Writing Life, Staging Life: A Playwright’s Perspective
It has been said, “Life is art and art is life.” For more than twenty years, theatre has been Verena Tay’s life and she has drawn many times from her own experiences to create theatre. She has found that the truest writing is often based on some kind of autobiographical impulse. In Writing Life, Staging Life, Verena will read excerpts from her published plays [e.g. In the Company of Heroes (2011) and In the Company of Women (2004)] and share her thoughts about the process of crafting real life into art.
Books to be promoted:
- In the Company of Heroes (Singapore: Maths Paper Press/BooksActually, 2011)
- In the Company of Women: Selected Plays (Singapore: SNP Editions, 2004)
- A Rainbow Feast: New Asian Short Stories (Singapore: Marshall Cavendish, 2010)
About the Facilitator:
Verena Tay has spent more than twenty years acting, directing and writing for local English-language theatre in Singapore. She created various solo and collaborative performances, often based on original, self-written material, while as an Associate Artist with The Substation (2002‒09).
Her recent plays that have been staged include Right and Left (2010), Bumiputra Cina (2009), Imperfect Family Recipes (2008), The Lunar Interviews (2008) and The Car (2006), which won Action Theatre’s Theatre Idols in 2005. Most of these plays appear in her second book, In the Company of Heroes (Singapore: Maths Paper Press/BooksActually, 2011), that is a companion to her first book, In the Company of Women: Selected Plays (Singapore: SNP Editions, 2004).
Her plays and short prose have also been published in More than Half the Sky: Creative Writing by Thirty Singaporean Women (1998), Tumasik: Contemporary Writing from Singapore (2009) and A Rainbow Feast: New Asian Short Stories (2010). An Honorary Fellow at the renowned International Writing Program, University of Iowa (Aug–Nov 2007), Verena is now working on her first volume of short stories as well as her debut novel.
Apart from writing and practicing theatre, Verena is an active storyteller and storytelling coach. In addition, she holds an MA in English Literature (National University of Singapore, 1993) and an MA in Voice Studies (Central School of Speech and Drama, London) and she teaches voice, speech and/or presentation skills at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University and other local institutions. For more information, please visit verenatay.com.