Marianne Sim is a teacher at the School of the Arts and has been teaching Foundation Drama and GCSE ‘O’ level Drama for the past 7 years. Not satisfied with just being a teacher, Marianne has tried her hand in directing and performing short pieces showcased at Celebrate Drama! and the SDEA Theatre Arts Conference. Marianne served on the SDEA Committee between 2015 to 2017 and was part of the Programming Committee for Celebrate Drama! 2016.
1. What are you working on at the moment?
Taking a break actually, so nothing at the moment 😬
2. What’s the direction of your work? Has it changed over the years?
I believe my work as an educator is to empower my students in and out of the classroom. Over the years, I have become more comfortable and confident working with adults, helping them find their own identify as drama educators.
3. How did you start out doing what you do?
By accident actually. I stumbled upon teaching drama because there was a need for drama teachers in my previous school. I was then introduced to SDEA where I was also given opportunities to work on projects like Just Stressed Lah & Project OTL with Ahmad Musta’ain for Celebrate Drama!
4. How do you keep your work fresh?
Play. Play. Play. The work is always different when you dare to play and try new things out.
5. What do you think makes a perfect drama educator?
Someone who is always curious, hopeful and playful.
6. Why is drama important? Why should it be taught in schools?
Drama is important because it teaches us to be human. It allows us to find our voice as Individuals. To be in a drama class, one must be physically, mentally and emotionally present. It should be taught in schools because we need a safe space to explore and find our meaning to life.
7. Who was the drama educator that has the most impact on you?
The drama educator that has the most impact on me was my ex-colleague, Raphael Meyer. When I first started teaching Drama, I was caught up with trying to apply whatever I have learnt from my Diploma classes at NIE, and replicate how my lecturers conduct their classes. He taught me that it is not about replicating knowledge and content that makes me an educator, it is how you use that knowledge and content to connect with my students that is most impactful. He helped me find my own voice and identity as a drama teacher..
8. What is your most memorable moment in the classroom/on stage?
That the show just go on, no matter what happens. My first experience on stage was memorable as I completely messed up my lines during the show. I forgotten chunks of lines and messed up the sequence of the play. Thankfully, my co-actor was experienced enough to help me get through the play. Because of this experience, I am able to understand the anxiety that my students go through before and during a performance.
9. Share a drama activity that you love to do.
Grandmother’s footsteps. It is a simple game for all ages.
10. What do you hope to see in Singapore’s drama/theatre landscape in future?
To have drama in all primary and secondary schools as part of the curriculum as I believe that students must have the space to engage in meaningful play.
11. In one word, sum up your drama education journey.