Time taken : <5mins
Yi Kai made his directorial debut in 2021 with With Time, which he also wrote. With Time is a verbatim theatre performance about the mental health struggles of youths. His interest in creating and directing socially-conscious theatre works carried over into When cloud catches colours (2022), which explores queerness and aging. Yi Kai graduated from the second cohort of Drama Box’s youth training programme, ARTivate, in 2016. He later returned to Drama Box to mentor the third cohort of ARTivate during his time as Resident Artist at the company.
I’m very motivated by real and untold stories that reflect certain social phenomena that our communities experience (or neglect). Instead of a fixed directing style, I allow my directorial approach to derive from the particularities of these stories.
One of the first shows I saw was Drama Box’s outdoor community forum theatre piece in the heartlands. I probably caught it when I was in secondary school. I recall being so surprised and inspired at how unconventional theatre can be, being out in the open, interactive, very relatable! Since then, I often have the urge to create something different or special.
With Time. It was my directorial debut and I believe no one can forget their debut and all its excitement, anxiety and even confusion. It was scary and exhilarating!
Yes! In fact, I'd say I started more as an actor and have been meaning to hone this craft as well. I also do facilitation and education.
I heard this from a primary school student: a director's job is just to “point here and point there”, and tell people to “walk here or walk there”. Not wrong though!