Three acclaimed actors of our local stages respond to three works of literature in three podcast episodes. Directed by Samantha Scott-Blackhall, the actors perform excerpts from the plays and Singapore Literature Prize-winning book, and narrate personal stories on the connections, resonances and impacts these words have on their individual lives.
Bridget Fernandez is currently known for playing Celia Shelley in the Singapore TV Series ‘Kin’. Her dramatic career that includes acting for screen and stage, drama education, corporate roleplay, directing, writing and producing spans over 30 years in not only Singapore, but America, England and Malaysia too. Some of Bridget’s favourite work include; playing Jessica in ‘Merchant of Venice’ (San Francisco), Jitsuko and Rokujo in ‘Mishima in Love’ for World-In-Theatre (Singapore), Aida the maid in ‘The Blue Mansion’ (Singapore/Malaysia), and various roles in all ‘The Singapore Story Projects’ for television and her own maiden online production now on YouTube entitled ‘For Heavens Sake ~ The Web series.’ Last year’s circuit breaker forced Bridget to find creative ways to bring stories to others. She did so with Suet Tan’s monologue ‘Love in a time of Covid’ for Singapore Repertory Theatre’s The Coronalogues. It is a privilege to share her own stories in this year’s SingLit Festival: Textures, providing reflection towards Melissa De Silva’s ‘Others’ is not a race. Being Eurasian, a perfect opportunity to give her racial identity a voice.
Janice Koh is a respected stage and screen actor, who also served as a Nominated Member of Parliament from 2012-2014, passionately championing the importance of the Arts, design and heritage in projecting Singapore’s unique identity to a global audience. Janice won the Life! Theatre Award for Best Actress in 2003 for Proof and received Best Actress nominations for Loo Zihan’s With/Out, Wild Rice’s Optic Trilogy, Pangdemonium’s Rabbit Hole, and Ovidia Yu’s Hitting (On) Women. She has performed in over 60 theatre productions, her most recent being Lifespan of a Fact by the Singapore Repertory Theatre, Pangdemonium’s Late Company, and The Father, SRT’s Hand to God, Ong Keng Sen’s Sandaime Richard, Wild Rice’s Supervision, and Finger Player’s Poop! and Rant & Rave. Her work has toured to international festivals and venues across the world, including Tokyo, Fukuoka, Shizuoka, Edinburgh, Berlin, Hamburg, Brussels, Bristol and Korea. The versatile thespian has starred in over 30 television projects in Singapore including Fighting Spiders. She most recently appeared in Warner Brothers Pictures’ blockbuster hit Crazy Rich Asians directed by Jon M Chu as Felicity Young. Janice is also one of the co-founders of Pasar Glamour, a non-profit social enterprise, which raises funds each year to support children and women from less privileged backgrounds.
SITI KHALIJAH ZAINAL
Siti made her debut as a full-time theatre actress after attending The Necessary Stage’s Theatre for Youth Ensemble programme in 2003. She has since worked with a wide range of theatre companies, both locally and internationally. She won the Best Actress Award twice at The Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards for her performances in Model Citizens (2010) and Off Centre (2015). She was awarded the Young Artist Award by the National Arts Council in 2014.
Samantha has worked full-time professionally in Singapore’s theatre Industry for the last 19 years. In her various roles as Freelance Theatre Director, Artistic Director and Educator, she has achieved critical acclaim. Samantha is a multidimensional artist, making strides in not only theatre, but also entrepreneurship and film. She founded Blank Space Theatre in 2007 which received exemplary critical and audience reviews from productions such as Das Experiment: Black Box, Freud’s Last Session and Red. In 2007, she made her film debut with the short film Turning Ten, which was one of five winning short films from the Asia Pacific region. On top of freelance directing, Samantha is currently the Programme Director at Gateway Arts; an arts company committed to nurturing children and youth through the Performing Arts. Her commitment to developing the next generation of artists sees her also lecturing budding talent in tertiary arts institutions. Samantha is currently an adjunct lecturer at LASALLE College of the Arts, has taught master classes at SOTA (School of the Arts) and directed productions for NAFA (Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts). Her strength in storytelling and extensive experience working with actors makes her a versatile player in this ever-growing, creatively charged market.