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采访人:   黄素怀 – 实践剧场文学编辑(tbc)

受访者:   郭践红/Siti/苏君英


Siti: For me, as a woman, naturally I find that there is a sense of togetherness. I initially thought it's going to be crazy, having more than 8 women in rehearsals that we're probably going to kill each other and all that. But it's has been the good kind of crazy! And because I don’t speak Mandarin, I thought I would not be able to understand what is going on. But I manage to somehow feel one with the group. And they make me feel very welcomed. I don’t even need to understand what they are talking about to feel that sense of togetherness. But working with men I feel that it’s more straightforward. Not to say there is no room for jokes, men are more serious. It is not a bad thing. I can feel the differences working with all male and all female casts.





君英:说到“歧视”,我发现我也“歧视”女人。最简单的讲开车,我也会说”Wah lau! Lady driver!”我居然会这么说,看到车开的很烂,我就首先会认为是女的,过去一看“天哪,真的是女人!“。所以我们在某一些事情上,自己会否定歧视自己。哈哈,我应该帮女性辩护的嘛。

践红:We should be defending the women but it’s the truth. A lot of women drivers are bad drivers, In the States, in LA, if you go to a Chinese Supermarket car park, you will know why. When you drive in the American grocery store everything is normal. When you drive in the Asian supermarket parking lot, you just want to kill somebody.

Siti: I know obviously sexism does exist in the society, there’s no escaping it. I think I’ve been fortunate because of the people I mix with, or the industry I am in doesn’t really expose me to the depth to see that.

践红:我有一些男同学,在银行工作的,他们聊天时会说”Jia Lat lah,You got lady boss ah?”他们的印象和经验是,不好做女老板的属下的。当然你可以分析说男人不喜欢给女人管,但是另一方面,女人可能在没有权利很久后得到了权利,也不好相处。所以这到底是不是种歧视?是不是种偏见?在一定程度上,如我前面说的,我们的社会很保守,男人产假三五天,女人有四个月,但是有可能有些男人比女人更适合带孩子?偏见肯定是有,在个别事情上,大家是不是能把它抛开来做决定。讲回剧场,剧场是女人的天下,尤其是新加坡的剧场。



Siti: I think there are many elements that can make a theatre production very multi-everything- multimedia, lights etc. I think this show has a nice enough collaboration of these little things such as the use of different languages. That is already very rich. And our different ethnicity, background- that is another multi-something. What we have is the richness in simplicity.


Siti: I think over-doing it would be getting the "Chinese, Malay, Indian, others" in the play, I think that would be forcing it a little with the whole multi-racial thing; I think that is a bit gimmicky. In a way I am glad that this show is not like that, it is just a coincidence these characters are such.

践红:Many years ago when I was getting married to my husband, who is a Caucasian, some people asked me about our cultural and language differences? I can probably bond better with him than the next Singaporean, who went to the same school with me, have the same education, live in the same district. One common language we have is the arts. (He is a film-maker) It is really about the story of people before the tools, or the language or the culture. One thing I am glad the playwrights didn’t do is to introduce characters in a systematic manner such as we must have a character from every 200 years… that will be a very socially correct way of thinking who these women should be.

Siti: I think that’s the reason we do theatre, is to go against what we are supposed to. For example if they ever say that every theatre production must do such and such, I may quit theatre because that’s not how it is supposed to. The reason I go into theatre is because I feel a certain sense of freedom that we can explore and do what we want to do without having being told to. Why limit creativity to fit the mould that they want?




Siti: By actually watching shows and supporting works by all theatre companies, not just the big ones. They need to know who they're pumping the money to, and the good ones deserve more money!

践红: There should be no strings attached to these supports be it to companies, individuals or collectives. The example I always use is: If you build a school, you don't build it for teachers; if you build a swimming pool, you don't just build it for the sports; if you build a hospital, you don't just built it for doctors, right? So if you give funding and build a theatre, you don't build it just for artists. You also doing it for the people, everything is about people. That's all social infrastructures.



践红: We should always go and find your own recourses to do things, because if you rely on funding, you relinquish control, you see. But at the same time, if there is funding from the government, this is definitely a much deserved and needed support. I deal with the money all the time, I am always struggling to decide what are the things are important to me, what are the things are just “ok I can bear it”, so I will just go and do it and the things I will not do, no matter how much money is in it. So the government funding is only one part of the formula.


arrow  Continue reading on Issue 1 / April 2013:Female and the Theatre