding my horizons in my time as an Associate Artist of TNS."
Deonn is an actor, theatre-maker and teacher. She graduated from LASALLE College of Arts in 2016 with a BA (First Class Hons) in Acting. Deonn is currently an Associate Artist of The Necessary Stage (TNS), and a core member of Playwrights’ Commune, an independent playwriting collective.
As an actor, Deonn has been a part of Esplanade’s PLAYtime! and Huayi Chinese Festival of Arts, M1 Singapore Fringe Festivals, and the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA). Her notable theatre credits include Tanah•Air 水•土. by Drama Box, and Straight Acting produced by Wild Rice, which earned her a Best Actress nomination at The Straits Times Life Theatre Awards 2022.
As a theatre-maker, Deonn made her professional debut as a playwright-director at the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2023. She also recently directed a successful run of Survivor Singapore as part of Esplanade’s Feed Your Imagination (F.Y.I) 2023 programme. Deonn has collaborated with TNS and Haresh Sharma since 2017 and was recently assistant director to Haresh for Acting Mad (2022) and Three Years in the Life and Death of Land (2023).
Deonn is grateful and excited for the opportunity to continue working with TNS as an Associate Artist for 2024/2025, and looks forward to growing, learning and developing further as an artist. She is interested in people and their stories, and always having a good laugh.
"My personal artistic philosophy is to make meaningful art. And as a Singaporean artist, I interpret that to mean creating works that not just reflect Singaporean issues, but also challenge Singaporean mindsets. I am an advocate for including more minority voices in mainstream English-language theatre – this means creating works about and for typically underrepresented or misrepresented communities. In that respect, I feel like my values are very much aligned with TNS’s."
Sindhura Kalidas is a theatre practitioner and educator. She is currently an Associate Artist with The Necessary Stage (TNS) and a core team member of The Finger Players (TFP).
Sindhu’s recent performance credits include Wild Rice’s Psychobitch, Deonn Yang’s Why Be Good When You Can Be The Best? (2023), presented as part of the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, Singapore Repertory Theatre’s The Coronalogues (2020), and TNS’s Off Centre (2019).
Her recent dramaturgical credits include the Singapore Youth Theatre’s double bill Every Student Is A Good Student/In My Head (2023),TFP’s Puppet Origin Stories (2022),as well as TNS’s Acting Mad (2022).
She is also the writer of TNS’s Happy Indian Women (2023), a verbatim theatre production which questions the assumptions we make about the diverse South Asian diaspora in Singapore today, which she co-directed with Haresh Sharma.
Sindhu is a recipient of the NAC Postgraduate Arts Scholarship and holds an MA (Distinction) in Dramaturgy and Writing for Performance from Goldsmiths, University of London. This is her first time writing a full-length performance piece. She hopes to continue exploring themes of race,gender, and community in future works and shed light on underrepresented and misrepresented groups in Singapore.
She is deeply grateful to be learning from and growing with TNS.