Hana Nadira and Roger Liew in Haru, Biru, from NAGA EKOR EMPAT (2019), directed by Hana Nadira
THE EMERGING DIRECTORS LAB
Theatresauce's Emerging Directors Lab (EDL), now in its third year, responds to the dearth of trained directors in the Kuala Lumpur theatre scene. This rigorous year-long program – run and overseen by Artistic Director Kelvin Wong – offers early-career directors with a conducive yet challenging space to hone, sharpen and personalize their craft.
The EDL is among the few highly-structured, long-term director-training programs in the country, if not the only one. The initiative came about as an alternative to MFA training programs abroad. Over a year, directors delve in seminars, research and practice. The EDL consists of three parts and includes more than 160 contact hours with the Artistic Director. Part one explores the foundations of drama, realism and dramaturgy while part two examines theatre theory, composition and style. In part three, directors investigate trends in post-drama, nonrealism, devising, and theatre criticism. Occasionally, guest speakers are invited. Each part culminates in a fully-supported collective project that is showcased to the public. To maximize EDL directors’ experience, they also assist directors for the company’s Mainstage productions.
Through this initiative, Theatresauce hopes to provide the local scene with a steady influx of inquisitive, critical and aesthetically-diverse theatre-makers. A few of our EDL graduates have gone on to found new theatre companies, of which they are Artistic Directors.
The 2021 cycle of the EDL is supported by the Cultural Development Economy Agency (CENDANA), while the inaugural 2017/18 cycle was supported by the Krishen Jit ASTRO Fund.
Current EDL directors:
Dhinesha Karthigesu (far right) is a multidisciplinary storyteller and coach. Directing, curating & producing credits: ROJA: Weaving A Womxn, a performance and visual arts installation with Veshalini Naidu, and The Human Exhibit site-specific theatre series, with Ian Skatu. Additional directing credits: Brown Boy Dreams for Short + Sweet Musical 2019 (winning the Festival Director's Award) and the Snehidhane music video with PERA. dhinesha.com
Dinesh Kumar (second from left) began directing at the age of 16 for a school function and has not looked back. Acting credits include Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Hamlet, and Harold Pinter's Betrayal. Directing credits: Manstruating, Rule #34 and Overheard at a Cafe in Taman Tun, all of which he won the Best Director's award. Dinesh is a journalist at a major English newspaper.
Low Yee Choy (second from right) is the Artistic Director of lowercase laboratories. He debuted directorially with Dinsman’s Bukan Bunuh Diri under Anomalist Production. His recent short film, 疫见你, won first prize at the Ripple Film Festival. Upcoming: malus, with lowercase laboratories. Choy is a full-time videographer and video editor. Sunway University: Diploma in Performing Arts.
Mia Sabrina Mahadir (centre) is an actor, educator, content creator, cat fosterer, and Tarot reader. Her exploration in theatre began with Short+Sweet Theatre Malaysia, including Stay and Wayang, which she directed. Wayang also won her the Festival Director’s Award. @kutufutubom
Dexter Zhen (far left) was trained in movement and seeks to create works that delve deep into the raw human psyche. He also plans to explore theatre education in the near future. Selected theatre credits: Dulu. Saat Itu., INDICINELIVE! 6, Scenes from an Execution, The Seagull, Koulan, and Simultaneously Futura. University of California, San Diego: BA in Linguistics. @dexterzhen
Past EDL directors:
Khairi Anwar (2019)
Lim Sheng Hui (2019)
Ali Motamedi (2019)
Hana Nadira (2019)
Alex Chua (2017/18)
Arief Hamizan (2017/18)
Esther Liew (2017/18)
Toby Teh (2017/18)