Posts Tagged ‘humor’

It’s been a dramatic few months. I’m thrilled to announce that my 10-minute play Errata has been selected as one of 10 plays to be produced and published in Gemco Players Little Gems 10-Minute Play Festival from 23-25 August 2013.

I’ll be in Paris then (shucks!) so will be very disappointed to miss it, but I’m hoping that all you passionate theatre-goers and supporters of emerging playwrights will support all the successful entrants and enjoy a great few days of theatre at The Gem.

The Little Gems festival is in its third year and attracts entries from all over Australia and beyond.

The festival encourages new, experienced and young playwrights by performing and publishing their work.

My play Presence, (a play for everyone who hates Christmas) was performed and published as part of the 2010 Little Gems Festival.

Gemco is a non-profit theatre company that has been performing for more than 30 years. The theatre is nestled in the picturesque town of Emerald, 44 kilometres south-east of Melbourne in the Dandenong Ranges. 

Errata will appeal to anyone who has wondered how Christianity really began!

The Gemco Players Group, a newly formed sub-group in the company, has also expressed interest in performing my 10-minute play A Bedtime Story, which contains no dialogue. That’s right – not a word. I’ll keep you posted if it does end up being produced.

I am also thrilled to announce that my first full-length play, The Journey, which is about the relationship between an intended parent and a surrogate mother, will be workshopped by the New Performance Company, directed by actor, director and dramaturg, Brenda Palmer, in October.

While in Melbourne recently, I worked on the script under the guidance of Brenda and NPC actor Carolyn Masson, and am very excited that the play is now on the way to be produced thanks to their support and encouragement.

We’re looking for funding and sponsors, so if you are involved in organisations that focus on issues of infertility and what it means to be a mother to day and would like to support a play that explores these issues in an entertaining way, please contact me.

If you would like to know more about the New Performance Company or Gemco Players, click here



Also, on a lighter note, if anyone out there is interested in producing my one-act play, Supersnout, it is also available.

Supersnout was one of four comedies collectively titled “Four Slices of Fun Cake” produced by Hartwell Players as part of its One-Act Play Festival for 2012.

Supersnout is about a woman who is confronted with a problem, and how her best friend helps her solve it. It has a cast of four (A man and two women in their 30s, and somebody young and agile to play a dog.) It runs for about 40 minutes. Supersnout was nominated for Best Comedy and Best Original Script in the 2012 Dandenong Ranges One-Act Play Festival.

And if you’re a woman in our late 40s or early 50s, you might like to perform my one-woman play, Advice to Young Lovers on Valentine’s Day. This was first performed by Carolyn Masson at a Melbourne Writers’ Theatre monologue evening at the Carlton Courthouse Theatre in Melbourne last November. It runs for about 20 minutes and will appeal to anyone woman who has been married more than once, or is thinking about getting married.

My aim is to write plays that are thought provoking, but above all entertaining, and which focus on social issues and what it means to be a woman in today’s world. 

I am keen to hear from fellow writers and thespians and anyone who is interested in collaborating, keeping in mind that I live in Singapore, but return frequently to Australia.

Please feel free to contact me on jane.cafarella@gmail.com or to leave a comment.






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The largely Indian audience was rocking with laughter, as Kanjooswamy, “a diehard skinflint”, ranted about how his children, the government and the world were out to rob him of his hard-earned wealth.

Rob and I exchanged little half smiles as the jokes about local Indian culture, the Singapore establishment and inter-racial marriage flew around us.

This is what it’s like to be an immigrant, I thought. You just don’t get the jokes – or at least not yet.

The play was The Kanjoos, which means “the miser”, and was an Indian take on the Moliere play The Miser, performed by HuM Theatre at the Singapore Repertory Theatre last Saturday night.

Subin Subaiah was perfect as the conniving and crafty kanjoos, as was Daisy Irani, as Jayalolita, “Singapore’s premiere matchmaker”.

With their over-the-top antics and slapstick comedy, it was easy to see what was going on. It was just those little moments when they delivered a subtle one-liner and the audience erupted while Rob and I sat mutely, that made me realise that while shopping is culturally transferable, humour is not.

Ironically, as Daisy Irani and producer, Sakina Dhilawala, said in the program notes, HuM is keen to explore integration issues through its plays.

The Kanjoos could quite easily have been a play enacted by homogenous cast but we deliberately decided otherwise. That is because we wanted to re-inforce the socially appealing idea of inter-racial romance and to emphasise that prejudice is often not religious or racial but economic in nature,” they wrote.

HuM’s two previous productions also explored the integration challenges facing society.

However, I’m not sure that any of these plays included the integration challenges facing expats.

This was no fault of The Kanjoos, which was perfectly pitched and delivered with some Indian spice, giving contemporary and local relevance to the age-old moral that greed is not good.

I don’t expect local culture to accommodate visitors like us, who historically have imposed our culture on Singapore and the rest of the world with blatant disregard for local sensibilities.

It just makes me more aware of what it must be like for immigrants generally, and perhaps more understanding of the City of Whittlesea’s request back in 2004 that a local theatre company my daughter was involved with drop its production of The Sound of Music for something more cultural relevant, considering that 36 per cent of Whittlesea’s population came from non-English speaking backgrounds.

At the time, we music theatre junkies scoffed mightily at this suggestion.

The Sound of Music has always been one of my favourite things, but now I understand how for immigrants, understanding local cultural and humor is yet another one of the many mountains they have to learn to climb in order to feel at home.


The Kanjoos, cast photo from the program. Photography by Wong Xin Yi, Alistair Chew and Sujoy Sen.

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