who’s come from a relatively stable family environment would look upon I AM___ with some concern.
It’s about life on the other side of the tracks, a host of perspectives that are unsettling for the issues raised, the challenges faced and the language used in this M18 production, on until Sunday at the Goodman Arts Centre (tix info below).
The Souljourn 2.0 production is almost two decades in the making, notes Colin Goh, the CEO of TRCL, under whose auspices the talent had gathered as teenagers, as part of the Business Times Budding Artists Fund.
The thespians of The r10t Crew are graduates of the programmes that were launched to help the under-served children gain appreciation of arts and culture and to develop possible livelihoods or benefits from it.
I AM ___ is a bold idea that presents the audience with the trials and tribulations of growing up poor, or facing adversity as part of a dysfunctional family in Singapore.
The stories are real, as told verbatim by the actors; the feelings are raw, passions run high. It’s an organic production that, at times, is whipped along or slowed down by the emotional welts and scars that will accompany these actors for life.
Instead of shying away from the truth and conforming to society’s expected norms, the cast of The r10t Crew speak with their hearts firmly tattooed onto their person.
Defiance? Disbelief? Acceptance? The choice is up to the audience to make.
Members of the cast have decided their respective stands, and are unwavering in their belief that whether its bullying, addiction, molestation, theft or gender issues, they are comfortable with each other and hopeful that some of that will pass on to the audience and whoever watches the show.
The challenge with such a production is the need for much greater discipline when it comes to both the narrative structure and the running of the show.
While the stories are personal, some of the issues raised are societal and are aimed at the establishment and the prejudices and biases of the general public.
Three hours is a long time to sit through 8 different stories. 8 stories of varying intensity need to be better sequenced to give the audience breathing room to take in what’s being said.
Punctuating the intensity with comic spurts may be viewed as dramatic relief but could also come across as a lack of total conviction in the messages being presented. It’s not perfect, but then that is the central theme of I AM ___.
This is the first attempt by The r10t Crew and the potential for much more is evident, and should be expected in time to come.
I AM ___
30 Sep & 1 Oct @ 3pm & 7:30pm only
Goodman Arts Centre Black Box
General Admission: $30
Ticket Info: Click HERE