Boiler Room Cycle 2015 – Playwrights selected

Following from the Open Call in April 2015, we are delighted to welcome on board Boiler Room Cycle 2015 Playwrights:

Tan Liting
for B*tch”

Nabilah Said
for“State Land”

Special thanks goes out to Tan Tarn How and Nelson Chia (Nine Years Theatre) for their valuable feedback and contributions as part of the selection panel alongside our resident director Casey Lim and resident dramaturg Dr Robin Loon.


About the Playwrights and their ideas for Boiler Room 2015:

Tan Liting
Tan Liting
Age: 28
Occupation: Freelance Theatre Practitioner

Liting works full time as a theatre practitioner with an interest in devising performance from personal stories. Liting’s past directorial credits include The Truth About Lying (The Finger Players’ Watch This Space Director’s Cycle 2014), Taking The Subs (The Substation Director’s Lab), The Eulogy Project I: Muah Chee Mei and I (Potluck Productions), (When I’m) Sixty Four (Ageless Theatre), Re: Almost Left Behind (Singapore Arts Festival 2011), Almost Left Behind (NUS Thespis). Liting likes conversation, hearing and telling a good story. Liting also likes guitars, sneakers and referring to Liting in third person. Liting is a founding member of Theatre Cell.

Synopsis of her idea titled “B*TCH” (working title)
delves into the realms of feminine masculinity in an attempt to provide a glimpse into the private lives of women who relate to or identify as butch, those who transition through butchness, and the lives of individuals who surround them. Through the sharing of personal experiences and oral history, B*TCH aims to question the positions of those who are not bound by binaries, and seeks to locate them in Singapore’s society, a society that often regards them as odd and irrelevant. B*TCH is a performance on and of gender, exploring what it really means to be a butch woman by demystifying the label and problematising the binary. B*TCH is about real people, and their real stories.

Follow her journey
Read Liting’s reflections on the key milestones of her research and writing journey. Her draft script titled SUIT will undergo a test-read on 19 September 2016.


Nabilah Said
Nabilah Said
Age: 30
Occupation: Straits Times Life Journalist

Nabilah Said was guided by pure instinct and methodical madness when she ventured into the world of theatre in 2010 as part of Teater Ekamatra’s youth wing, Mereka. She was part of Mentah, a platform to help nurture young playwrights, from 2012 to 2015. There, she was blessed with opportunities to show her work to unsuspecting audiences, such as Tart (2015), Next Station (2014) and Lost (2012).  She is now foolishly addicted to the fear and thrill of writing for the stage, and is hungry for more. On occasion, she has acted in productions by Teater Ekamatra and TheatreWorks, such as the 2012 ensemble piece, This Placement, held at the former Geylang Fire Station. She is a full-time writer at The Straits Times Life!, and writes poetry and short stories on the sly.

Synopsis of her idea titled “State Land” (working title)
We are all islanders. Water surrounds us, coconut trees our natural vegetation, tropical weather our constant bugbear. In the city-state of Singapore, land is limited and we create spaces to call our own. But what happens when our spaces are no longer ours and we are forced to recreate new homes on foreign soil? Stateland looks at Singapore as mainland amongst more than 60 other islands, a city-state and a homeland for its people.

Follow her journey
Read Nabilah’s journal and reflections on her journey thus far. Nabilah is on a 6-month leave of absence from the programme (July 2016 – January 2017)..


The playwrights will now embark on putting their new works through a phased incubation framework:

– 3 month Research Phase (7 July 2015 – 7 Oct 2015)
– 3 month Construction Phase (7 Oct 2015 – 7 Jan 2016)
– 4-week Writing Period ( 7 Jan 2016 – 7 Feb 2016)

The Resident Director and Dramaturg will be on hand to provide stewardship in terms of regular consultations, dialogues and recommendations.


Quick facts about Boiler Room Cycle 2015 selection process:
• 37 applications were received during the 1-month Open Call period (7 April to 6 May 2015)
• Youngest applicant: 18 years old; and oldest applicant: 51 years old
• More than half of these applicants have not had any previous works staged
• 10 applicants were shortlisted by a panel comprising of the Centre’s resident director Casey Lim, resident dramaturg Dr Robin Loon, and established playwright Tan Tarn How.
• The final 2 playwrights were selected after an interview on 6 June 2015 with the panel comprising of the Centre’s resident director Casey Lim, resident dramaturg Dr Robin Loon, and Nine Years Theatre’s Artistic Director, Nelson Chia.

Information updated as of 7 July 2015.