Huzir Sulaiman

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Huzir Sulaiman
Huzir Sulaiman.jpg
Background information
BornMalaysia
ResidenceSingapore
Alma materPrinceton University
OccupationJoint Artistic Director, Actor, Producer, Director
Spouse(s)
Claire Wong (m. 2004)

Huzir Sulaiman is a Singaporean-Malaysian director and actor. He is the co-founder and Joint Artistic Director of Checkpoint Theatre. A critically acclaimed and award-winning playwright, his Collected Plays 1998-2012 was published in 2013. His plays have been translated into German, Japanese, Polish, Indonesian and Mandarin. His essays and commentary pieces have appeared in The Star, The Straits Times and The Huffington Post.

Recent directing includes Thick Beats for Good Girls (2018), FRAGO (2017), The Good, the Bad and the Sholay (2015), Interrogating the Interrogators: Selected Plays of Chong Tze Chien (2015); #UnicornMoment (2014); the 15th anniversary production of Atomic Jaya (2013); City Night Songs (2012); and The Good, the Bad and the Sholay (2011), for which he was nominated for Best Director in the 2012 Life! Theatre Awards. Huzir was educated at Princeton University, where he won the Bain-Swiggett Poetry Prize and is a Yale World Fellow.

Currently an Adjunct Associate Professor with the National University of Singapore's University Scholars Programme, Huzir has taught playwriting at the National University of Singapore's English Department; the School of the Arts, Singapore; New York University Tisch Asia ; and Nanyang Technological University. He also heads Studio Wong Huzir, a creative consultancy.

Life and career[edit]

His father is Haji Sulaiman Abdullah, who was born G. Srinivasan Iyer, a Tamil Brahmin who later converted to Islam. Sulaiman is a veteran lawyer who served as Malaysian Bar Council president. His mother is Hajjah Mehrun Siraj, who has served as a professor, lawyer, consultant for United Nations agencies, NGO activists and a Commissioner with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia.

For a short time in the early part of the 1990s, he hosted an afternoon talk show on WOW FM, a now-defunct Malaysian radio station. In the 1990s, Huzir also spent a year writing sketches with the Instant Café Theatre Company before starting the Straits Theatre Company in 1996. He began writing plays in 1997.[1] He also dabbled in film writing, writing the screenplay for the Malaysian film Dukun.[2]

He also contributed articles to The Star and The Huffington Post, and involved himself in the publishing of the online magazine POSKOD.SG.

He married Claire Wong, a Malaysia-born Singaporean stage actress, in 2004. They co-founded the creative consultancy Studio Wong Huzir.[3]

Director[edit]

Theatre
Year Title Notes
1998 Atomic Jaya Performed by Jo Kukathas on 11 March 1998 at The Actors Studio Theatre, Kuala Lumpur.
2006 A Language of Their Own It was debuted in 2006 in Singapore, produced by Checkpoint Theatre.
2007 Cogito A commission of the Singapore Arts Festival 2007, it opened at the Drama Centre, Singapore on 13 June 2007. It was produced by Checkpoint Theatre. It debuted in Australia on 9 February 2012 at La Mama Theatre, Melbourne.
2011 The Good, the Bad and the Sholay Written by Shiv Tandan and co-directed with Huzir Sulaiman, it first premiered at the NUS Arts Festival 2011 as a NUS Stage and Checkpoint Theatre production. It was nominated for Best Original Script, Best Director and Production of the Year at the Straits Times Life! Theatre Award.
2012 City Night Songs It was written and composed by its performers Gani Abdul Karim, Oon Shu An, Nessa Anwar, Judy Au, Nishant Jalgaonkar, Ivan Surya Tjahyo, and Joel Tan under the eye of Huzir Sulaiman. It was produced by Checkpoint Theatre with NUS Stage.
2013 Atomic Jaya Performed by Claire Wong and Karen Tan (actor). This edition of the play was presented by Checkpoint Theatre at School of the Arts (SOTA) Drama Theatre from 24 October to 1 November 2013.
2014 #UnicornMoment Written and performed by Oon Shu An and co-directed with Shiv Tandan. It was a collaboration with Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay and Checkpoint Theatre. It ran from 8 to 10 May 2014 at Esplanade Theatre Studio.
2015 The Good, the Bad and the Sholay Co-directed with Shiv Tandan. It was presented as a collaboration between Checkpoint Theatre and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay for Kalaa Utsavam – Indian Festival of Arts.[4]
2017 FRAGO Written by Lucas Ho and produced by Checkpoint Theatre. It ran from 13 July to 23 July at the Drama Centre Black Box in Singapore. Its ensemble cast was made up of Ali Anwar, Adib Kosnan, Chong Woon Yong, Alfred Loh, Timothy Nga, Zaaki Nasir, Cerys Ong, Stanley Seah, Derrick Tay, Jo Tan, and Tan Sieow Ping.
2018 Thick Beats for Good Girls Directed and dramaturgeWritten and performed by Pooja Nansi and Jessica Bellamy. It was held at the Drama Centre Black Box.

Plays[edit]

Theatre
Year Title Notes
1997 Lazy Hazy Crazy This was Huzir's first full length solo show after starting the Straits Theatre Company.[5]
1998 Atomic Jaya First presented on 11 March 1998. It has been re-staged three times since in 2001,2003, and 2013.
1998 The Smell of Language Directed by Krishen Jit in 2001, and performed by Huzir Sulaiman. Its premiere was August 3, 1998 at The Actors Studio Theatre in Kuala Lumpur.
1998 Hip-Hopera It was first produced in 1998, by the Straits Theatre Company.
1999 Notes on Life & Love & Painting Directed by Huzir Sulaiman in 1999, it was produced again in 2004, directed by Krishen Jit.
1999 Election Day Directed by Krishen Jit. Directed in 2004 by Claire Wong at The Arts House, Singapore.
2000 Those Four Sisters Fernandez Directed by Krishen Jit.
2002 Occupation Directed by Huzir Sulaiman and Claire Wong.
2002 Whatever That Is Directed by Krishen Jit.
2003 They Will Be Grateful Directed by Krishen Jit.
2004 Opiume: The Narrator's Tale It was performed as part of Mark Chan's chamber opera, Opiume. It was commissioned by the Singapore Arts Festival and Hong Kong New Visions Festival in 2004.
2005 Colony of Singapore Written in under National University of Singapore's (NUS) Art House Writing Fellowship.[6]
2007 Cogito Commission of the Singapore Arts Festival 2007. Featuring Noorlinah Mohamed, Claire Wong, Neo Swee Lin, and James Shubert.
2011 The Weight of Silk on Skin Directed by Claire Wong and performed by Ivan Heng.
2016 The Last Bull: A Life in Flamenco Directed by Claire Wong.

Screenplays[edit]

Theatre
Year Title Notes
2007 Dukun A Malaysian Horror film released in 2018.

Publications[edit]

  • Eight Plays (2002, Silverfish Books) ISBN 9834081626
  • Huzir Sulaiman: Collected Plays, 1998-2012 (2013, Checkpoint Theatre) ISBN 9789810749026

References[edit]

  1. ^ Martin, Mayo (18 January 2013). "We RAT on Checkpoint Theatre's Huzir Sulaiman and Claire Wong!". MediaCorp. TODAY. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  2. ^ Nabilah Said (8 September 2015). "Screen play". The Straits Times. Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Retrieved 19 August 2016. ...his previous film projects include Malaysian director Dain Said's horror film Dukun (2007)
  3. ^ "Studio Wong Huzir". studiowonghuzir.com.
  4. ^ "Kalaa Utsavam – Indian Festival of Arts".
  5. ^ "Playwright Huzir Sulaiman's Atomic Jaya a blast from the past".
  6. ^ "Different sides of the Straits".

External links[edit]