Singapore, 12 May 2023 – Chief Artistic Director of Singapore’s renowned bilingual theatre company, Toy Factory Productions Ltd, Goh Boon Teck, and Teochew opera ensemble Nam Hwa Opera (NHO) are this year’s recipients of the Singapore Chinese Cultural Contribution Award (SCCCA).
Minister of State, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling presented the prestigious award at the opening ceremony of Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC)’s annual festival, Cultural Extravaganza, on 12 May 2023.
This is the 6th edition of the SCCCA since it was launched in 2017 to recognise individuals and organisations who made extraordinary contributions to the promotion, enrichment, and development of Chinese Singaporean culture.
SCCCA 2023 received 30 public nominations. Of which, 22 were individual submissions and 8 were organisation submissions. Notably, there were 14 first-time submissions to the SCCCA, making up 47% of the total submissions received this year.
Recipients of SCCCA will receive a trophy and S$10,000 cash prize, along with additional funding for their projects. Individual recipients will receive up to S$10,000 in project funding, while organisation recipients will get up to S$20,000 in project funding.
Past recipients of this award include Dr Tay Yeow Kiat, Dr Liang Wern Fook, Mr Kua Bak Lim, Mr Lee Yuk Chuan, and Mr Han Lao Da for the Individual category; and the Young People’s Performing Arts Ensemble, The Theatre Practice, Ding Yi Music Company, Singapore Association of Writers, and Siong Leng Musical Association under the Organisation category.
Each round of the SCCCA begins with a nomination process about a year ahead. The nominees will each go through a shortlisting and evaluation process by a panel of judges and recommended to the SCCC board of directors for final approval.
The judging panel is helmed by Mr Lim Jim Koon and comprises distinguished individuals from the local cultural scene — Special Advisor Professor Eddie Kuo Chen Yu, Mr Low Eng Teong, Ms Woo Mun Ngan, Ms Quek Yeng Yeng, Mr Teo Han Wue and Mr Choo Thiam Siew.
Nominations for the 7th SCCCA will commence on 12 May 2023, till 30 September 2023. For more information, please visit https://singaporeccc.org.sg/sccca/.
About Goh Boon Teck
Goh Boon Teck is currently the Chief Artistic Director of Singapore’s renowned bilingual theatre company, Toy Factory Productions Ltd. He was also the youngest Creative Director of Singapore’s National Day Parade at 35 years old in 2007, and Creative Director of Singapore Day in Shanghai in 2011.
Boon Teck’s works carry strong Singaporean flavours. For instance, December Rains (2010) is a touching musical about love in the 1950s; and White Soliloquy (2010) is a biographical play about one of Singapore’s greatest actors in local entertainment scene. Boon Teck staged two instalments of Masters of Comedy as opening shows of SCCC’s Cultural Extravaganza, which paid tribute to iconic local comedians (2018) and highlighted the five major dialect groups in Singapore (2021). He also partnered with Singapore Chinese Orchestra to produce multi-disciplinary works such as Songs of Liu Sanjie (2018), Thunderstorm (2005) and Savage Land (2015).
To spark the public’s interest in theatre, Boon Teck has used well-known classics and pop culture, such as Chinese classical play A Dream Under the Southern Bough (SIFA 2018, 2019 and 2021) and popular movie 881 The Musical (2011).
Boon Teck has brought Singapore’s theatrical production works to Asia and beyond. Titoudao – which he wrote and directed in 1994 – travelled to Cairo, Shanghai, Beijing and Hangzhou. Glass Anatomy (2014) was the first Singaporean Mandarin musical to be staged in China at the Shanghai Cultural Square. His original play Prism (2003) was performed in Tokyo, Jakarta, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Manila. Other touring productions include Spirits (2009) performed at the International Theatre Festival in Veliky Novgorod, Russia; The Crab Flower Club (2010) in Beijing; K (2012) in Shanghai; and Innamorati (2017) in Beijing.
Beyond achieving new heights in his productions, Boon Teck is also passionate about grooming the next generation of theatre practitioners. Under his leadership, Toy Factory had launched the playwright incubation programme “The Wright Stuff” in 2017 to provide one-to-one mentorship for emerging talents in their pursuit for artistic excellence. The “Direct Entry” is an entry programme to nurture more theatre directors in Singapore by providing opportunities for them to stage and direct scripts of their choice.
About Nam Hwa Opera
Founded in 1963 by avid fans of Teochew opera, Nam Hwa Opera (NHO) has grown into one of Singapore’s most prominent and prolific Teochew opera companies. NHO celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2023. NHO is also home to the Nam Hwa Teochew Music Ensemble and Yeo Khee Lim Teochew Culture Research Centre.
NHO mission is to preserve, develop, and promote traditional Teochew opera as an important heritage of Singapore, while championing artistic excellence in Teochew opera. NHO holds numerous workshops and outreach performances to provide greater public access to Teochew opera at schools, community spaces, voluntary welfare organisations and other charitable institutions. They also offer courses for children and adults in Teochew opera and make-up, Teochew musical instruments and conversational Teochew.
Alongside presentations of classics from the traditional repertoire, NHO also boldly experiments with new genres and technologies to enhance audience engagement and experiences. NHO promotes local Teochew opera through international performances and cultural exchanges, and has performed in South Korea, Cambodia, Malaysia and Germany, as well as Guangdong – the artform’s birthplace in China.
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