A sharp satire on theatre-making in a pandemic and an irreverent look at the unlikely collaboration of three wildly different Singaporean artistic directors, The Commission is the entertaining live sequel to the circuit-breaking short film, The Pitch.
They’re back. And this time, it’s personal.
When Singapore Repertory Theatre’s Gaurav Kripalani, Wild Rice’s Ivan Heng, and Pangdemonium’s Adrian Pang collaborated for the first time on the short film The Pitch, it seemed like just a (virtual) stage they were going through.
Little did they know that the theatre gods were plotting to take this motley ménage à trois and elevate it to another dimension.
This time, the fearsome threesome is thrown together again to create an exclusive piece of live theatre for these strange times. But what kind of production should it be? With uber-producer Gaurav’s credentials, should it be more SRT-ish? With Ivan’s director’s vision, should it be a Wild Rice fab fest? Or, with Adrian’s thespian tendencies, should it be more Pangdemonium-esque? Or should it be a hybrid – a Singapore Ricepertory Pangdewildium production…?
A play about a play within a play, and all the shenanigans that come into play in the making of the play, The Commission pulls back the curtain to reveal the human beings behind the producer, the director and the actor.
A hysterical and historical jaunt through the respective and collective journeys of three very different individuals who have dedicated their lives to the theatre, The Commission is LIVE. In the flesh. And everything you loved about The Pitch, raised to fever pitch!
Director: Tracie Pang
Playwright: Ken Kwek
Dramaturg: Alfian Sa’at
Set Designer: Eucien Chia
Lighting Designer: James Tan
Sound Designer: Guo Ningru
Multimedia Designer: Genevieve Peck
Costume Designer: Moe Kasim
Cast: Adrian Pang, Ivan Heng, Gaurav Kripalani
About the Creative Team
Tracie Pang – Director
Tracie is the Co-Artistic Director of Pangdemonium. She has worked in the theatre throughout the UK and Asia for 25 years, collaborating with Quicksilver Theatre Company, Mu-Lan Theatre Company, Pimlico Opera and Theatreworks, amongst others. During her tenure as Associate Artistic Director of Singapore Repertory Theatre from 2006 to 2010, she set up The Little Company to present quality plays for children aged 3 – 14. In 2010, Tracie founded Pangdemonium with her husband, Adrian. At the Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards, Tracie has won the Best Director Award for Pangdemonium’s Falling, and received Best Director nominations for The Full Monty, Dealer’s Choice, Rabbit Hole, Next to Normal, Fat Pig, Tribes, Dragonflies and Late Company.
Ken Kwek – Playwright
KEN KWEK is an award-winning filmmaker, playwright and author. His screenplays include Trafficker (2015), It’s A Great Great World (2011) and The Blue Mansion (2009). He has also directed several films, including Sex.Violence.FamilyValues (2013) and UNLUCKY PLAZA (2014), which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and won Best Director at the Tehran Jasmine Film Festival. His most recent short film The Pitch (2020) was jointly produced by SRT, Wild Rice and Pangdemonium. Ken’s plays include Apocalypse: LIVE! (Wild Rice, 2008), This Is What Happens To Pretty Girls (Pangdemonium, 2019) and The Zoologist (SRT, 2020). He has written two best-selling children’s novels, Timothy and the Phubbers (2018) and Kelly and the Krumps (2019), which won the Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award.
Alfian Sa’at – Dramaturg
Alfian is the Resident Playwright of WILD RICE. He has been nominated at the Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards for Best Original Script 11 times, and has received the award four times. His plays with WILD RICE include HOTEL (with Marcia Vanderstraaten), The Asian Boys Trilogy, Cooling-Off Day, The Optic Trilogy and Homesick. He was the winner of the Golden Point Award for Poetry and the National Arts Council Young Artist Award for Literature in 2001. His publications include Collected Plays One, Two and Three; poetry collections One Fierce Hour, A History of Amnesia and The Invisible Manuscript; and short-story collections Corridor and Malay Sketches.
Ivan Heng – Actor
Ivan founded Wild Rice in 2000. Together with Executive Director Tony Trickett, he envisioned a new home for the company – a groundbreaking iconic theatre that opened in the heart of Singapore’s civic and cultural district in 2019. Under Ivan’s leadership, Wild Rice has reached out to an audience of over a million people, and is today at the vanguard of creating theatre with a distinctive Singaporean voice. In 2013, Ivan was awarded the Cultural Medallion, Singapore’s highest cultural honour.
Adrian Pang – Actor
Adrian is the Co-Artistic Director of Pangdemonium. UK theatre credits include Hair, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Comedy of Errors and The Magic Fundoshi. Singapore theatre credits include the title roles in Hamlet and Macbath, Forbidden City, Into the Woods, Boeing Boeing, God of Carnage and The Weight of Silk on Skin. For Pangdemonium: The Full Monty, Swimming with Sharks, Next to Normal, Falling, The Pillowman, Fun Home, Dragonflies, Late Company, This is What Happens to Pretty Girls, Urinetown: The Musical etc. Adrian has won the Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards for Best Actor for The Dresser, Much Ado About Nothing, Rabbit Hole and The LKY Musical. The productions he is more proud of are his two sons, Zack and Xander.
Gaurav Kripalani – Actor
Throughout his 25-year career with SRT, Gaurav has produced over 150 productions. As an actor, he has performed in the musical Sing to the Dawn, Shakespeare in the Park’s Hamlet and, most recently, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Disgraced. Over the past four years helming SIFA, he has presented game-changing local and international artists, including luminaries such as Sakamoto, Ostermeier and Suzuki; and has commissioned and championed the work of leading artists and companies in Singapore, several of whom who have collaborated with others for the first time. SIFA has become a high quality platform with curated experiences and content to meet different passion points.
Eucien Chia – Set Designer
Eucien is an Architect – Set Designer who has designed for shows ranging from minimalist blackbox productions to the inaugural NDP at the Floating Platform. Previous productions with Wild Rice include La Cage Aux Folles (2017), Boeing Boeing (2017), A $ingapore Carol, and The Emperor’s New Clothes. Previous set designs for Pangdemonium include Urinetown, This Is What Happens To Pretty Girls, The Pillowman, Spring Awakening, and RENT. Selected set design credits: Shanghai Blues (Toy Factory); H is for Hantu (STAGES); Sing To The Dawn (I Theatre); Normal (Checkpoint). Awards: ST Life! Theatre Awards Best Set Design winner for Company (Dream Academy); December Rains (Toy Factory); and Dealer’s Choice (Pangdemonium). Eucien thanks God for his amazing family.
James Tan – Lighting Designer
James Tan (Pangdemonium’s Associate Artist/ Independent Lighting Designer) was conferred The Young Artist Award and awarded Arts Professional Scholarship by The National Arts Council of Singapore. He was the recipient of Arena Stage – The Allen Lee Hughes Lighting Design Fellowship, United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) – YD&T Lighting Design Award, USITT Commissioners Grant & International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) – Education Trust for IALD Enlighten Americas and The Straits Times Life Theatre Awards – Best Lighting Design 2017/2018. Master of Fine Arts in Lighting Design, UC San Diego. Selected Theatre Lighting Design Credits: Dragonflies – SIFA 2017 + Pangdemonium’s Season 2018 & Urinetown – The Musical (Pangdemonium), Merdeka & Public Enemy (W!ld Rice), and Disgraced & Hello Goodbye (Singapore Repertory Theatre). Selected Events/Architectural Lighting Design: From Singapore to Singaporean: The Bicentennial Experience (Singapore Bicentennial Office), OCBC Garden Rhapsody: Rainforest Orchestra – Asia & Australia Edition (Gardens By The Bay) & The Art of the Brick® Exhibition by Nathan Sawaya (MBS ArtScience Museum). International & Regional Tour: Relatively Speaking (The British Theatre Playhouse) & God of Carnage (Singapore Repertory Theatre). Selected Public Artwork: Art Installation- Yellow @ Lorong Halus Bridge for REWRITTEN: The World Ahead of Us (The Public Art Trust).
Guo NingRu – Sound Designer
Ning recently returned to Singapore after graduating with a MFA in Sound Design from the University of California Irvine (UCI). She was a recipient of the National Arts Scholarship by the Singapore National Arts Council in 2016. Over the past decade, Ning has designed sound for numerous plays and musicals in Singapore and the local region. She especially enjoys exploring immersive spatial audio for theatrical performances. Her Masters Thesis, Going Immersive – Spatial Audio for Theatre, details the current technologies and methods in Spatial Audio for sound designers to utilize in theatrical performances.
Her recent works include composition for The Importance of Being Earnest (UCI), sound design for The Gingerbread Man (Singapore Repertory Theatre), The Pajama Game (UCI), Mrs Packard (UCI) and The Effect (Pangdemonium).
Ning is also committed to educating and influencing the younger generation of sound designers in Singapore, as well as developing the awareness and appreciation for sound design in the local community.
Support her at ningsounddesign.com
Genevieve Peck – Multimedia Designer
Genevieve graduated from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London in 2012 with a BA(Hons) in Theatre Practice, specialising in Lighting and Projection/Video Design.
Design credits include Tango, The Effect (Pangdemonium), Four Horse Road, I Came at Last to The Seas, Lao Jiu 2017, Liao Zhai Rocks 2016, If There’re Seasons 2014 (The Theatre Practice), Lear is Dead, Art Studio (Nine Years Theatre), Both Sides Now 2019, Missing, sixpointnine, The Silly Little Girl and The Funny Old Tree (Drama Box), Prism (Toy Factory), A $ingapore Carol (Wild Rice), The Lifespan of a Fact, Red Riding Hood (Singapore Repertory Theatre), I am Trying to Say Something True (Esplanade), Forever Young, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Sing’Theatre), ASEAN Para Games 2015 Opening and Closing Ceremonies (Philbeat Pte Ltd), Kit Chan Spellbound Concert (Banshee Empire), Sides 2016 (Frontier Danceland), From: The Platform (Chowk Productions), The Musical Canvas (Ding Yi Music Company), and You Are Here (Pooja Nansi).
Moe Kasim – Costume Designer
Moe is renowned for his attention to detail and creative eye for colourful, meaningful designs. He has won four Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards
For his work on Wild Rice’s Aladdin (2004) and Oi! Sleeping Beauty! (2005), Toy Factory’s Titoudao (2007) and The Theatre’s Practice’s Liao Zhai Rocks (2011). Recent projects include Asia’s Got Talent (2015-2018), ASEAN Youth Games 2017, the national costume for Miss Universe Singapore (2016-2017), Lim Boon Keng The Musical (2019) and The Phase of the Sun (2021).