The Twenty-Something Theatre Festival

9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19 Jun
Venue: Goodman Arts Centre
Goodman Arts Centre

festival : theatre

The Twenty-Something Theatre Festival

9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19 Jun
Venue: Goodman Arts Centre
Goodman Arts Centre

festival : theatre

about | ticketing | headliners! | fresh! | instagala

What is the Twenty-Something Theatre Festival? 

It's a new boutique theatre festival celebrating the creative spirit and voice of twenty-something theatre makers in Singapore. It is the brainchild of fifty-something theatre-maker Tan Kheng Hua who has enjoyed and been inspired by all the twenty-something creatives she has worked with in the last three years. Curious to see how they would fare without a mentor or a theatre company looking after them, she conceptualised the festival and applied to the National Arts Council for a grant. The entire grant amount has been given to the Fresh! ($5K each) and Headliners! ($20K each) to stage their original productions, with programme partnership at Goodman Arts Centre provided by Arts House Limited. Since launching the festival, many twenty-somethings have stepped forward to offer support and help, something the festival team always had in its mission statement, and is extremely thankful for.

Interested in volunteering for The Twenty-Something Theatre Festival? Have a question? Email:

Twenty-something Singaporeans today will run Singapore tomorrow.


What are they like? In stasis? Searching? Spectacular? 8 brand new plays from beginning and established twenty-something playwrights expose, explore and engender their twenty- something state of mind for all to see. PLUS, a Twenty-Something InstaGala concert and fair every festival weekend offering singing, crafting, foodster-ing and ab fab company!

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Ticketing & Programme Schedule

The Twenty-Something Festival believes in empowering the twenty-something theatre-makers to take ownership of their own productions. This is reflected in our ticketing philosophy. Tickets bought through the production’s ticketing emails listed below are cheaper than those offered by the festival’s chosen ticketing channel, Peatix. The production’s ticketing emails are set-up and managed by the groups themselves. Choose your form of support!

Programme Schedule:



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The Headliners! Plays are from two specially invited twenty-something playwrights who are already making a name for themselves in the Singapore theatre scene. This 2016 festival will feature new full-length plays by Irfan Kasban and Joel Tan.

Tickets also available at $37 from

Trees, A Crowd... by Irfan Kasban
$35 from

3pm on June 11
8pm on June 9 — 12


Café by Joel Tan
$35 from

3pm on June 18
8pm on June 16 — 19
Irfan Closeup
Irfan Kasban is a freelance theatre maker who writes, directs, designs, and at times, performs. His unwavering dedication to art is a celebration of space and time, we call life. The former Associate Artistic Director of Teater Ekamatra is responsible for mentoring MEREKA incubation programme, works like CLASSIFIED: Projek Congkak (White Box Festival 2006), Keep Clear (Open Studio, Singapore Arts Festival 2010), Hantaran Buat Mangsa Lupa (M1 Fringe Festival 2012), 94:05 (Kakiseni Festival 2013) and main season shows; This Placement (2012), Tahan (2013), and A Beautiful Chance Encounter of a Sewing Machine and an Umbrella on an Operating Table (2014). Recently he directed Three Inches of Alive as part of TheatreWorks’ Writing & Community 2015. Irfan is grateful to have learnt everything he knows from the kind souls who are willing to share. He believes sincerely in passing it forward.
Joel Closeup
As a playwright, director and performer, Joel Tan’s work crosses genres, styles and theatre-making cultures, including poetry, contemporary drama, dance theatre and musical theatre. His plays, Family Outing (2011), People (2014), The Way We Go (2014) and Mosaic (2015) have been described as distinctly and unusually Singaporean, mining life in the island city for its lyricism, expressiveness and humanity.

Trees, A Crowd...



by Irfan Kasban

Trees A Crowd
A highway needs to be built but in its path, a 150-year- old tree stands. The road can take an alternative route but on that path, there is another tree - a 50-year-old tree planted by the former Prime Minister. The Society of Flora and Roots (SoFaR), a volunteer-based organisation, debate before signing a petition on which tree should be uprooted. When all else fails, they conduct a public forum to decide which is more important - the preservation of our natural past, or the reimagined history that someone planted.

Jo Tan, Shafiqhah Efandi (25), Xin Xuan (25)
by Joel Tan

Something terrible is happening in Singapore. It’s coming from the sky, from across the sea, from under our feet. Meanwhile, five people find themselves in a cafe in Singapore. Two customers talk obliviously about waffles, selfies and truffle fries while the three cafe staffers wait helplessly for their shift to finish as the calamity draws closer and closer, threatening to burst right through the windows. What does it mean to live comfortably in a world that’s never kept still? How do we remain in the world and make peace with it? Can we be nicer to wait staff? More questions than answers, and shot through with the ambivalence of living in modern Singapore, this is a play about the way we live and the things we hope for.

Chen Yingxuan (26)

Ellison Tan Yuyang (27), Erwin Shah Ismail (29), Jasmine Xie, Joshua Jonathan Lim, Zee Wong

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The Fresh! plays were selected from an open call for entries. A total of 69 entries were received and the following 6 were chosen by an esteemed panel of judges comprising of (in alphabetical order): Chong Tze Chien, Company Director, The Finger Players; Natalie Hennedige, Artistic Director, Cake Theatrical Productions; Lee Mun Wai, Dancer & Choreographer; and Haresh Sharma, Resident Playwright, The Necessary Stage.

Tickets also available at $22 from

June 9 — 12

Long Weekend Visual

  Long Weekend
by Kenneth Chia (22)
5pm, $20 from

There are friends, and then there are Friends. Han Lin is struggling with the death of his long time friend, Keith, two days before the funeral. When a visit by Keith’s ghost takes them down their past, they are forced to confront their complex relationship and grieve with fresh eyes. Long Weekend exists where what could be attempts to remember what it is.


National Memory Project
by Johnny Jon Jon (29)
7pm, $20 from

The National Memory Project (NMP) is a sustained long-term national knowledge initiative to put in place a system to enable our cultural and intellectual memory to be collected, organized, preserved, and promoted for research and discovery. The project hopes to capture the essence of a country and have it preserved for sharing with the future generations. But when an officer of the memory corps is tasked with retrieving a memory from a convicted murderer awaiting the execution of his death sentence, she learns that a memory without its roots is merely nostalgia.

The Cave

The Cave
by Annabel Tan (21)
9pm, $20 from

The Cave is a monologue written to explore the nature of the female body and the expectations heaped upon it. A heterosexual female undergoes a battle navigating spaces and issues as she perceives them. This piece is inspired by actual comments from people who are too guarded to express their thoughts. It questions whether an interior voice speaking in its own codes can speak to others rather than remain trapped inside one person.

June 16 — 19

Curry Puff

  Curry Puff
by Kimberly Arriola
5pm, $20 from

Curry Puff is a verbatim play from the perspective of Robiah Lia Caniago, a 40 year old Indonesian woman who was convicted of operating an unlicensed curry puff factory in her two room HDB flat. The incident drew much attention from the media as well as the general public. Many opposing views were sported in regards to the law’s failure to take her circumstances into account. Yet through it all, there was one voice which went unheard: the voice of Robiah’s. This is her side of the story.
Balek Kampung publicity image  

Balek Kampung
by David Khoo
7pm, $20 from

A hundred years in the future, Singapore is run by an artificial intelligence composed of the preserved consciousness and memories of its greatest leaders and citizens. A regular broadcast of Balek Kampung, Symphonic 924’s evening programme, takes a head first plunge into the surreal end of the pool after being shoved off the diving board of humdrumness by a spiritual awakening within the artificial intelligence. As improbable as it sounds, hilarity ensues.

TuitionVisual RGB

by Euginia Tan
9pm, $20 from

Jonathan, a precocious, lonely boy, is having tuition with Miss Lee, a teacher seemingly eager to please.


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