SCENES: Participatory Practices

7 – 13 Sept 2020

Venue (Launch on 7 Sept 2020!)

In English. No subtitles

Registration (Limited Capacity!)
(Refer to individual programme for more information)

SCENES schedule at a glance

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SCENES returns this September with its third edition, while also celebrating a huge milestone - Drama Box turning 30!

SCENES: Participatory Practices is a virtual gathering of socially-engaged arts practitioners from Asia Pacific, and a practice of participation in shared solitudes. While gathering and live presence were central to previous iterations, against a backdrop of physical distancing, what other possibilities remain for critical engagement with society?

Taking place over 7 days, with 3 Experiences, 6 Workshops and 2 Conversations, SCENES is an invitation to explore how we can continue activating our sense of empathy and imagination, and overcome distance to create connection, community and solidarity!

Read about the SCENES artists

3 Experiences

The Little Old Cooking Club That Could (World Premiere)

by Jamie Lewis (Australia/Singapore)

For Registered Participants Only!
24 Aug – 11 Sept, 1 – 2pm

Click here for more information on participating in The Little Old Cooking Club That Could (Open to children between 9 – 12 and seniors over 65)
To register: https://forms.gle/xgE8DNxNuuzb2eqC6
Deadline: 7 Aug

Open to Everyone!
Talk: 13 Sept, 1pm – 2pm
Public Livestream on SCENES2020.dramabox.org

The Little Old Cooking Club That Could is an intimate community dining experience for one, specially designed by Jamie Lewis, a Singaporean artist based in Australia. Delivered in a tiffin box by Papa Lewis, a group of ten intergenerational audience participants savour a meal with headphones on, tuning in to an intercultural conversation between children and seniors in Australia and Singapore.

*Talk: Artist Jamie and the 10 participants will gather at the end of The Little Old Cooking Club That Could to share and reflect upon their participation. This sharing will be streamed live on SCENES2020.dramabox.org

KXMOBA (World Premiere)

by Komunidad X (The Philippines)

Open to Everyone!
8 – 10 Sept, round the clock

Get the Zoom link on SCENES2020.dramabox.org to enter. Fastest fingers first! Admits up to 100 participants each time.

Public Livestream on SCENES2020.dramabox.org
8 Sept: 6 – 7am, 6 – 7pm
9 Sept: 9 – 10am, 5 – 6pm
10 Sept: 6 – 7pm, 11:30 – 11:59pm

The conditions set by the sudden spread of the pandemic have made it difficult for us to interact and communicate as people. Physical distancing, isolation and even wearing masks have curtailed our means to communicate as social beings of this world.

KXMOBA plays and surfs around the possibilities of human-to-human connections amid the on-ground and online barriers set to stop the spread of the disease. The performance embarks on a circular journey for people to discover multiple pathways to reach out and create connections from online to on-ground and back to online, creating ripples as pockets of people interact and communicate with each other.

The Lesson – An Online Experiment (Back by Popular Demand)

by Kok Heng Leun (Drama Box, Singapore)

For Registered Participants Only! Participants are required to attend all sessions.

To participate as residents
Briefing: 24 Aug, 8 – 9:30pm
Part 1 (Pre-show): 11 Sept, 8 – 9pm
Part 2 (Show): 12 Sept, 8 – 10pm
Part 3 (Post-show): 13 Sept, 4 – 5:30pm

Click here for more information on participating as residents
To register: https://forms.gle/kvGXr8VegQ1SEmkV8
Deadline: 11 Aug

To participate as members of the public in the show
Part 1 (Pre-show): 11 Sept, 8 – 9pm
Part 2 (Show): 12 Sept, 8 – 10pm
Part 3 (Post-show): 13 Sept, 4 – 5:30pm

To register: https://thelesson_online.eventbrite.sg
Deadline: 9 Sept

Open to Everyone!
Watch the show (Part 2) on 12 Sept, 8 – 10pm
Public Livestream on SCENES2020.dramabox.org

The Lesson asks questions about the forces at work that shape our space, and whether there is enough space for a heterotopia. The audience is presented with a scenario whereby the city has made plans for the development of an old housing estate. However, there is little space left, therefore an existing facility in the area must be demolished. What will stay, and what will go? The audience enters this scenario and participates in the decision-making process. Through this process, the audience learns about the costs, risks, stakes and sacrifices that come with creating a community.

The Lesson was first created by Li Xie as part of the It Won’t Be Too Long trilogy and presented at the Singapore International Festival of Arts 2015. Drama Box's Artistic Director Kok Heng Leun is adapting it to an online format for SCENES: Participatory Practices.

6 Workshops


by anGie seah

For Registered Participants Only! Participants are required to attend all sessions.
9 – 12 Sept, At participants’ own time
Collective Session: 13 Sept, 10 – 11:30am

To register: https://homework_workshop.eventbrite.sg
Deadline: 3 Sept

“Breathe art to include yourself”
This workshop helps you find creative approaches to daily life and is perfect for anyone whether lacking in imagination or full of it.

With the aim of bringing the focus back to oneself, anGie will customise prompts and “homework” for participants to complete in the comfort of their own homes. Expect to carry out a series of tasks ranging from simple to reflective to whimsical. Completed assignments will be made available for viewing online.

Rant with Kumar

For Registered Participants Only!
9 Sept, 10 – 11pm

To register: https://rantwithkumar.eventbrite.sg
Deadline: 3 Sept

Ranting is an expression of anger and frustration that is usually perceived as reckless, thoughtless and destructive. Yet, it also reveals honest feelings, concerns and desires of people. How can we harness the constructive potential of ranting as a kind of communication in the public sphere? What are the things that need to be said in public? Who needs to hear it and how do we talk about it? In this workshop, Kumar borrows from his years of experience in comedy and facilitates the participants to reflect on things they need to rant about and how to do it.

Breathing Objects

by Myra Loke (The Finger Players)

For Registered Participants Only! Participants are required to attend all sessions.
Part 1: 10 Sept, 2 – 5pm
Part 2: 12 Sept: 2 – 5pm

To register: https://breathing_objects.eventbrite.sg
Deadline: 25 Aug

Objects in motion and objects that breathe - herein lies the heart of puppetry. The creativity in this art form is the balance between the activated motion by the puppeteer, and the "agency" of the puppet/object - the recognition that “every object contains a soul of its own”. With this acknowledgement and respect, we activate the puppet/object by giving it our breath (the puppeteer’s breath).

This process of activating and animating a puppet requires the participation of the puppet, puppeteer and also the audience. The object comes to life by a puppeteer's hands and breath, and the audience is encouraged to suspend disbelief while actively participating in this transformation. This reconfiguring of being therefore requires participation and investment.

This workshop brings its participants through the journey of answering two crucial questions - How can we harness this participation and why should we?

Healing with Humour

by Gwee Li Sui

For Registered Participants Only! Recommended for ages 16 and above.
10 Sept, 7 – 9pm

To register: https://healingwithhumour.eventbrite.sg
Deadline: 3 Sept

This workshop aims to illustrate the importance of humour in our social interactions. If we can understand how a society thinks by how it laughs, can growing our sense of humour help us change?

This workshop will demonstrate that the gaps in our perception of another or a situation can be bridged by humour. Conducted entirely chat-based, participants can observe the way words work without cues from physical expression, and also appreciate the power of words more directly.

Acts and Antidotes For Surviving Eclipses, Peculiar Habitats and Contradictory Certainties

by Zarina Muhammad

For Registered Participants Only! Participants are required to attend all sessions.
Part 1: 11 Sept, 10 – 11pm
Part 2: 13 Sept, 2 – 3pm

To register: https://acts_and_antidotes.eventbrite.sg
Deadline: 3 Sept

This workshop invites participants to consider their own personal acts, gestures, mindful actions and antidotes in times of crises, transition and transformation. What are our individual and collective methods of memory-making, commemorating loss, reconstructing traditions of renewal? How does this parallel the ways we mark and measure time? What stories do we tell of final rites, of peculiar phantoms (of the old world order), of ruined/renewed landscapes of isolation/belonging, of time and future ghosts and the chaos of crossing thresholds we might be unfamiliar with? Through the act of storytelling, ritual and gesture, the workshop aims to explore ways to create our own memory maps, personal peculiar habitats, talismanic effigies, apotropaic marks and calendrical systems to remember and memorialise all that we assume matters.

Kemas Ritual

by P7:1SMA

For Registered Participants Only!
12 Sept, 10 – 12pm

To register: https://kemas_ritual.eventbrite.sg
Deadline: 3 Sept

What is dirty to you? How do you clean? Join P7:1SMA for this workshop which approaches and imagines acts of cleaning as a homely ritual. With a collective desire, participants will play an active role to score a kemas ritual and dedicate it to anchors of calmness at home.

2 Conversations

Gathering Apart: Making Participatory Art in a Physically Distanced World

JK Anicoche (Komunidad X, The Philippines)
Han Xuemei (Drama Box, Singapore)
Jamie Lewis (Australia)

Chng Yi Kai (Drama Box, Singapore)

Open to Everyone!
7 Sept, 7 – 8:30pm
Public Livestream on SCENES2020.dramabox.org

Bringing together the SCENES performance artists and SCENES artistic director to unpack and address the question of how we can continue to make participatory art in a physically distanced world, this panel discussion serves as a lead in to the world of experiences in SCENES.

Being a Part of Gathering: Reflections from SCENES Participants

By Invitation Only!
13 Sept, 7 – 8:30pm

Exclusive to all participants and artists to gather and reflect on their experience participating in SCENES.

An open conversation that shifts the focus away from the artists and the art to the participants, participants of the different workshops and performances gather in an attempt to ask and answer: how do we practise participation in a physically-distanced world? Anyone who took part in SCENES is welcome to join this virtual ‘campfire’, to share or listen to one another’s perspectives on their experiences thus far. Together as a “panel” of individuals who created and participated in SCENES, this brings an end to SCENES by critically contemplating what has been learnt, observed or discovered in the past 7 days, and how to bring it to the world beyond SCENES.


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