TUTAS students present ‘Kaleidoscope’ at klpac on Aug 11-14

by HAZATUL SYIMA HARON / Pics by Dev Lee via klpac

IF YOU’D like to take a peek at what the future generation in the performing arts has to offer, come on over to Stage 2 at The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac) on Aug 11-14.

The students taking the Performing Arts Conservatory Degree (TUTAS) — offered by Taylor’s University (TU) and The Actors’ Studio (TAS) — is set to present an ambitious production entitled “Kaleidoscope”.

Instead of just one performance, the TUTAS programme will be showcasing nine works by 10 directors from their March 2020 cohort as part of the students’ Production Practicum module helmed by adjunct professor and programme development director Datuk Dr Faridah Merican and adjunct professor and programme artistic director Joe Hasham OAM.

This will be the second batch of students nearing the completion of the groundbreaking programme, another significant milestone for Malaysia’s first and only conservatory-style performing arts programme established by TAS and TU.

Like the playful optical device which offers a multitude of different views, “Kaleidoscope” presents a colourful array of stories on friendship, love, belonging and coming of age. All in all, seven plays and two dance works — some original while others adapted — form the exciting lineup.

Two of the works centre around the tumultuous teenage years that are fraught with difficult changes and decisions. In Julia Jordan’s “Nightswim” directed by Nicholas Lai, a teenage girl tries to convince her friend to come out to play but will she? Meanwhile, Zoey Lee and Jelissa Lim Fidelis’ “The Last Time” paints the painful separation of two friends who have drifted apart.

‘Kaleidoscope’ presents a colourful array of stories on friendship, love, belonging and coming of age in the form of 7 plays and 2 dance works

Exploring the complicated terrain of relationships is a short work inspired by Sam Levinson’s “Malcolm & Marie”, directed by Carmen Khoo, where a filmmaker on the brink of success finds himself at odds with his girlfriend. Also on relationships are Bruce Kane’s “Hitting on Women 101” directed by Janusha Laxmi and DM Larson’s “Weird” directed by Sally Lee, where a girl faces her insecurities thanks to her best friend.

Part of the lineup is a comedic piece by Lindsay Price called “Time, What Is It?”, directed by Nandagopall, which depicts a teen’s chance encounter with a hippy at a bus station. Meanwhile, Chloe Lee takes on “The Wedding Story”, a fairy tale by Julianne Homokay where a storyteller finds herself in a strange predicament when her characters come to life.

And then there’s the two original movements and dance works: “Drifting Off To You” by Feyee Bethany explores the painful and yet liberating process of letting go, while “…i love you” by Skylar Lim portrays the multitude of ways we can show our love.

With lighting design by Yusman Mokhtar and sound design by Christopher Higgs, both fellow TUTAS tutors, “Kaleidoscope” will feature Azalea Yee, Charmaine Cheong, Daniel Hussin, Keith Toh, Kim, Nelson Ri, Gath, Ang Le, Chia Wen Xin, Clarissa Lee Hui Lynn, Diow Rhu Jie (Cayden), Qian Hui, Muhammad Najib Rossaidi, Siaw Boon Keat and Zhafir Muzani.

The show is supported by klpac and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture. Tickets are priced at RM30 and can be purchased online via https://www.cloudtix.co/ or call 03 4047 9000 or WhatsApp +6018 227 7212 for more details.

In just three short years, TUTAS students are already making their mark such as Charmaine Cheong, who was featured in the film “Kau Aku Cinta”, and Scott Lam, who is in the UK for an exchange programme under the European Union’s Erasmus Scholarship.

Those interested in the three-year TUTAS programme can sign up for the prerequisite auditions for the August 2022 intake, with the option of choosing the Performance Track or the Technical Theatre Track. Visit https://bit.ly/taylorsbpa for more information.