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Backstage Chat with Khairul Kamsani

Khairul Kamsani, Resident Assistant Director at Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) from 2016 – 2017 went to London after his residency with SRT to pursue a Masters in Actor Training & Coaching. He is back in Singapore to research for his thesis. SRT caught up with this very busy young man for a quick chat.

It’s just been a year since you completed the residency programme with SRT. Can you remember what was your most challenging production?

It must have been my first production which was The Little Company’s The Three Billy Goat’s Gruff. It was in Mandarin and I don’t even speak the language. There were others as well but I learned to overcome each obstacle through this residency programme. Who knows? Maybe I will write an auto-biography in my later years where I can go into details on how I tackled unique and specific tasks and sometimes problems across all productions through my residency.

In what ways did the 20 months of being a Resident Assistant Director help you?

It just cemented my career choice being in this theatre industry. To be honest, I didn’t think too much about it as I didn’t have time to think about it. I was working on 3 different shows at different production stages. Really fast-paced but extremely gratifying. Some friends suggested that I should do a Master’s degree but I didn’t take it too seriously. However, this changed during the course of my residency.
The SRT residency programme gave me the experience, confidence and conviction that there is a place for each of us in the theatre scene in Singapore.  The gumption to really go for what I believe in. I saw how I could play my part in cultivating the national culture and found my place in the ecosystem.  That’s how I decided to continue my journey by doing a Master’s degree in Actor Training and Coaching at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London.

What’s next?

I have just about 3 months before I submit my thesis. I’m glad to say that the gumption never left. Many thoughts swirl in my mind – what am I going to do after I submit my thesis? Return to Singapore to teach? Continue producing? Directing and writing? Perhaps acting or film-making? Become a professional Mixed Martial Artist? Even a PhD has become something I want to embark on to investigate my practice as an actor trainer even further.

But for now, I will focus on my thesis and current projects to manage for now:
Research and develop a meta-modern actor training methodology for my thesis and curate an actor training festival in a school I’m teaching in to practice my method and theories. To facilitate my further research, SRT has kindly sponsored a rehearsal space to conduct an experimental actor training workshop with invited actors from Singapore. Plans are on hand to continue the thesis into a PhD. Watch this space. :)

What else are you doing?

I am also organizing a week of actor training workshops in Singapore in July 2018. You can find out more here.

We applaud this very busy young man, Khairul Kamsani and we certainly look forward to seeing more of him in the local theatre (and possibly the UK scene). Find out more about SRT’s residency programme here.

Published on: 31-05-2018


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