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YY got an early start at being a director—back in high school, she co-directed the theatre club’s production of The Silly Little Girl and the Funny Old Tree (2014). During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, she embraced the digital medium as a performance space, directing Where Are You? (2020); Who’s There (2020, co-directed with Alvin Tan); Roundabout: POV (2021); (un)becoming (2021, co-created with Nabilah Said); and #WomenSupportingWomen (2022, staged as a hybrid online and offline performance). More recently, YY directed live performances of Where Are You? (2022) and No Particular Order (2023). She has a BFA in Theatre from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and has been honing her directorial chops in residency programmes at W!ld Rice, Singapore Repertory Theatre, and most recently, Esplanade’s TRIP programme for early career directors.
I gravitate towards projects and processes that embrace innovation and experimentation while maintaining a rigorous investigation of both content and form. I am particularly excited by the melding of theatre and dance, and am primarily guided by curiosity and compassion in my art-making.
I was first inspired to pursue directing through Nick Ng, my high school’s theatre instructor, who introduced me to visual storytelling and ensemble-driven processes. Additionally, Alvin Tan at The Necessary Stage opened my mind to the boundless possibilities of theatre, encouraging a constant exploration of diverse perspectives and nurturing curiosity within the art form.
Where Are You?, a devised physical theatre production about how we experience grief and confront death. It weaved stories from both the performers and the interviewees, encompassing a rich tapestry of cultures and perspectives, and this deeply personal work fostered an intense connection amongst the collaborators and with the audience. I’ve worked on four vastly different iterations of this project over four years—twice in New York (in 2019 and 2022), once in Singapore (in 2021), as well as digitally on Zoom (in 2020)—and it was a fascinating experimentation of how devised works can be profoundly influenced by their context and collaborators.
I do a lot of devising and new work creation, sometimes produce (if I have to), and occasionally perform, write and teach. I’m also an arts administrator and currently hold a part-time administrative role at T.H.E Dance Company.
The ability to balance: attention to detail with a big-picture mindset, the multiple moving parts in theatre, the diverse needs and personalities in a room, openness towards new ideas while maintaining a clarity of vision—and the list goes on.
That it’s a promising career because I can be the next Jack Neo.
I also hope to see more works that hold relevance to our society and our times, and that truly answer the crucial question of "why this play, and why now?"