Photo credits: Shawna Chia, Chong Lii, Ken Dundas, Yu Tong Lai, Kejia Lu,

Amanda McRaven, Ng Jun Jie, Lokman Salikoon, Colleen Sullivan, Jiunn Wang

© 2023 by Victoria Chen

archive

Acting CV

Theatre CV

the hummingbirds

"I know it is a hazard to think too much about the lives of those we see. Sympathy interfering with efficiency and all that."

—ONE

Director: Victoria Chen

Dates: 30 October 2015, 13 December 2015

Venue: Skuggi Studio, Reykjavik

 

A Comedy of Menace.

Set in a possible future,  in which if you are unemployed too long, you are sent to a special room at the unemployment office where you are assigned a job. 

 

The first preview showed a highly stylised and choreographed piece of work that complemented the text, filled more with comedy than menace. About two weeks later, terrorist attacks in Beirut, Baghdad and Paris flipped the world into a state of chaos and fear, with conflicting opinions over the Syrian refugee crisis and a spike in Islamophobic actions. Staging The Hummingbirds was extremely timely. Together with Icelandic actors Astor Agustsson (ONE) and Daniel Thor Bjarnason (TWO), Vic removed half of the text and started to build the world of the play, very much like our own, except in a future where privacy is sacrificed and it is always better to be safe than sorry.

 

Similar to the Surrealist movement, which developed in reaction to the atrocities of WWI, The Hummingbirds is inspired by playwright Groenveld's original text and provides a glimpse into the world where paranoia wins—a world we seem to be entering.

This is Vic's first official directing project. It is also her first time directing outside of her home country, and her first time directing in two languages.

twelfth night

"One, sir, that for her love dares do more than you have heard her brag to you she will."

—Antonia, III.iv

Director: Amanda McRaven

Company: Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford

Dates: 1 – 9 August 2015

Venue: The White House, Connecticut

 

Everyone is in love with someone else. Vic spent her first summer break in the United States doing two full productions of Shakespeare in repertory, one of them as Antonia in Twelfth Night, or What You Will. The performance took place near the grounds of the world-renowned American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, Connecticut, which has hosted Katherine Hepburn, James Earl Jones, Paul Newman and Christopher Walken amongst other great actors. The academy transformed a small portion of the outdoors into Illyria, where the play is set. With a dash of 20th Century music inspired by Tom Waits and Frank Sinatra, the show took on a vaudevillian feel with white faces and umbrellas.

long distance affair

"One of the 10 best off-off-Broadway plays of 2013."

—Culturequake, review

Director: Ana Margineanu

Company: PopUp Theatrics

Dates: 5 – 28 February 2013

Venue: Gershwin Hotel, New York City

 

Vic received a mysterious email one day from the artistic directors of PopUp Theatrics inviting her to join their third instalment of Long Distance Affair. Formatted as a one-to-one live interaction between performer and audience member via Skype, Vic was teamed with director Ana Margineanu from Romania and writer Mariano Tenconi Blanco of Argentina, who wrote the monologue I Can't Swim specifically for her.

 

As her alias Tori, Vic rehearsed and first performed in her brother's bedroom to audience members in New York City, and was invited to reprise her role a few months later at the Summerhall for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (possibly as the youngest Singaporean to have performed at the Fringe). Although site-specific, Vic and Ana re-adapted the performance to her student dormitory in Glasgow a year later, when she was invited once more to perform for The International Theater Platform in Bucharest, Romania.

reconsider this

Roles: Various

Director: Jack Lynch

Dates: 6 February 2015

Venue: RCS Studio

 

Inspired by stories from The Forgiveness Project, Vic and other students of the conservatoire worked with UK director Jack Lynch to conceive a performance exploring forgiveness, grief, redemption and healing in the real world.

 

The performance was a series of interwoven vignettes that involved live improvised music, multimedia and shadow effects. Snippets of interviews with people giving real accounts of their stories were also projected. The show was also a response to the first theatrical endeavour of The Forgiveness Project, entitled Consider This.

under the dragon moon

Director: Jonathan Lum

Company: Creative Edge/ I Theatre

Dates: 30 May – 1 June 2013

Venue: Drama Centre Black Box, Singapore

 

Vic finished her 2-year training program with Creative Edge with a devised children's piece based on Asian folk tales, inspired by Javanese music, Chinese Opera, Japanese Dance, puppetry and ethnic costumes. Vic was the forest creature Peridot, with its characteristics inspired by the gem itself. Together with other forest dwellers, Peridot metamorphosed into various characters for each folk tale, or accompanied the storytelling with music.

 

Soon after, the performance was later selected to perform at the official reopening of the historic Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall.

those who can't teach

Roles: Clare Wong, Mrs. Ong

Director: Mohamad Shaifulbahri

Company: Yellow Chair Productions

Dates: 3 – 6 April 2014

Venue: Drama Centre Black Box

 

A tribute to the teaching profession, Singaporean playwright Haresh Sharma's Those Who Can't, Teach charts the life of a secondary school teacher negotiating between personal life and success in the education system.

 

Stuck with students who have given up on themselves amidst colleagues who have stopped caring, this play delights audiences with classroom humour and more importantly, shows that those who can, teach.

peoplE

Roles: Regina, Ensemble

Director: Jonathan Lum

Company: Creative Edge

Dates: 24 – 26 January 2014

Venue: Drama Centre Black Box

 

The lives of strangers are fatefully connected through a crack in the fault line that triggers the earthquake and tsunami that hits Japan in 2011.

 

A bittersweet series of vignettes by Joel Tan, People dives into the human heart of the catastrophe, exploring relationships stretched and mended by those who keep searching for something lost, or never had in the first place.

sex.violence.blood.gore

Roles: Bao Bao, Sophia

Director: Mark Ng

Company: Red Pill Productions

Dates: 5 – 6 October 2015

Venue: Goodman Arts Centre Black Box

 

The title says it all. A tongue-in-cheek, hands-in-cuffs play poking fun at sexuality in Singapore, sex.violence.blood.gore features British ladies, a Japanese soldier, transvestites and little boys among others exploring their innermost desires... or repressing them out of shame.

 

Once banned from public performance, this play has since been staged in various cities worldwide and returned to Singapore with its glorious corsets, whips and genitals in jars.

the middle place

Roles: Performer (Various Roles), Stage Manager, Sound

Designer, Light Designer

Director: Co-Directed with Ng Meizhi

Dates: 7 – 9 April 2012

Venue: SOTA Studio

 

Fear is a funny feeling. It can be manipulated to control people, understand someone better, or encourage anyone through the challenges it provides.

 

The Middle Place uses dreams as a medium to transmit and explore how each person deals with fear. Drawing from personal memories and shared experiences, this show requires the audience to be co-creators, to join the actors on an imaginative journey and forge a connection with them.

the mimic machine

Roles: Performer (Peanut), Sound Designer

Director: Manasa Sitaram

Dates: 5 – 6 July 2011

Venue: SOTA Concourse

 

The lions have died, the lights don't work, the costumes coated in dirt. Four freaks in a last-ditch effort to revive their careers through launching a comeback circus tour. Deep down they know they will fail.

 

With text borne from Heiner Müller's HamletMachine and Carl Sandburg's poem They All Want To Play Hamlet, The Mimic Machine is a devised cabaret that reveals the secrets behind the troupe's curtains before the greatest premiere of their lives.

 

Premiered as part of Elsinore Circus during the SOTA Arts Festival 2011.

rivet

Roles: Performer, Stage Manager, Lighting Designer

Director: Nicholas Tee

Dates: 14 – 15 March 2011

Venue: SOTA Studio

 

One thing leads to another, and another, and another.

A wife, a mother, a murderer.

 

Rivet is a devised piece which enters the psyche of Euripides' greatest Greek tragic heroine, Medea, influenced by Antonin Artaud, Philip Glass and a physical reimagination of the Greek chorus. When the lover has gone and the children have died, where does the mind wander?