Our diverse faculty of coaches have trained and taught all over the world. This cosmopolitan mix of respected industry professionals ensure all HCAC programmes are of an international standard.
About Our Teachers
Kamil Haque is the founder and artisic director of Haque Centre of Acting & Creativity (HCAC). After 8 years working and coaching in Los Angeles Kamil returned to his native Singapore in 2013 to establish HCAC, Singapore’s first professional acting centre and Asia’s first centre to teach the preeminent Lee Strasberg’s method of acting.
Kamil graduated top of his class from the American Musical & Dramatic Academy (AMDA) with a BA(Hons) in Acting. He was the first student in half a century to be awarded Latin Honours for this subject.He is also the first and only Asian to be given the privilege to train and then coach at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute. He is the only coach in Asia experienced in teaching the Strasberg Method of Acting.
In 2011, Kamil was bestowed the honour of being invited to become a working observer at the world-renowned The Actor’s Studio. He was the first Singaporean ever to be part of the studio.
In addition to these accolades, Kamil was appointed as the Head Acting Instructor at East West Players, the USA’s oldest Asian American Theatre group, as well as the role of Global Internship Director at the Company of Angels (CoA), Los Angeles’ oldest repertory theatre company.
Having experienced first-hand experience of the demanding industry standards of Hollywood, Kamil is well-acquainted with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed internationally.
To date, Kamil has coached well over 1000 students, many of whom have appeared on stage as well as in film, television shows and national commercials around the world. He has also produced, directed and acted in several award-winning and critically-acclaimed productions in USA, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.
HCAC is the culmination of 23 years of working towards fulfilling a childhood dream.
Kamil was born and bred in Singapore with a rich cultural understanding due to his multi-ethnic origins.
He found his passion for drama at the tender age of 7 and has spent his life dedicated to the craft of acting. HCAC has been created to enrich lives and inspire actors and non-actors alike. It is part of Kamil’s great vision to elevate and progress acting as well as other forms of creative expression in Singapore.
As part of the growth of HCAC, in 2014, Kamil start Method Productions, a presenting production company across all mediums. Kamil has also overseen the inception of several flagship productions including Metaphors Be With You, a curated-true-personal-essay-showcase, Pioneer Passages a regular dramatized reading series of plays by pioneering playwrights and The Singapore Monologue Slam which is Singapore’s first monologue competition.
Deborah Emmanuel is a Singaporean writer, performer and four-time TEDx speaker. Her work and dialogue has featured at festivals like Makassar International Writers Festival and Queensland Poetry Festival. She has performed on stage and screen with companies like TheatreWorks, Singapore Repertory Theatre and Mediacorp. Her work has toured Asia, Australia and Europe and featured in numerous publications locally and internationally.
Deborah has published two books, When I Giggle In My Sleep (2015) and Rebel Rites (2016) and her bands Wobology and Mojave are both launching their first studio albums this year. When not writing, performing or being a frontwoman, Deborah workshops writing and performance. She has worked with a variety of people, from curious adults to excited youth and emotionally-disordered seniors to transitioning incarcerated women.
Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé is the author of an epistolary novel, two hybrid works, and nine poetry collections. A former journalist, he has edited more than fifteen books and co-produced three audio books. Among other accolades, Desmond is the recipient of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award, Independent Publisher Book Award, National Indie Excellence Book Award, Poetry World Cup, Singapore Literature Prize, two Beverly Hills International Book Awards, and three Living Now Book Awards. He helms Squircle Line Press as its founding editor.
Emil Marwa has been a professional actor for over 25 years. Emil first realised he wanted to act at the tender age of 8 when he played Peter in a school production of “Peter And The Wolf”. At 13, he made his TV debut as a regular in the BBC kids show “Grange Hill”, various commercials and TV roles followed. He then went on to study Acting at Rose Bruford college of Speech and Drama in London graduating with a BA Honours. His first role was that of Muneer Khan in the award winning play “East Is East” at the Royal Court Theatre. He then went on to play Bertram in “Alls well that ends well” for the Oxford stage company directed by Peter Brooks’ daughter Irena.
It was then that his film career began with the role of Moose opposite Oscar nominee Samantha Morton in “The Last Yellow”. Emil reprised his role in the movie version of “East Is East” which won a BAFTA and became an international hit. He then went to the US to play Vijay Rau in “The Guru” playing opposite oscar winner Marisa Tomei, he played opposite Tim Robbins in “Code 46” and then went on to play his first leading role in the Norwegian hit “Izzat”where he was nominated for best actor at the AMANDAs.
He starred in the sequel to “East Is East”, “West Is West”and British zombie comedy “Doghouse”. More recently, he played opposite Jake Gylenhall and Gemma Arteton in “Prince of Persia” unfortunately, his scenes only saw the cutting room floor! In 2014, he played Tuveh Ben Mayer in “The Physician” alongside Ben Kingsley and Stellan Skarsgard and 2017 will see the release of low budget British thriller “Winners” in which he plays the lead.
Emil has appeared in numerous British TV shows over the years and performed in the West End several times.
Eric Tinsay VALLES draws inspiration from all the places that he has called home. He has published the poetry collections A World in Transit and After the Fall: dirges among ruins (shortlisted for the 2016 Singapore Literature Prize) as well as co-edited Get Lucky: An Anthology of Singapore and Philippine Writings and Sg Poems 2015-2016. His poetry has been featured in Southeast Asian Review of English, Routledge’s New Writing and other journals. He has won a Goh Sin Tub Creative Writing prize. He has been invited to read poetry or commentaries at Baylor, Melbourne and Oxford Universities as well as the Kistrech Poetry Festival. He is a director of the National Poetry Festival.
Jody worked as a full-time improv actress at Universal Studios Singapore for 2 years before relocating to NYC. She was accepted into the prestigious Circle in the Square’s Musical Theatre program and graduated in 2015. Upon graduation, Jody landed the lead role in The Internet Ruined My Life, which premiered on Syfy. She has also guest starred in several national commercials such as Geico, Maybelline, Giphy, Budweiser and American Museum of National History.
As a theatre artist, Jody’s off-Broadway work include Oedipus the King, Seminar, Five Flights. She was also nominated as Best Actress in a Musical during the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity for her work in The Golden Smile. The show subsequently went on tour to Washington DC and was part of the Capital Fringe Festival. Her favorite role to date is Lady Nijo from Top Girls, which was performed at the broadway house, Circle in the Square Theatre.
Jody loves going back to her improv roots and has done multiple shows at The People’s Improv Theatre in NYC. She also dabbles in puppetry and has taken aerial hoop classes in the past year.
Nicole Stinton has worked in the theatre industry for two decades across Australia and Asia, specialising in Musical Theatre. Her experience is not only as a professional actor, director and playwright, but also as an artistic director, acting teacher and vocal coach.
Nicole has published several books on Drama that are widely used in the Australian education system. She holds an MBA in Arts and Entertainment Management from Deakin University and a Bachelor in Musical Theatre from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). As an actor she is most known in Singapore for her rendition of the blonde bombshell Norma Cassidy in Victor/Victoria, which ran at the Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay.
Ralf Raeuker studied acting (1981-85), worked with Jerzy Grotowski in Italy 1985 and in France 1987. He took part in the “International School of Theatre Anthropology“ (ISTA 86, 95, 96) and the “Actors Laboratory“ 1988 at the Odin Teatret, directed by Eugenio Barba. Ralf received a two years postgrad scholarship to research Meyerhold’s Biomechanics (1988-90) at the University of Arts Berlin. He worked from 1991-96 in close collaboration with Gennadi Bogdanov from Moscow on a long term research project, teaching and documenting Biomechanics at the Mime Center Berlin. In the 1970s, Bogdanov was trained by Nikolai Kustov who was an actor and instructor for Biomechanics at the Meyerhold Theatre in Moscow (from 1928 until the theatre was closed in 1938). In 1995, Ralf started his career as a theatre maker and director and has directed and devised more than 20 theatre and performance projects since then.
In 2003, he moved to Perth in Western Australia to work as a fulltime lecturer (later also course-coordinator), first in “Theatre Arts” at WAAPA and later in “Contemporary Performance” at Edith Cowan University. In 2005 he enrolled in a PhD in Performing Arts at WAAPA and successfully graduated in 2011. In 2013, he started his international teaching program “Workshops on the Move“. Currently he is working as a Senior Guest Lecturer in Drama at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur.
Sarah Howell is a storyteller at heart— and an award-winning one at that! Hailing from Montreal, Canada, she started her career in journalism running around the world chasing stories for print and documentaries for clients the likes of History Channel, Discovery, and CBC to list but some. Since moving to Singapore, however, she’s ventured into film and theatre. Her debut short play, “Asleep & Him” won her first awards in Kuala Lumpur as part of the Short & Sweet Festival (Best Script, Best Creative Production, and Best Male Actor). Her first short film, “The Clinic”, also won awards on the international circuit (Fresh Voices 2015 Screenplay Quarter-finalist; Sydney Indie Film Festival 2015 Best Script Nomination; Canada Shorts 2015 Honourable Mention). She started Dream Bravely Pte. Ltd., a creative production house, in 2015 in the hopes of telling more amazing, original stories and sharing her passion for storytelling with the world!
Raised in Avignon, where one of the most famous French theatre festivals is held every summer, Arnaud Pierre started his first theatre classes in elementary school. Throughout high school, Arnaud studied classic French theatre and even co-wrote a few plays.
Arnaud has performed over 200 improv shows and has studied dozens of different improvisation formats with various coaches for eight years and discovered the many faces of improv, such as the narrative style of Keith Johnstone, Del Close’s organic approach and Viola Spolin’s games-based format. Arnaud has performed with a variety of different improv troupes in France, and in national and international festivals. Arnaud arrived in Singapore in 2012, wide-eyed and eager to experience the Improv scene in the Lion City.
Some of his accolades:
– Representative of the International Theatresports Institute in Singapore
– Received 20+ awards as the First Star improviser, won 2 improv competition/tournament
– Main speaker for a conference at The School of Life
– Gave workshops in England, France, China, Singapore and will be part of the Manila and Beijing Festivals.
Benji Reid is a an award-wining visual theatre director, who has been the recipient of the Nesta Dreamtime award runner up for Art05 Award and currently the recipient of the Welcome Trust award for exploring the relationship between physical theatre and sports. Benji was a member of the Broken Glass street crew before formally training in classical ballet, contemporary dance, lighting design and choreography at the Northern School of Contemporary dance. Benji currently holds the position of Associate Artist at the Royal Exchange Manchester. In theatre, Benji has worked widely with such highly regarded companies as the David Glass Ensemble, Trestle Theatre, Theatr Clwyd and Black Mime Theatre. In 1998 Benji went on to direct his first main stage play, hip hop musical ‘Avalanche’ for Nottingham Playhouse – this became the foundation for his company, Breaking Cycles.
Chris Jacobs took his first step into the world of theatre in the United Kingdom at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds in 1966. Since then, he has been involved with many theatrical productions that span across four continents. They range from the dramatic works of Sophocles to Shakespeare, Sartre and beyond; musical concerts from Beethoven and Bach to Pink Floyd and Queen; stage musicals and opera from Purcell, Wagner, Gilbert & Sullivan to Kander & Ebb. His experiences also include ballet; pantomime; music hall; circus; and major spectacle events, including the ‘BambooMan” which made the Hong Kong harbour its stage. BambooMan captured an estimated live audience of a quarter of a million and was broadcasted on TV news stations across the globe.
Once described as a “renaissance man of the theatre”, Chris has worked for the last 25 years as a freelance stage director, designer, playwright, acting coach and teacher. He frequently assumes different roles simultaneously, and this has continued to inspire him, taking him to see many parts of the world.
Claudette Sutherland has contributed to Los Angeles Magazine and is a member of Pen West. She was educated at Stephens College and the Yale School of Drama. She began her theatrical and television career in musical comedy, where she originated the role of “Smitty” in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. As a writer, she wrote and performed Dog Man, a solo show inspired by her experiences in real life. Produced by Joe Stern, Dog Man was performed at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles, and was subsequently invited to the Dublin Theatre Festival in 1996. Reviews for the show include Daily Variety which headlined the show as “…a truly original piece about the American Midwest” and “speak[ing] both to the heartland and the heart.” Her film credits include television shows such as Six Feet Under, NYPD Blue, Crossing Jordan, Golden Girls and several others.
Claudette has mentored many published writers throughout her teaching career, some of whom have gone on to become best-selling authors. They include Michael Scott (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel), Cynthia True (American Scream) and Brett Paesel (Mommies Who Drink). Her creative writing programme is based on writing exercises and constructive critiquing designed to keep the writer connected with the practice of their work. She has taught over 2,000 classes and brought several projects to publication. It is her pedagogical belief that there is much similarity between acting and writing. To her, both demand great attention to details and both are skills built on similar principles of language and structure.
To learn more about Claudette and her students, visit http://gotoclaudette.com/category/published-student-works/.
David Glass has performed, directed and taught in over sixty countries. Trained at the Lecoq school in Paris, David has also worked as a soloist performing in forty countries, before establishing the David Glass Ensemble which has won international awards including TMA award for Best Director. In 1998, he established the Lost Child Project, where he used theatre as a tool to allow children on the streets around the world to tell their stories. In 2000, he established the Centre For Creative Development in Cambodia, training aid agencies in Creative Practice.
David now teaches around the world. He is a visiting Tutor at Bournemouth University of the Arts and LAMDA Drama School. He continues to write and has recently established the Centre for Creative Practice in London to help creative workers, development agencies and education organisations to become more successful.
David has nurtured many working actors. Past students of David’s include Emma Thompson, Stephen Daldry (Billy Eliot), Simon McBurney (Theatre de Complicite), Amit Lehav (Gecko Theatre), Jim Chim (Theatre Ensemble Hong Kong), Tina Ellen Lee (Opera Circus), Tom Morris (Director Warhorse) and Adam Sunderland (Sticks Theatre).
Eng Kai Er (Kai) is a movement artist working in the fields of contemporary dance, theatre, and performance. When Kai is not making performances or performing, she can often be found dancing at Contact Improvisation jams or watching dance shows. Kai has taught movement improvisation workshops at JSLN Studio in Singapore (2013), and at the Asia Pacific Impro meetings (2013 and 2015) in Malaysia. Asia Pacific Impro is a biennial week-long meeting that brings together outstanding dance and music improvisers from the Asia Pacific region. Kai was a director in the Directors’ Lab programme of The Substation in 2013-2014. In 2015 and 2016 she is Associate Artist at TheatreWorks, Singapore.
Giovanni Ortega is a multi-disciplinary artist who made his debut on the East West Players stage in 2005 playing the role of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos in the hit musical Imelda. In 2011, Ortega wrote ALLOS, the story of Carlos Bulosan, which was commissioned by East West Players for its Theater for Youth Program. The following year, Chicago’s CIRCA Pintig Theater Company produced it as part of Migrant Stories. During the same time, East West Players included an excerpt of his work in its Theater for Youth touring production Our American Voice. ALLOS was also produced by LA18 for Kababayan Today where he also serves as a Kulturahan correspondent for Art, Activism and Academia. Additional works include: Tug of War (PINTIG), Wayne (Pasadena Playhouse) and Lost in the Margins (Mezçlão). His directing credits include East West Players’ New Works Festival and productions at Pomona College including Medieval Mystery Plays, Spring Awakening, In the Next Room and Urinetown (April 2016). His acting credits includeRomance of Magno Rubio at Inside the Ford (LA Weekly nomination) and Dogeaters at Center Theatre Group. Giovanni has performed for over 300 organizations, universities and prisons (P.E.P.) with various one-person shows including Playfair. Choreography credits include: Tea, with Music (East West Players) Cinnamon Girl, Girl Most Likely To(Playwright’s Arena) Last year, he adapted and directed The Kingdom of Banaras in Varanasi, India then directed What the Butler Saw at Upstage Theater in Bern, Switzerland. As an author, he took the literary artist category for the most sought after author with Leaves from the Silverlake Barrio, and a collection of his poetry was included in an anthology of mixed heritage writing in Completely Mixed Up. He is currently working on his next book entitled Gitano, which will be published by Carayan Press. He is a visiting assistant professor at The Pomona College Department of Theatre & Dance.
For more information go to: www.giovanniortega.com
Henry Ong is an internationally-produced, award-winning playwright, director, and teacher. His plays include Madame Mao’s Memories and Fabric, both of which were performed both locally and internationally. His other works are Sweet Karma (Ovation-recommended), People Like Me (Dramalogue Award for Excellence in Writing), The Old Lady Who Popped Out of the Sidewalk and Became a Christmas Tree, The Legend of the White Snake, Rachel Ray, and most recently The Masseur, a work currently developed in the Centre Theatre Group Writers’ Workshop 2014.
Henry is a 15-time recipient of Artist-in-Residence grants from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Department, and he has conducted oral history workshops in many developing communities where his classes culminate in public presentations. These include: Sikh American Stories, Thai American Stories, Korean American Stories, Chinese American Stories, Pinoy Stories, Stories of the Blind, and Stories of Torture Victims (From Burma to Colombia). Additionally, he has also written a series of Asian folktales for youth (The Wedding of Bolak Sonday, Lady White Snake, The Fire Boy, and Golden Flower Princess), all of which were performed in sign language at Marlton School, Los Angeles’ only day school for the deaf. Some of his short plays that have been produced and staged are: Winter (Playwrights Arena Flash Theater LA, 2012), Valley of the Bones (Chalk Repertory), Four Walls, Who’s F***ing The Horse?, Seppuku! and Legit (Company of Angels), and Dim Sum and Then Some (Asian American Theatre, San Francisco).
Jane Gilmer teaches theatre at the National Institute of Education, Singapore. Born in New Zealand, she trained at the Harkness Studio for Speech and Drama, Sydney, Australia, where she studied the techniques of Rudolf Steiner and Michael Chekhov. After graduating, she relocated to Europe and spent the next twenty years living between Australia and England, working professionally as an actor and theatre artist, and training young actors. For seven years she worked with the Rose Theatre Company, where she toured internationally. In the year 2000, she received her doctorate in Philosophy (Theatre) from Murdoch University, Western Australia. Her thesis was one of the firsts that catered to theory-practice in Australia and Asia.
As a psychotherapist, Jane hopes to change the way actors train by infusing her understandings about the human psyche with actor training. She is currently working on a book about alchemy and actor training, awaiting publication by Rodopi Press.
Justin had trained for the theatre for four years, first at the Job Force Theatre Workshop in England from 1988-1990 and then at the Coventry University Centre for the Performing Arts from 1992-1994. After graduation, he moved to Singapore to teach Speech & Drama to children. Over the last 20 years, Justin has taught everything from the cradle to the grave, his youngest group of students being 18 months and his oldest in their 60’s. He specialises in teaching drama to small children, public speaking and creative writing to primary and secondary schools. He also conducts screenwriting lessons at the Orita Sinclair School of Design, New Media & the Arts, and has taught various subjects at Lasalle College of the Arts and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA). At NAFA, he lectured in Acting for Radio and Television for a substantial number of years.
Justin has received much positive feedback for his teachings on non-verbal communication techniques over the last five years. He has slowly been incorporating these techniques into creating his own brand of actor training, and in particular, Acting for the Camera. As an actor, he has also appeared in many stage shows, corporate videos, commercials, serials, and the odd movie or two. He has a keen interest in directing and editing videos, and the creation of Machinima animation content for the web.
As a writer, Justin has worked with Disney Channel (Asia), Nickelodeon, Okto and a number of Singapore and KL-based production houses. He has also worked as a talent coach for both Disney Channel and Moving Visuals, and was also a Casting Director for Film Formations.
Krissy began her career 10 years ago in Vancouver, where she earned a scholarship at Douglas College while studying for their two-year acting program. After which, she enrolled in the University of British Colombia, the second best-ranked school in British Colombia for Performance Arts. She graduated with Honours and earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Acting. There, she was mentored by several award winning directors and actors including Stephen Malloy (Jessie Award for Outstanding Director 2011), Catriona Léger (multiple award nominee and a graduate of L’école Philip Gaulier in Paris) and Scott Swan (Director at The Shaw Festival, Bard on the Beach and Canadian Broadcasting Company).
In her professional acting career, Krissy has been lucky enough to work with Neil Freeman, author of The Applause First Folio of Shakespeare in Modern Type and other associated texts. She has performed in 14 plays and directed 24 of Shakespeare’s plays, accumulating many accolades in the process. Krissy also performed in SRT’s Shakespeare in Fort Canning: Park Merchant of Venice directed by Bruce Guthrie (Assistant Director in The Bridge Project starring Kevin Spacey) and with Scott Graham as Movement Director (Founding Member of Frantic Assembly). Throughout the 10 years of her career, she has acted in multiple roles and coached performances in many of Shakespeare’s plays including Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Richard III, Taming of the Shrew and Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Krissy founded Bard in the Basement in Vancouver – a non-profit theatre group dedicated to coaching young actors in performing Shakespeare. In Singapore, Krissy recently founded Phenix Arts. The theatre group had launched its first two shows: Theatre of the Damned and Bash:Latterday Plays.
Founder and Director of Arts for Action, (www.artsforactionuk.org.uk) Melissa Eveleigh is a physical theatre practitioner. She trained at the London International School of Performing Arts (Lispa) in Jacques Lecoq Training and Devising Techniques and has extensive experience of applying theatre for positive change. Melissa has trained over 1000 practitioners and over 300 students from all over the world, as well as devising award-winning political and social theatre.
Melissa works with actors dancers and facilitators to create visceral physical and multi-disciplinary performance, and has developed an audience engagement and facilitation practice that draws upon forum theatre, combining this with use of chorus, partner contact work, viewpoints, games and image theatre.
She has designed and facilitated national programmes for the use of the arts for justice in Mynamar, South Sudan, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh and regularly works in partnership with the British Council. Melissa is also a Visiting practitioner at Warwick, Leeds and Arts University Bournemouth.
Michele Guaraldo has been working for 13 years as an actor, director and dramaturgist in different theatre companies around the world. He is a specialist in the traditional Italian theater form of Commedia Dell’Arte. Michele has taught numerous Commedia Dell’Arte Workshops in Italy and Europe and has directed many international productions that include the mask work of Commedia Dell’Arte. Michele has studied with Mauro Piombo, Philippe Hottier and Eugenio Allegri – some of the greatest masters of Commedia Dell’Arte and comedy. From creative work such as writing and acting to production elements such as light design, Michele has gained an extensive repertoire of knowledge and experience. With actors, he constantly seeks to challenge the ways in which an actor can express themselves with the body.
Paola has worked as a stage actress and theatre teacher for more than 12 years. Her specialty is in physical theatre, contemporary European dance theatre and traditional Italian theatre. Her teaching experience extends internationally, including Commedia Dell’Arte physical training in different workshops around Italy and Europe. As an actress, she has performed around the world including Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Peru and Cuba. Paola is also trained in dance and dance theatre due to her many years in Italy and Switzerland. She is intrigued by the possibilities in the human condition.
Raymond Creamer is a Los Angeles based Screenwriter whose first writing credit, The Marriage Counselor, brought in over 4 million views, making it the highest rated web series during its run on KoldCast TV. His production company Moondog Media has produced one film, The Horror, which he wrote and starred in. The film was one of three to be selected for midnight screenings at the legendary Chinese Theatre in Hollywood during Los Angeles’ Dances With Films Festival and has received excellent reviews on major horror outlets such as Bloody Disgusting, Dread Central and Modern Horrors. Moondog Media is currently prepping their second feature film which is also written by Raymond and he will be making his directorial debut in late 2016.
Scott Wings is an award winning performance artist from Brisbane, Australia, who has toured his one-man shows across the world including Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Adelaide Fringe Festival. His performance style is grounded in the physical theatre training of Suzuki and Viewpoints methods, fusing movement and writing techniques to create one-man shows and ensemble performances. He has trained in Japan with the longest running Butoh organization Dairakudakan (Camel Battleship), New York with SITI Company and in Australia with Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre. Scott Wings works with text and creative writing as an award winning spoken word artist and comedian. This mix of styles has resulted in Scott Wings’ reputation as an innovative independent performance artist.
Shivram Gopinath is an award-winning writer and spoken word performer. His work has been featured at the Singapore Heritage Fest, Singapore Writers Festival, Singapore Literature Prize Awards, Spore Art Salon, SPEAK, Speakeasy, Lit Up Festival and more. He has performed alongside internationally acclaimed spoken word artists like Sarah Kay, Phil Kaye, Kosal Khiev and Luka Lesson.He is actively involved in the local spoken word scene, helping organise and host monthly slam competitions, workshops and readings. A proud member of the PAP (PARTY ACTION PEOPLE), a rolling poetry troupe, he is also the 2015 and 2016 Singapore National Poetry Slam Champion, the only person to have won the title twice.
Steven is a performer and arts practitioner who specialises in opera, classical music, theatre and choir. He has performed in Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Mainland China. He has worked with the Singapore Broadway Playhouse, Echo Pilharmonic Society and Musical Theatre Ltd. His credits include being the lead baritone in operas in Taiwan, Equation as a featured opera singer (JSLN Dance Company), Alliance Fancaise’s Fete de la Musique festival, the Basso Canaries concert series and a chorus part in Opera di Roma’s 2011 production of Aida in Taipei. He was also the bass soloist of Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Organ Solo Mass K.259.
In addition to performing, Steven is also the founder and editor of arts e-zine The Mad Scene and classical music columnist for Time Out Singapore. His writings have also been featured in 8 Days and The Straits Times. As a producer, he frequently engages musicians for commercial performances. He has produced a sold-out concert entitled Bel Canto Spectacular for bass baritone Martin Ng. He currently teaches voice at Madison Academy of Music at Tanglin Shopping Centre.
Toby graduated from Toi Whakaari: The New Zealand Drama School in 2002 with a Diploma in Technical Production. In 2007, Toby returned to Toi Whakaari and in conjunction with Victoria University of Wellington he completed his Master of Theatre Arts (Directing).
In 2011, Toby started running the BA (Hons) Technical Theatre at LASALLE College of the Arts. To date, he has worked in professional and tertiary training for theatre in New Zealand, Australia, America, Vietnam, Mongolia and Singapore. In his time teaching, he has taught numerous workshops in directing and devising, and has supervised student-lead devised projects, guiding students in developing their own sense of self and artistic identity.
Toby’s directing credits include both scripted and devised work. He is interested in exploring the basic cultural forces that shape our views of ourselves. Toby’s projects celebrate the actor as much as technical expertise in the theatre. His ongoing developing style is inspired by companies like Ex Machina, Commedia Dell’arte, Dogtroep and Indian Ink.