The Year of No Return
Every day, we are inundated with the dire consequences of the climate emergency. In the face of this threat to humanity, what do we do? Recycle? Switch to environmentally-friendly products? Be a vegan? Stop having children? What can we do—and do our actions even matter?
Why do we have such different responses to climate change? What makes one a denialist, or another to commit acts of civil disobedience in the name of climate justice?
Can we as individuals, and collectively, affect change? Or will politics and profit dictate the fate of this planet—our only home?
A ground-breaking interdisciplinary collaboration with artists from Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore, The Year of No Return by Singapore theatre company – The Necessary Stage seeks to unravel the complications and contradictions in humanity’s responses to climate change. This hybrid production incorporating live performance and video presentation seeks to question whether we live in an age of despair—or one of hope in the dark.
Discover more about The Necessary Stage and their productions here.
ABOUT THE CAST
CHIHIRO HIRAI – CAST
Chihiro appeared in The Necessary Stage’s Mobile 2: Flat Cities in 2013. She performed the first single national release in the theme song audition of the stage in 2014. In 2015 Chihiro released her first album, Ai no Toni and in 2017 her second album NEW () HELLO was released.
She also works as a goodwill ambassador from Hokuto City (Japan), Yamanashi Prefecture, where she is from.
TAN GUO LIAN SUTTON – CAST
Tan Guo Lian Sutton is a graduate of the BA (Hons) Acting program at LASALLE College of the Arts.He is a recipient of Best Supporting Actor for his role in Electra at the 2017 Life! Theatre Awards. He is currently a core member of theatre collective; Dark Matter Theatrics, and associate artist of Pink Gajah. Lian recently completed his Masters in Arts Pedagogy and Practice where he researched the pre-performance rituals of professional actors in Singapore. As a trained martial artist from an early age, Lian constantly seeks to merge his talents to tell stories in varied and engaging ways. Selected theatre credits include Temple, and Electra directed by Natalie Hennedige, 2 Houses by Lim Yu Beng, and Those Who Can’t, Teach directed by Alvin Tan.
MARCO VIAÑA – CAST
Marco is the recipient of the 2017 Gawad Buhay Award for Male Featured Performance in a Play for Tanghalang Pilipino’s Ang Pag-uusig (The Crucible). He is currently a Senior Member of the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company, comprising resident actors of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. He is also a member of the pool of Actor-Facilitators accredited by UNICEF to conduct acting classes and forum theatre workshops in the Philippines. Most recently he has expanded his artistic practice to include production design with Tanghalang Pilipino’s serialised staging of Nang Dalawin ng Pag-ibig si Juan Tamad (When Love Came to Juan Tamad).
RODOLFO (RODY) VERA – CO-WRITER/CAST
Rody is an actor, singer, playwright, screenwriter, actor, and director. He has written nearly 70 plays and won numerous competitions, notably the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature (Hall of Fame) and the Buhay! PhilStage Awards. He has written many film scripts which won accolades and co-wrote the critically acclaimed Cannes Film Festival entry to Un Certain Regard, Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan.
In 2015, Rody became an UMPIL Gawad Balagtas Awardee for his literary contributions to Philippine Drama and a Gawad Tanglaw ng Lahi Awardee by the Ateneo de Manila University. He is the co-founder of the Virgin Labfest, an annual theatre festival of new works, and currently heads the Writer’s Bloc, Inc, a group of Filipino playwrights. He also acted in The Necessary Stage’s productions, including Mardi Gras, Top or Bottom, godeatgod, Mobile and Good People (nominated as Best Actor at The Straits Times Life Theatre Awards)
SITI KHALIJAH ZAINAL – CAST
Siti Khalijah Zainal made her debut as a full-time theatre actress after she attended The Necessary Stage’s year-long Theatre for Youth Ensemble programme in 2003. Since then, she has been working with a wide range of theatre companies, both locally and internationally, and she considers herself very lucky. She won Best Actress for her roles in Model Citizens and Off Centre at the 2011 and 2016 The Straits Times Life Theatre Awards, and was awarded the Young Artist Award by the NAC in 2014.
SUKANIA VENUGOPAL – CAST
Sukania Venugopal has worked in Malaysia and Singapore for theatre, TV and movie projects, including Talentime with the late Yasmin Ahmad. She performed and co-directed dance dramas with The Temple of Fine Arts, worked in children’s theatre and musicals, and is a pioneer performer with The Instant Cafe Theatre. In 2019, she was part of an Australian theatre production Counting and Cracking at the Sydney and Adelaide Arts Festivals. She won Best Supporting Actress for Ghost Writer by The Necessary Stage at The Straits Times Life Theatre Awards, and Best Supporting Role for Language Archive in the Boh-Cameroonian Awards.