The future is female and the future is NOW

For the next three weeks, TheatreWorks will hand over the reins to the creative women in art for its first fully female-centric project. The series of performances, films, talks, workshops and readings that make up NOW 2019 (Not Ordinary Work) will be entirely female-led, as will the production, technical and administrative teams operating in support.

This is just the start of a three-year plan conceptualised by award-winning actress, arts educator and the event's artistic director Noorlinah Mohamed, in an effort to celebrate women creators, thinkers and change-makers. The project seeks to showcase the voices and extraordinary works of multifaceted, highly-capable women.

In-line with Noorlinah’s beliefs, the three-week project shines a spotlight on female artistry with some 20 programmes in store at TheatreWorks. The festival opens with two exhibitions—mixed-media sculptural and performative installation Apotropaic Text by Marylyn Tan and Zarina Muhammad; and Power of Letters by Noorlinah Mohamed & Dahlia Osma for an insight into the evolution of letters written by female advocates since 1985.

Also cued up for the opening is Three Fat Virgins Unassembled (3FVU), a comical critique narrated by four women learning to accept themselves; the play tackles the theme of female identity at the workplace and school, among others. You won't want to miss Akshita Nanda’s compelling staged reading of Nimita’s Place either; a tale of two generations of women who find themselves in dilemmas of a similar nature, or the open-mic stand up performance Stand-Up: Fresh + Raw (Hosted by Sharul Channa) featuring the participants of the 10-part comedy workshop that takes place prior.

Film screenings fall on Jul 19 and 20 for the movie geeks, underscoring women in film—from film directors to set designers. Singaporean filmmaker Wong Chen-Hsi’s debut feature film Innocents will take centrestage at NOW 2019, alongside three other international flicks with heavy political overtones.

Throughout the three-week launch, workshops and talks fill the calendar with sessions of various activities and discussions to engage the hands and the mind. And if that’s not enough to quench your creative thirst, there is also the 24-hour-long Playwriting Competition that puts your screenwriting skills to the test.

NOW 2019 (Not Ordinary Work) will run from Jul 10-28. Schedule and more info here.