As part of the Closer Studio Series, this experimental play makes its local debut after successful runs in Brazil and Myanmar. Patrick Benjamin gets some insight from director and performer Elizabeth de Roza.

How was Paper Boat conceived?
It was conceived two years ago in a theater workshop supported by The Substation and Asia-Europe Foundation(ASEF). Besides TheatreStrays, a Bulgarian theater troupe was also involved. In one of our exchanges, we had to provoke memories through physical sensation. I recollected my childhood when my father and I used to make paper boats and float them on the sea.

A transformative process has often been used to explain the play, but how exactly does that happen?
When we were performing in Brazil, one of the performers spoke about how she had absolutely forgotten about the memory of her making paper boats with her dad during her childhood and that the play made her reconnect with her past memories. It might be a simple work but the universality and common threads among different cultures resonate with poignancy.

Can you expect the local audience, who are known to be somewhat tepid when it comes to interactive works, to be active collaborators during the performance?
Sometimes, the very act of not being outwardly receptive itself is being a collaborator. During rehearsals, we are prepared to face audiences who would prefer not to actively participate, but we believe that in their own contemplative way, they would reflect on their lives in a world that is so often bombarded by information overload.

Unveil your secrets at Paper Boat on Aug 25-27 at Esplanade Theatre Studio.


Leave a Comment