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Ivan Heng (王愛仁[1], born 1963) is a Peranakan- -Hokkien-Chinese-Singaporean stage actor and director. He is the founding artistic director of W!LD RICE, a theatre company in Singapore.

Ivan Heng is the first male Singaporean actor to break into English-speaking roles in Hollywood films, the first female actress from Singapore being Lydia Look who played a Fuzhou actress in a Jackie Chan Hollywood film.

Ivan Heng was a qualified lawyer until the acting bug sent him to win various theatre awards in Edinburgh, London, Canada and finally Hollywood, where he launched his professional film career in French director, Luc Besson's movie, The Fifth Element, starring Milla Jovovich.

Contents

Biography

A theatre director, actor, playwright and designer, Ivan Heng’s productions are concerned with identity, migration and gender and sexual politics within intercultural contexts. They have played festivals and theatres in more than 20 cities around the world including Melbourne International Arts Festival, New Zealand International Arts Festival, Edinburgh Fringe, ICA International Festival of the Chinese Diaspora (London), Hong Kong City Festival, Royal Tropical Institute (Netherlands), SIETAR Congress (Munich), WOTM Conference (Belgium) and Re:Map Festival (Copenhagen).

Heng’s background is in both Asian and Western theatre traditions: training as a director with Kuo Pao Kun of Practice Performing Arts in Singapore; Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary Dance as a scholar with Dance Arts Singapore; and training with the Peking Opera in Hong Kong (Hong Kong Tang’s Opera Troupe) and Singapore (Leling Peking Opera Troupe, Chinese Theatre Circle). He also spent a summer at the British American Drama Academy in Oxford. His mentor, colleague and closest collaborator was the late great Krishen Jit with whom he collaborated on M. Butterfly, The Coffin is too Big for the Hole, No Parking on Odd Days, Emily of Emerald Hill and The Visit of the Tai Tai. He has a law degree from the National University of Singapore.

In 1990, he became the first recipient of the BAT Arts Scholarship to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (Glasgow). He graduated with top honours including the Royal Lyceum Theatre Award for Best Shakespearean Performance (Richard III), the Margaret Gordon Award for Best Final Year Performance, and the Dorothy Innes Prize for Best Studentship. In 1993, he moved to London where he worked in film, television and radio, and founded the award winning Tripitaka Theatre Company. In 1998, he returned to Singapore to make theatre that was closer to his heart and home.

In 2000,Heng founded W!LD RICE. His projects for the company include directing The Campaign to confer the Public Service Star on JBJ, Second Link – The Singapore Malaysia Text Exchange, Oi! Sleeping Beauty!!, The Visit of the Tai Tai, Landmarks – Asian Boys Vol.2, Cinderel-lah!, Animal Farm, Ang Tau Mui, The Woman in A Tree on the Hill, An Occasional Orchid; set designing The Magic Fundoshi, Boeing Boeing, Landmarks, Ang Tau Mui, Animal Farm, An Occasional Orchid, and Kuo Pao Kun’s The Coffin is too Big for the Hole and No Parking on Odd Days; and acting in The Visit of the Tai Tai, For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again, Emily of Emerald Hill and Animal Farm.

Other highlights of his career include acting in Army Daze, Beauty World (both original casts) and M. Butterfly (India, Canada, Singapore); conceiving and directing Ah Kong’s Birthday Party (Singapore’s longest-running play); directing Dim Sum Dollies Steaming! and Singapore’s Most Wanted (Esplanade Theatre), Phua Chu Kang, the Musical for the President of Singapore’s Star Charity, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly for the Singapore Lyric Opera (Esplanade Theatre), and co-directing and performing in Hotel Grand Asia, a three-year intercultural collaboration involving 16 theatre artists from seven cities at the Setagaya Public Theatre in Tokyo.

In 2006, Heng was Artistic Director of the inaugural Singapore Theatre Festival, which was presented by W!LD RICE and featured nine productions by five theatre companies, including five World Premieres, seminars and workshops. In 2009, he served as Creative Director for Singapore's National Day Parade.[2]

Heng’s awards for excellence in theatre include the Edinburgh Fringe First, Scottish Daily Express New Names of ‘93 Award, Edinburgh Spirit of the Fringe 1995, Singapore Young Artist Award 1996, the Singapore Youth Award 1998, the Straits Times Life! Theatre Award for Best Director 2002, and the Singapore Tatler Leadership Award for Culture (2006).

He shares his practice by giving workshops internationally, and has taught at the Central School of Speech and Drama (London), Tramway (Glasgow), Intercult (Stockholm), Kannonhallen (Denmark), Dramalab (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), and La Salle-SIA College of the Arts in Singapore. He was also a participant at London’s Royal Court Theatre 10th International Summer Residency.

Statistics

  • Height: 175 cm
  • Hair: Black
  • Eyes: Dark Brown Spotlight:
  • Nationality: Singaporean
  • Religion: Christianity, Methodist. Attended Christ Methodist Church (Singapore) in his younger days, Where he was an active member of its Methodist Youth Fellowship.
  • Education: Anglo-Chinese Secondary School (Barker Road).

Filmography (Movies)

Filmography (Plays)

  • 2004: For the Pleasure of Seeing You Again

References

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ http://www.insing.com/news/celebrities-entertainment/Interview-Leading-the-Parade/id-93120100/?nav=60000

External links

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