Ko Siew Huey & Ngiam Su-Lin
We are a young festival with big dreams. But we know that in order to achieve our goals, it is essential to have the support of those who are equally invested in cultivating in our youths, the passion and skill for the craft of theatre, as well as promoting young people’s voices in society.
During our inaugural year, we set out to engage various stakeholders and held several dialogue sessions to try and understand the interests from all sides. The message was consistent : Young people have unique points of view about the world they live in and want the opportunity to express them in creative ways. At the same time, they are immensely curious about what their peers think and how they approach and practice their craft and are interested to learn from one another in a collaborative environment.
We have taken the feedback to heart and have worked hard to steer the festival in those directions. We have also heeded calls to expand the age range for youth participation, which sees the festival now catering to participants between 13 to 25 but still with audiences young and old in mind.
The support from our partners has enabled us to rapidly evolve. We are especially delighted to have M1 come on board as a title sponsor. It is wonderful to trace the origin of Peer Pleasure as part of the M1 Youth Connection festival in 1998 and see it come full circle today as a full-fledged youth theatre festival.
This journey of contributing towards the development of a new generation of cultural and civic leaders is just getting started. We invite you to come along for an exhilarating ride.
On the back of a successful debut in 2015, the festival team has embarked on an incremental approach to making this edition a more youth-driven one, showcasing more theatre pieces being directed, acted and written by youth.
With the support of our sponsors, we hope the festival will ultimately be in the position to commission young playwrights, under mentorship, to develop original works that encapsulate the youths’ voices, points-of-view and concerns. We hope too that young directors, also under guidance, will come forward to direct these works with a cast of young, emerging actors. This is our aspiration and we are excited about the possibilities.
This year’s festival looks at the theme of “Home” and nudges us to reflect on the idea as a paradox. Does it only nurture or does it also have the potential to retard growth because it may provide us the solace whilst discouraging us to be independent? What happens when how we build our home is that which is beginning to destroy it? Instead of merely viewing home as a place that protects us from danger, home can be endangered by various factors from within and without. It is an important theme to reflect on right after SG50. How do we think about this land we call home?
M1 Peer Pleasure Youth Theatre Festival 2016 invites you to reflect, engage and tussle with the theme in a complex way and come away enriched as art always does to those who participate deeply and drink from its wisdom.
Enjoy the programme and welcome home.