Micromanage Overwork Exasperate

Micromanage Overwork Exasperate (MOE) is based on interviews done with teachers regarding their teaching experiences in the Singapore education system. It will be staged in September 2016 by the theatre collective Dark Matter Theatrics, which aims to engage people from all walks of life with honest and impactful storytelling. The collective consists of playwright-director Christopher Fok, actor Lian Sutton and playwright Marcia Vanderstraaten. When they aren’t working together on plays they love, they are variously engaged in library work, report writing and drinking beer.

M.O.E. is a reworking of an earlier play written in 2014 on the same topic, called Micromanage Overwork Exaggerate. It is not considered a ‘restaging’, because about half of it is new material, based on new interviews and developments in the education scene. The process through which the new scenes will be written is directly connected to the physical spaces of Centre 42. It does, however, use most of the 2014 script, albeit in a different sequence. The scenes are roughly divided into

  1. monologues, and
  2. hyper-real imaginings of situations which teachers face regularly.

M.O.E. will be staged using the physical spaces of Centre 42, and not simply a black box as per the 2014 production; for this new script the collective is looking at a more site-specific experience, and how the physical spaces can be incorporated into the script.

I am grateful for Basement Workshop because that helped me to be more aware of my own weaknesses in my process […] I think that opportunity to learn more about my own process, I really appreciated that.Marcia Vanderstraaten

A Dark Matter Theatrics Production

Written by Marcia Vanderstraaten
Directed by Christopher Fok and Marcia Vanderstraaten
27 Sep – 2 Oct 2016
Centre 42


M.O.E. was developed in residence at Centre 42’s Basement Workshop.
Follow the creation process.

Playwright Marcia Vanderstraaten was in Centre 42 for two weeks in August 2016, adding new material to M.O.E. and reworking the play to suit the spaces at Centre 42.


View this series of video interviews with Marcia Vanderstraaten.

Interview 1 – Teaching from a Teacher’s Perspective

Marcia shares her motivation behind penning “Micromanage Overwork Exaggerate” (2014), the experience of staging a play on a shoestring budget, and why she has reworked the play in 2016.

Interview 2 – Based on Real People

“M.O.E.” is based on the real-life experiences of teachers working in Singapore’s education system. Marcia talks about the process and challenges of interviewing teachers for material for the play.

Interview 3 – From Exaggerate to Exasperate

In this second edition of “M.O.E.”, not only was the title changed from Exaggerate to Exasperate, new material was added. Playwright Marcia Vanderstraaten shares her goals for and experiences with reworking a play she first penned in 2014.

Interview 4 – Space as a Character

The 2016 production of “M.O.E.” will make use of three spaces at Centre 42 — the Black Box, the Meeting Room, and the Rehearsal Studio. Playwright Marcia Vanderstraaten talks about her fondness for site-specific theatre and how she reworked her play to take advantage of the physical spaces at Centre 42.



Read also these interviews:

  • Helmi Yusof of The Business Times speaks with Christopher Fok about staging new work as a small theatre collective. Read it here.