Tan Chia Wei is a committee member at SDEA and graduated with a Diploma in Applied Drama and Psychology from Singapore Polytechnic. He is currently studying Social Work at Singapore University of Social Sciences and volunteers actively with the Cassia Resettlement Team. He believes in the uses of arts to engage and work with communities.
1. What are you working on at the moment? (Do include links for more information/tickets if you mention any upcoming events)
I am currently studying in Singapore University of Social Science, pursuing my Bachelor in Social Work, and am also volunteering with Cassia Resettlement Team, where we engaged elderly from Blk 52 Cassia Crescent, and Both Sides, Now.
2. What’s the direction of your work? Has it changed over the years?
My direction has definitely changed over the past few years as I am slowly trying to understand the social service sector better to learn how drama could be better use as a possible tool when working with people. I am also very intrigued by the use of various artform to engage people.
3. What is a dream project that you hope to do?
I haven’t really thought about dream projects at the moment as I am still exploring the full extent of drama.
4. How did you start out doing what you do?
I started while I was doing my Diploma in Applied Drama and Psychology, where I had the opportunity to work with various communities by taking part in the various projects that my lecturers were doing at that time. That really got me thinking about the use of drama with different groups of people.
5. How do you keep your work fresh?
I keep my work fresh by going to talks, workshops, and listening to how other practitioners practice their craft. In addition, I do so by engaging with the communities themselves to look at what is interest for them, so that the work can be relevant to them.
6. What do you think makes a perfect drama educator?
Patience, openness, creativity, flexible.
7. Why is drama important? Why should it be taught in schools?
I believe that drama is an important aspect that needs to be taught in school as it emphasises on empathy and understanding other people’s perspectives.
8. Who was the drama educator that has the most impact on you?
I have had the great fortune to have been taught by many great drama educators over the years, and have learned different things from each one of them.
9. What is your most memorable moment in the classroom/on stage?
I think one of my most memorable projects was during Stigma, a performance for Celebrate Drama! 2016. During one of the session, a participant suddenly turns up and shared that he had written a song base on one of our discussion the week before.
10. Share a drama activity that you love to do.
I love Grandma’s Footsteps and the many variations that you can do with it. Another one would be Zip Zap Boing, which is a great icebreaker with a lot a silly moment that quickly allows people to have fun.
11. What do you hope to see in Singapore’s drama/theatre landscape in future?
More proper use of drama with communities.
12. In one word, sum up your drama education journey.