Catch The Good Farmer Now!

The Good Farmer has been making its rounds for the past weeks. Tonight is the Last Show. For those who have been too busy, this is your last chance. Meanwhile, we decide to sneak a short chat with the director of the play, Grace Kalaiselvi. 

Hi Grace! So, do share with us on how this opportunity came about?

In last year's instalment, I was actually a member of the cast This year we were looking for a director, they wanted a female director.  So they approached me and I said yes sure why not. I will give it a shot and then it happened. 

What is the Good Farmer about?
The theme of this show is sibling rivalry. The story revolves around two twins. Where one faces a lot of pressure as the other one is constantly excelling in all spheres of life. So finally the former son leaves everything to go become a farmer and eventually goes missing and comes back for elections... A lot of people can connect with it because it is something that happens in a lot of people's lives. It reflects each one of our own lives .

We know this is not the first foray into directing. But this would be the first time you are directing out of your own productions. Why don't give us a little sneak into you theatre journey?

Theatre experience wise I have been acting for over 24 years now. I only started directing when I began teaching in schools in 2004 for small-scale school productions kind of a thing. The first one that I really directed for a public audience would be "Mother I : One", so after that, the ball started rolling and I directed esplanade theatre productions for children 

With this being your first stint directing someone else's script, how was that experience?
This writer for one wrote it very intelligently. This particular way he wrote it, he already incorporated certain things,  he did have strict directions though but in terms of writing definitely, you can’t change the script without the permission of the writer. So upon meeting the writer I did tell him that he might need to rework on some sections. So it was a very collaborative process. We went back and forth and also asked people who came and watched the preview and take their feedback. We incorporated everything. So the final was the ninth draft. He was very open to suggestions and I could openly tell him my opinions and I even asked him to include a little bit more Chinese in the script.

Were there any challenges that you faced during the production?
So we did have a budget in terms of what we wanted to do. We started training these two actors initially I wanted three; I wanted to bring a senior.... to play the interrogator role so at least for scenes.That would be made things a little bit smoother but we did have a budget constraint so they asked me only two. I said ok fine I will adjust with two actors.

When we come to set design there are two locations, one is ...television room and the other one is home and I did not want to have too much of a revolving kind of a thing so everything was on stage, so we use lighting and cut half the vision. Creating it was a challenge because we did not have enough money, so I made it as simple as possible and you have not seen the set right. Speaking of the set, I really have to thank Jeannette Chong (Production Stage manager), Rachyl Lim (Production Intern) and Ezzat Alkaff (Producer) for helping me in making the set happen

Thank you Grace for your time. We wish you all the best. 

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