This inaugural edition presents five short works chosen from the 2014 Singapore Youth Festival for their creative ensemble work and imaginative delivery. The emphasis on ensemble is of great importance to me because today’s world is ruled by competition and individualism. The arts offer alternatives. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the launch of this annual festival than for us to reflect on the value of sharing and teamwork.
The theme that runs through all the pieces is Causality. This theme challenges us to look at cause and effect from multiple perspectives, and to nurture an openness to possibilities so that we are better able to navigate an increasingly complex and diverse society.
Peer Pleasure is a festival of aspirations. Through theatre, we learn to engage with and accept people different from ourselves; through this rehearsal for life, we learn to negotiate and adapt our way to a more open and resilient society; through this special platform, young people, whether they be creators or audience members, have the communal opportunity to imagine the future they want for themselves.
~ Alvin Tan
Peer Pleasure started out in 1998 as part of the M1 Youth Connection organised by The Necessary Stage. When that was replaced by the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival in 2005, the scene lost an important avenue for youth in Singapore to showcase their works to the public. So when Alvin approached ArtsWok Collaborative with the idea of reviving Peer Pleasure as a standalone youth theatre festival, we decided to take on this challenge.
As presenters and producers, we aspire to develop this annual festival over the next few years into the flagship event for youth theatre in Singapore, involving young people from schools, arts-based and community-based organisations. There are also plans to commission original work by youth, so that by the power of their own stories, they may not only establish a presence in society through art, but also encourage dialogue with the adults in our society today. Our dream is to see Peer Pleasure become a platform for young people to form collaborative communities, contributing their unique voice through the language of the arts.
This festival will model this principle of collaboration by encouraging the sharing of ideas and resources. Partnerships are therefore crucial in ensuring the longevity and success of Peer Pleasure. In our inaugural year, we have collaborators, partners and supporters including Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, National Arts Council, Arts Fund, National Youth Council and UNESCO-NIE CARE. We are on the lookout for corporate sponsors to help grow this festival and we hope to continue to cultivate generative relationships with new partners over the years, building a festival community and shared sense of ownership.
~ Ko Siew Huey & Ngiam Su-Lin