Introducing Writing and Community 2014!

TheatreWorks is proud to present Writing and Community this 2014! Screen shot 2014-04-15 at PM 04.25.27 Kick-starting this season is Writing from the Hearta playwriting workshop conducted by the renowned Tony Perez.

Following that we have the re-staging of the ever popular SERUNDINGGracing the Malay Heritage Centre with her one-woman monologue, Aidli Mosbit brings Ahmad Musta’ain Bin Khamis’ winning script from the 24-Hour Playwriting Competition to life again!

In June, prepare yourselves for the ever-popular 24-Hour Playwriting CompetitionHeld at the iconic Malay Heritage Centre, the competition will seek out more potential playwrights from our community to nurture and develop.

Stay tuned here for more updates about Writing and Community 2014, we hope to see you!

Writing from the Heart Dec 2014


“Liberating” “Unravelling” “Inspiring” “Unconventional”

These were some words the participants used to describe this Writing from the Heart by Tony Perez at 72-13/TheatreWorks from 1st to 6th December 2014.


Participants were brought through a journey of self-discovery, an introspection within oneself.

Unconventional as it seemed, Tony delved and drew out the participants’ hidden potential and empowered the participants to tap into their wells within.




5 minutes play in 5 days. From creation to page then to stage. Writing from the Heart brought the participants out for the first time to draw on the energy of their surroundings to inspire their works in the making!

Before the performance!

Excited Faces!


There were flashes of light-hearted and heart-wrenching moments. As one continued to look upon the performance, they couldn’t help but be drawn into the characters and plot.

Stills from 5-minute plays

Stills from 5-minute plays

Many started out as strangers in this unfamiliar setting. But as time went by, the enduring bonds and connections forged were moving!

Say Cheese! ~

Say Cheese! ~

May our paths cross again!


Tony also visited Dibashram at Little India to conduct a one-day workshop with a group of migrant workers who were passionate and eager to learn about writing. Through a series of drawing exercises, Tony invoked memories of their life and loved ones in Bangladesh which allowed them to voice their “hearts” out.



At the end of this short encounter, many were eager to take photos with Tony as mementos of their experience through the workshop.


The journey thus far has been a wild ride through the meeting of different individuals, expressing unspoken feelings and unearthing hidden selves. Of course, it did not fall short in the joy and laughter.

wfth laughter

Although the Writing from the Heart Dec 2014 workshop has finally come to an end, the impact it left on the participants and migrant workers was far and beyond.

Many thanks to the participants, Dibashram and those who have helped us in one way or another. And most importantly, thank you Tony Perez!

Writing from the Heart @ Dibashram Dec 2014 (Day 7)

Last Sunday, the Writing from the Heart workshop was conducted for the Bangladeshi migrant workers at Dibashram.

Before the workshop began, Tony sat down with Mohsin and the migrant workers and got to know more about them.

Mohsin and Tony

Tony and Mohsin

Meeting the migrant workers

Meeting the migrant workers

As introduction, Tony got everyone to draw their “hearts” out. Using the artistic tools at hand, the group produced drawing after drawing, showcasing their creative flair.

Tony sharing his "heart"

Tony sharing his “heart”

Heartfelt Drawings

Heartfelt Drawings

Their "hearts"

Their “hearts”

The migrant workers then shared the inspiration and motivation behind these creations. Through the sharing, the migrant workers began to uncover hidden stories of their friends and their feelings during their time here in Singapore. It was heartening to see how everyone in the space was open with one another.

My Heart is in my homeland, Bangladesh...

My heart belongs to my homeland, Bangladesh…

The garden in my heart

The “Garden of Eden”


Admiring their masterpieces

Peculiar as it seemed, the communication exercise went on without words. The artistic conversation was quietly taking place as the migrant workers conversed with their partners through doodles and art.

The artistic conversation

Can you guess what we were “talking”?

'Picaso' in making

Really abstract…

The last exercise for the day was “Paradise”. Everyone stationed themselves in front of a drawing block around Dibashram and starting drawing the ‘paradise’ they envisioned.


Just as they were completing their artworks, the migrant workers were exiled from their ‘paradise’ and had to move on to a different drawing. After a couple of times, they were allowed to go back to their original piece of drawing at last, only to realise that their ‘paradises’ underwent quite a bit of change.



Through the drawing exercises, Tony led the workers on a journey of self-discovery and self-empowerment. It was heart-warming and inspiring to see how everyone cheered their fellow countrymen to hold onto their dreams and aspirations.

At the end of the workshop, everyone wanted to take photos with Tony!


Zimy and Tony

Thank you Mohsin for the support and also to all the migrant workers who took their time off to attend this Writing from the Heart  workshop by Tony Perez!

It was definitely a memorable night for those in Dibashram and members of TheatreWorks!

Writing from the Heart @ 72-13 Dec 2014 (Day 6)

Saturday was the final session of Writing from the Heart workshop at 72-13/TheatreWorks.

Do you think anyone can be inspired by this inconspicuous mark that stained the floor? Well, the participants did.

Drawn to the mark

Drawn to the mark

The space fell silent, as the participants were deeply engrossed as they were tasked to write. It was incredible how these pieces of creative writing sprang out from this unseeingly black mark on the weathered wooden floor.

Jia Yee writing

Afterwhich, the participants shared their writings.

Listening Intently

Listening Intently

It came as a lovely surprise when one of the participants was asked to sing by Tony. As she warmed up to the group, the lyrics of the song began to resonate with her heart and soul, as though she was exuding a warm light of honesty.

Listening to the lovely singing angel

Listening to the lovely singing angel

Singing for you

Singing for you

Mesmerized by our lovely singing angel

Mesmerized by our lovely singing angel


Touched by her voice

To give birth to a piece of writing, many factors have to come into play and one of them is definitely the environment. For their final piece of artwork, the participants drew their own dream room.

Ikea is life!!!

Ikea is life!

Book lover

“I want to sleep in my hammock surrounded by my books!”

The group then went on to an emotional truth exercise. Everyone gathered together as Tony drew out different sub-personalities from one of the participant.

Listening intently...

Listening intently…

The morning session ended with a Pizza Lunch from Sarpino! The participants took the time to catch up and know more about the group whilst enjoying those delicious pizza slices.

Pizza Lunch!

Pizza Lunch!

Pizza Lunch

Finished in seconds…

Pizza Lunch 2

As the time for the 5-minute plays drew nearer, everyone was excited and nervous.

Before big event

Before the big event


It’s near…

During the workshop, some of the participants wrote a 5-minute script and spent time each night working with their cast members. It was finally time for everyone to taste the sweet fruit of their labour!

The Howling by Tiara

The Howling by Tiara

Step-up by Jezreel

Step-up by Jezreel


Janet by Ahmad



The Reason Why by Gemia


The Opti(o)n by Shen


Dream Cup by Faizal


Circle by Liting


Circle by Isaac

The session ended on a high as the game of perception began. Tony asked the participants 30 questions and everyone would give to one person they felt best fit the description.

Most well-loved opinion maker!

Most well-loved opinion maker!

In this short week, the participants went through a tumultuous emotional journey, redefining the notion of writing and discovering more about themselves. This workshop has indeed been a liberating and rewarding experience for everyone!

Writing from the Heart participants with Tony Perez

Writing from the Heart participants with Tony Perez

Writing from the Heart @ 72-13 Dec 2014 (Day 5)

“Absorb, be sensitive to the surrounding. ” – Tony Perez

Tony led the participants on a dream journey this Session 5 of Writing from the Heart !

Dream Interpretation

Writing the dream entries out

The session started off with everyone intrigued and amazed as Tony interpreted the participants’ dreams from the previous night,  as the mystery hidden behind the dreams were unraveled.

Intrigued by the power hidden within the dreams

Engaged in discussion

After Tony’s demonstration, the group broke out into fours and began analysing one of the dream entries.





With completion of the “super ego”, each of these masterpiece trilogies paved way to having a clearer reflection of themselves.

Masterpieces by the talented participants

Writing from the Heart’s very own art gallery

The session ended with everyone having a good laugh at the spontaneous responses they came up with upon seeing a picture.

Model students preparing for the "competition"

Model students preparing for the “competition”

Must memorise everything

Must memorise everything!

THAT ONE is important!

Okay, so it’s like this…

Through this final exercise, the participants have a better understanding on the power of observation and creation. With an open heart and the creative juices ready, their writings are ready to flourish with depth and colour!

Writing from the Heart @ 72-13 Dec 2014 (Day 4)

“One should confront the shadow. Make your shadow your ally. Swallow you shadow. They are the main source of creativity.” — Tony Perez

Session Four of Writing from the Heart began with drawing exercises. The participants unleashed their visual creative flair to draw their “hearts” out.

Drawing our "hearts" out

Drawing our “hearts” out

Shush! Artists at work!

Artists at work!

After much time spent on perfecting their artworks, participants went on to write a short creative writing to illustrate their inspiration behind these visual interpretations of themselves.

My "Heart"

My “Heart”


I am an "apple" in your eyes

I am an “apple” of your eye

Just smile and never stop walking!

Just smile and never stop walking!

In peace with myself...

In peace with myself…

Tony shared more insights about the three aspects of humanity. Shortly after, the participants were taken on a silent, journey of self-discovery as they began to confront their fears, their shadows. It was emotionally gripping as they revealing their dark side to everyone.

Sharing his "shadow"

Sharing his “shadow”

The gem within the beauty...

Hauntingly Beautiful…

As the participants began to unearth those once hidden gems, they are one step closer to writing truthfully, one step closer to Writing from the Heart!

Writing from the Heart @ 72-13 Dec 2014 (Day 3)

“Like how an artist must know how to draw. A writer must master the stoic of a writer if not he cannot deconstruct a story.” — Tony Perez

We are halfway into Writing from the Heart.

From words to phrases, then from sentences to storylines for a one-act play, Tony challenged the writers by stimulating and stretching their imagination  throwing out different stimuli. From an ordinary item such as a snicker bar, the writers tapped on their infinite well from within and drew upon creative juices. Absurb as it might seemed, they were able to craft out interesting stories and dialogues, despite to only have a minute!


Spontaneous Writing in-process

5 items, 30 seconds... Ready? Go!

Be Inspired!

The group also went through an exercise that attempted to expand their communication skills. Participants had to describe the object they were given to their partners through the use of shapes and sizes.


Draw what I “shape”


The ‘clock’ continues to ‘tick’ as one speaks

Masterpieces by our fellow writers

Showcasing a few masterpieces by our participants!

The session ended with “Question Time” by Tony Perez!

The participants were each placed in a tight situation. Only allowed to give a dichotomous response, the exercise allowed the participants to know more about the perception others had about them. It was indeed refreshing to hear many unusual reasonings that actually made sense.

Ultimately, everyone had their fun today!

Are you ready?

Are you ready?

Writing from the Heart @ 72-13 Dec 2014 (Day 2)

“The key of exercises is to enjoy even if it scares you. It may not hit you now, but it will in the future” —Tony Perez 

We are on to the second session of Writing from the Heart.

The session unfolded with Tony introducing human defense mechanisms. He likened writing as a form of martial arts, exchanging the right blows at an appropriate time to protect oneself.

Tony introducing the different mechanism people use in defence

Tony introducing the human defense mechanisms

Writers were then tasked to write a creative dialogue, incorporating at least 2 defence mechanisms.

Writing in Progress...

Writing in Progress

During the sharing, the room was filled with spontaneous, hilarious yet thought-provoking conversations.


Deeply Engrossed…

The main highlight of the day was the “Art Gallery”. What is this “Art Gallery”? Tony started off by sharing his chosen 5 objects and telling bits and pieces of the poignant memories of his life. The writers are then asked to present 5 items to tell more about themselves.

Rummaging through the bags

Rummaging through the bags

I am done?

I am done?

Let’s take a peek at some of their personal belongings!

5 items

5 items 3

5 items 2

Some items look pretty familiar don’t they? Similar items may be found in your bag.

Bit by bit, the participants began to understand even more about one another through the history of their personal belongings; and also a little more about themselves!

Writing from the Heart @ 72-13 Dec 2014 (Day 1)

Writing from the Heart began this Monday at 72-13!

Writing from the Heart is an interactive playwriting workshop comprised of a series of hands-on exercises while exploring the basics in playwriting.

Filled with laughter

Participants sharing their observations of each other

To start off, Tony introduced the concept of chakras and how these chakra points affects our life physically as well as mentally. Writers were able to better understand how their physical body works to identify and realign these energy centres. (Find out more about chakras from our earlier post)

Participants diagnosing their partner's chakra

Diagnosing the partner’s chakra

Participants had fun and discovered new things about each other after this session. To some, it was an interesting way to break the ice and learn more about another stranger.

Sharing of Writings

Participant Ahmad sharing his creative writing piece

To wrap up Day One, Tony gave the writers a visualisation exercise about defense mechanisms to aid the participants with dealing the negative emotions within them.

Self-Protection exercises from Tony Perez

6 Defense Mechanisms to share

The workshop was refreshing to all, with some commenting that it was as though they have stepped into a new age; to a whole new world they have never experienced before.

Stay tuned to this space for daily updates and snippets of Writing from the Heart until 6 December at 72-13!

Writing at Dibashram

Our Engagement Team visited Dibashram, a space for migrant workers. We spoke to Mr AKM Mohsin, who manages Dibashram and is also the chief-in-editor for Singapore Bengali Newspaper, Banglar Kantha (The Voice of Bengal). Our engagement intern, De Jun reports.

Writing has always been viewed as a powerful tool for one to reflect and mature. In tandem with our Writing from the Heart workshops this December, TheatreWorks will be organising a special writing session for the migrant workers at Dibashram on Sunday, 7 December.

On 1 June 2014, Tony Perez conducted a special writing session consisting of visualisation exercises, dialogues for a group of 25 Filipino Domestic Workers from TWC2, allowing them to reflect and address issues they face. The workshop was successful in providing alternatives and means for coping with their situation.

This new writing session seeks to engage the Bangladeshi workers from Dibashram, harnessing potential creativity from them, and at the same time to reflect and discuss important issues related to living in Singapore, since every one of them all have an untold story, undelivered thoughts and emotions, buried within them.

With limited outlets available to deal with such issues faced, Mohsin and company has been seeking different ways and approaches to help these Bangladeshis workers through weekly workshops and drama performances.

The Agent & The Legal Assistant Production Poster

The Agent & The Legal Assistant Production Poster

Dibashram have also begun to deepen their interests in other forms of writing. Mohsin said during an interview after the Migrant’s Workers Poetry Contest, “Writing gives the migrant workers a sense of empowerment. It is also a healthy way for them to spend their weekends.”

During their usual weekends, the Bangladeshi workers are encouraged to write, and most of them challenge themselves to write anything under the sun, be it love, life, work experience, contemporary problems, even political issues in Dhaka and the Singaporean & Bangladeshi community. Those new to journalism will receive guidance from their experienced counterparts. Upon further editing and formatting by Mohsin, their articles will then be published in Banglar Kantha.

Quote at Dibashram

“Gladden the heart of humans ★ Feed the hungry ★ Help the afflicted ★Lighten the sorrows of the sad & Remove the sufferings of the injured

With a wealth of experience and a sensitive approach, Tony Perez seek to address their innermost feelings, allowing them to face their problems with courage at ease. He encourages them to surface these negative emotions through writing and teaches them “when to deliver the right blows—emotional, psychological and spiritual”. This group has prior writing experience with some contributing to the monthly Bengali newspaper publication.

Interested in signing up for Writing from the Heart? Sign up for the full Writing from the Heart workshop from 1 Dec – 6 Dec.

To register, please contact Brendan Tan at or call 6737-7213.

Dibashram Website:

Dibashram Facebook:

Rewriting the chakra

As our Writing from the Heart workshop draws closer, our engagement intern, De Jun, would like to share some insights about Writing from the Heart.

Ever come to a halt when writing? Always hated that obtrusive obstacle in your way? Couldn’t squeeze any idea if you wanted to? Perhaps, there is something at work here. It is because of our chakra system.

~Tony Perez will touch more on this during the workshop~

Survival Chakra (Root Chakra) – Red
Sex Chakra (Sacral Chakra) – Orange
Emotion Chakra (Solar Plexus Chakra) – Yellow
Heart Chakra – Green
Communication Chakra (Throat Chakra) – Blue
Comprehension Chakra (Third Eye Chakra) – Indigo
Religious Chakra (Crown Chakra) – Purple
Psyche Chakra – White

Chakra and Writing

Achieving a balance in the chakra system is vital not just for writing, but also to benefit us in our daily life. Expressing those unadulterated, true emotions without compromising on the meaning and intentions have proven time and time again to be a daunting task. Many writers have struggles trying to convey their ideas and feelings to others. But what caused this problem?

One reason could be that the chakra energy in the throat is unbalanced. When a particular chakra is not functioning properly, you will have trouble utilizing the function in this chakra to its fullest.  Meaning, one is either not able to convey the purpose intended clearly, or may come across as being overly critical and harsh.

4 Steps to overcome Writer’s block

1) Identify the sources of chakra that are deficient and excessive.

2) Question one’s self what are the reasons that could have caused that part of the chakra to be    unbalanced.

3) Calm down and take your time!

4) Persevere…Do not let your effort go down the drain!

Writing and chakra are deeply intertwined with one another. Chakra provides one with the raw emotions while writing stylize them into a piece of artwork. Writing from the Heart provides you with both the writing and the techniques on chakra sensing.

Experiencing a writer’s block? Tony Perez will share useful tips to alleviate these problems during the workshop. So what are you waiting for, join the workshop this December. Hurry, spaces are limited!

Registration form:

To learn more about chakra colours:
For detailed solutions to inherent chakra problem: