Mark Beau de Silva is no stranger to arts afficionados in the country. With over 14 years in the industry, he has been a regular contributor in various aspects of the performing arts scene, mostly from behind the scenes. Now, however, the public gets to know more about Mark Beau de Silva as he has come out with yet another brilliant play, a four in one this time, entitled ironically, “Sisa-Sisa” – which means remnants in the Malay language. “Sisa-Sisa” will be playing at the KLPac Studios from the 30th of July to the 2nd of August 2015 with a stellar cast of his sifus no less. emmagem.cm got a little scoop on this ertswhile producer via email.
1) A little history on Mark Beau De Silva– director/ producer and his past works.
Hello Yet Mee, thank you for taking the time to speak to us about this show. I have been working in the arts since 2001. I started as a stage manager with Rep21, then I wrote my first play Stories for Amah; Joe Hasham directed that. Ever since then I have taken on many roles in the arts, but mostly as a writer and director, sometimes I act. I teach drama to kids full time with The Actors Studio Academy, and am about to graduate from UM(Masters in Performing Arts).
2. How did “Sisa Sisa “come about?
I wrote ‘Three Door’s last year. I was with my friends from college and we are all in our mid 30s, and our parents are all approaching 60- so we started saying to one another, ‘time going to come already, soon we will have to think of taking care of our parents’.
Then I started reflecting on my mother; she has three sons, whom will she live with? Will she want to live with us?
I then collected some of my other short plays that I have written and adapted, and noticed they all had one thing in common; they hinged on memories. Memories we choose to have, memories we force to forget, memories that lock us from moving forward, and memories fading.
3.“Sisa Sisa” has quite a stellar cast , so what inspired you to write a play with all your gurus in one go?
I wrote the play first, then I looked for my actors. I am very happy my gurus happen to work with me, and they agreed to come on board!
4) How is Sisa Sisa different from the other plays you have written? Is it much more difficult directing a four in one play versus the usual norm. What was the biggest challenge?
I think the challenge here is to tell a complete story in the portion of the time you would usually expect from a full length play. Directing a collection of plays is just as challenging as a full length play.
5) What do you hope the audience will take back with them from “Sisa -Sisa”
That they see a part of society in it, and hence allow reflection.
6) What inspires you when you are in a creative mode whether directing or producing your works?
I am very inspired by talented and hardworking artistes. Like right now, working with Joe and Faridah, seeing how hard they work despite the experience they possess, and also younger actors like Amelia and Lee Ching who take the craft so seriously- they make me want to be a better creator.
7) What is your hope for the Malaysian Performing Arts Scene?
That there be more collaboration between theatre companies. And that education in the arts begin at a much earlier age for our young.
8) Are there any new and upcoming projects that you would like to share with us?
I will be directing some children’s plays and a musical ‘POP!’ by our graduating students of The Actors Studio Academy.
9) What books do you have at your bedside table?
Right now, Ghost Stories by Tengku Halim, and Ikea 2015 catalogue.
10) What would you advise aspiring writers and producers out there…
Do, observe, and study the performing arts if you can.