BIOGRAPHY

Training

Peter graduated from Intercultural Theatre Institute – ITI (formerly known as Theatre Training and Research Programme, TTRP) – with a Professional Diploma in Intercultural Theatre (Acting) in 2003. Under the direct tutelage of the father of Singapore theatre, Mr Kuo Pao Kun, Peter’s training in many Asian traditional art forms and psychophysical techniques (Beijing Opera, Noh Theatre, Wayang Wong, Bharatanatyam, Kalaripayattu and Taichi) as well as western theatre systems not only equipped him with strong performance techniques, but also analytical viewpoints and comparative intellect which significantly enhance his ability to work cross-culturally with local and international artists. He also holds a Master of Arts in Advanced Theatre Practice from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (London, UK) and now works inter-culturally with Singaporean and international artists.

 

Education and Mentorship

Serving part-time as a theatre faculty member at the School of the Arts (SOTA) since 2010, Peter imparts performance skills in Realism, Devised Theatre and Asian classical theatre. Backed up by extensive professional experience, he prepares students in the IBCP (career-related) program for further training and professional development so as to pursue theatre as a career in the future.  He conducts master classes and workshops for teachers and students from International Baccalaureate (IB) schools, tertiary institutions, junior colleges and secondary schools.  Twice, he was appointed as an abjudicator for the Singapore Youth Festival English Drama Presentation (2014 and 2015).

 

Disability Arts

Peter sees disability as a human experience and cultural perspective, instead of tragedy and medical condition.  He identifies culturally as being disabled and is now actively seeking breakthroughs to professionalize disability arts in Singapore through person-centered pedagogy and individualized mentoring to impart skills in performance creation and performing.  He believes that professional theatre arts informed by a Deaf and disabled perspective and soundly based on a social model will be groundbreaking, provocative and innovative, changing the status quo of charity models and amateurism.

In 2015, his mentorship/attachment with renowned theatre director, academic and trainer, Phillip Zarrilli and veteran disability rights advocate and master playwright, Kaite O’Reilly (both he first met and studied with in ITI in 2005) has tremendously opened him up to this field of disability arts. In 2016, after attending the ‘Arts and Disability Forum’ held in Singapore organized by British Council Singapore and National Arts Council, he self-funded himself in June to be a creative enabler in the performance-making diploma course with Access All Areas (who works with adults with different learning disabilities) , and networked with the British Council HQ and Shape Arts. He was invited as a delegate to return to the UK in September to attend all events/talks/live performances in the Unlimited Festival to carry on his capacity-building and networking, followed closely by DaDaFest in November when he was hosted by Kaite O’Reilly, Congress Chair of the DaDa Congress and Artistic Director of the festival, Canon Ruth Gould MBE DL WCMT FRSA.  He is also deeply inspired  by the practice of Graeae Theatre Company, Vital Xposure (Julie McNamara), Claire Cunningham, Caroline Bowditch, Dan Daw and Jess Thom.

Currently, he is providing one-to-one mentorship and group workshop training to an increasing community of Deaf and disabled emerging artists in Singapore. They include Lim Lee Lee, a guide dog user; Annette Soh, an adult with William’s Syndrome; Cheung Cheuk Hon, an adult with Down Syndrome; Deaf dancers from street dance group, Redeafination; Huang Li Zhen, a wheelchair user with lupus; and Darren Lee who has kidney failure.

Some of his workshops conducted are highlighted in ‘Creative Enabling / Teaching’ on this website.

 

Socially-Engaged Theatre

Peter possesses a strong passion for community theatre and his facilitation skills in Forum Theatre and community outreach work has placed him in active collaboration with the underdogs, vulnerable and marginalized. He has worked with HIV positive people, abused women, gambling addicts and prison inmates, to employ drama as an approach to express themselves and seek fair representation. In 2006, his forum theatre workshops at Kirori Mal College in New Delhi, India opened up a substantial dialogue with undergraduate students who were facilitated to go beyond their institutional knowledge to research, archive and present case studies and Forum Theatre work models of domestic violence, caste discrimination, HIV and Hindu/Islam religious conflicts. Some of these works have since developed and matured, and toured many Indian impoverished communities, making significant social impact.

 

Recognition

He won Best Actor in the 2015 Singapore Life! Theatre Awards and has performed in Malaysia, Indonesia, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Japan, India, Hungary, Romania and the UK.  In 2011, he received the national accolade, Young Artist Award, from the National Arts Council for his contribution towards the arts scene in Singapore and since 2013, is its appointed external performance assessor.

 

Past works

Peter is an independent artist, works bilingually in both English and Mandarin theatre as a prolific producer, director, actor, writer and educator, and has worked with all major theatre companies in Singapore for their main season performances, devised theatre, forum theatre, site-specific theatre, festival commissions and international theatre festivals.

Peter believes that his approach of ‘theatre with conscience’ in a developed country such as Singapore is most necessary in a globalized community so as to nurture social-cultural sensitivities that soften the divide between nationalities, races and religions, benefitting the public’s mind and hearts, locally and globally.

In total thus far, in terms of professional stage productions over the last 20 years, Peter as a fulltime theatre practitioner has directed 14, written 2 full length, devised 4, adapted 5, curated/produced 7 and performed in 59.

Some of his performing and directorial works are highlighted in ‘Gallery’ and ‘Videos’ on this website.

 

As an Actor

His repertoire as a performer ranges from the Traditional and Classical theatre to the edge of the post-modern and avant-garde. The various awards/nominations of Peter’s acting roles shows what he has accomplished this far.   Since 1998, he has grown significantly from one of great raw energy to one who has great control on stage, minimal and non-fuss in his portrayal of characters. He has become an actor who is committed in his craft and believes in the actor’s imagination and skill to create multi-layered performance.

Some of his performing works are highlighted in ‘Videos’ on this website.

 

As a Director

Peter is an artist who has deep concern for the society and humanities. His works like Don’t Forget To Remember Me (2017) about the stigmatized cognitive condition of dementia, Don’t Know, Don’t Care (2017) about the taboo subject of end-of-life, Sinking Flesh Thinking Flesh (2015) about spiritually castrated and marginalized rebels, Square Moon (2013) about detention without trial, Tell Me When to Laugh and When to Cry (2012) revealing the state of individual oppression, A Madwoman’s Diary (2009) about former Myanmese political prisoner, Aung San Suu Kyi, Big Fool Lee (2007) about a dethroned storyteller legend in Singapore, as well as Bedhaya Layar Cheng Ho (2004) about the politically repressed Chinese under the corrupted Indonesian government, deeply reflects his sensibilities on the kind of artistic work he believes in: tenacious commitment to seeking truths. These are materials, which are difficult to tackle, but Peter chose to deal with them. His concern is not just social, but cultural with a world-view that is maturing and taking shape.

Some of his directorial works are highlighted in ‘Videos’ on this website.

 

Cross-cultural Sensibilities

Not only a founder of Singapore-based theatre collective, Traditions & Editions Theatre Circus (TETC), Peter is also an ambitious producer who dares to take risk. His producing role results in three very important productions: The Spirits Play (2009), The Juggler’s Tale (2010) and Transformations (2012). These featured the international graduates of Intercultural Theatre Institute (ITI) from 11 countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, China, India, Japan, Mexico and Poland), but most importantly, these works reflects the ethos of ITI – cross-cultural experimentation which the late visionary cultural leader of Singapore, Mr Kuo Pao Kun has started and envisioned for Singapore. Peter believes that Singapore being an international arts hub embraces multiplicity and so it is important that such artistic explorations are continuous. In the process, Peter’s involvement in these challenging cross-cultural collaborations has significantly sharpened his unique outlook as an artist.