Isaiah Christopher Lee
Theatre Practitioner | Drama Educator | Literature & Art History
Isaiah Christopher Lee is a multilingual Singaporean playwright, poet, and theatre practitioner. A graduate of Catholic High School, Singapore and Raffles Institution, Isaiah's repertoire of works include Out Damned Spot! (2014), Cermin (2013), Drowning Demons (2013), Umbrellas in the Rain (2013), Di’Vine (2015), Dive (2015), Ladders to Heaven (2015), When The Bough Breaks (2017), The Old Woman and the Ox (2018), Yatim (2021). Most recently, he was the playwright for the interdisciplinary performance《空》 Reflections for Esplanade’s HuaYi 2021. His poems have been published in The Kindling Journal, and SingPoWriMo 2018: The Anthology, and he was shortlisted for the 2018 Editorial Consultations by Arts House, Singapore for poetry.
Apart from writing, he is active in performance and is particularly interested in movement and physical theatre. His latest solo performance, The Concubine, debuted on the Singapore stage in July 2021 at the Drama Centre Black Box. As part of his directorial work, Isaiah directed Single Mothers (2019) at the Playden at the Arts House, Singapore and Anamnesis (2021) at Aliwal Arts Centre. As a theatre practitioner, he has worked with New Opera Singapore and MUSA: The Collective. He has worked on various arts projects supported by the National Arts Council Singapore (NAC), the Arts Fund, and the National Youth Council (NYC), Young ChangeMakers (YCM).
Isaiah was an MOE Humanities Scholar, and the Artist-in-Residence and a Drama Educator at inwardBOUND – Transformation through Drama (2019), during which time he worked on Forum Theatre focusing on theatre for intervention in Singapore schools. He continues to work as a theatre practitioner and drama educator in Singapore. He is also the Founder and Managing Director of the independent art, design and theatre company, The CreativeWerkz (2019).
Isaiah is engaged as a guest lecturer at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore (NAFA) and teaches Reimagi(ni)ng Sanskrit Epics in Contemporary Southeast Asia for MU4631: Music & Sound Design for Theatre under the School of Music. Isaiah was an Artist-in-Residence with Centre 42 under the The Vault: Lite 2021 with a research specialisation on reimagining Singapore theatre classics, in particular Chong Tze Chien’s Poop!. He has also worked with pioneer Singapore artist Tang Da Wu on 'The Big Rehearsal: What Question' at The Substation, Singapore (2021) and ‘Walk Darkness Walk’ at the National Gallery Singapore (2021).
He is currently reading a BA(Hons) Double Major in English Literature and Art History at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore with a specialisation in the Arts and Literature of Southeast Asia. In parallel with theoretical research within and beyond the disciplines of Art History and English Literature, he explores performance and storytelling through theatre and education.
(noun) recollection, especially of a supposed previous existence
Read Along with Me!
Fish-Hair Woman (2012), Merlinda Bobis
Fish-Hair Woman is a novel of many rooms running between love and war. In 1987 the Philippine government fights a total war against communist insurgency. The village of Iraya is militarised. The days are violent and the nights heavy with fireflies in the river where the dead are dumped.
Saturday (2006), Ian McEwan
Saturday, February 15, 2003.
A minor car accident brings Henry Perowne, a successful neurosurgeon, into confrontation with Baxter, a fidgety, aggressive man, who to Perowne's professional eye appears to be profoundly unwell. But it is not until Baxter makes a sudden appearance at the Perowne family home that Henry's earlier fears seem about to be realised...
Durga/Umayi (1991/2004), Y.B. Mangunwijaya
The scathingly satirical and hilarious novel begins in the 1930s, before Indonesia's independence from Dutch rule, and follows the fortunes of a poor Javanese village woman who becomes a servant in the household of President Sukarno. In a world where speaking truth to power really has no point, she learns the arts of accomodation and does very well for herself. The price she pays is the loss of her identity, her connection to kin and origins, and her moral standing. Framed by the world of ritual shadow plays - the realm of witches like Durga and the goddess Umayi - Mangunwijaya's novel gives an unblinking but remarkably compassionate account of people caught up in the great nationalist maelstrom of Indonesia's recent history.