The couple’s experience in theater

Adrian and Tracie Pang on why “thought-provoking” works best for theater company  The Peak Singapore – Your Guide to The Finer Things in Life

Says Ten Hui Yu, 34, of Pang’s Falling, a play that explores the challenges faced by a family with a severely autistic son: “It was heart-rending to witness the mother’s love for her son despite obstacles.” The associate director of a financial consultancy is a long-time Pang’s fan, having held season passes for the past three years.From its start eight years ago, the company has never avoided thorny issues: mental illness (Next To Normal, September 2013), autism (Falling, May 2016) and Aids (Rent, October 2016). Instead, it is keen to spotlight overlooked parts of the community.

At the core are the founders – veteran actor and his wife Adrian/ Tracie. They were at a point in their lives when they needed a change. “We wanted to work on shows we wanted to do,” he said. Adrian had returned from the UK with his director-producer wife in 2001 and, at the time, worked in numerous theater productions and television serials ranging from dramas to comedies.

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CREATIVE COUPLING

The duo have been married for nearly 22 years and clearly work well as a team, laughing easily with each other during the interview. “She’s the boss,” Adrian says, chuckling. “Even when we’re grocery shopping, she’ll be telling me what to place in the cart.” They are in sync, however, when it comes to artistic decisions. “We share the same vision so we hardly have disagreements,” says Adrian.

Tracie agrees: “I respect his choices as an actor and he respects my choices as a director. We usually resolve disagreements quickly or we find another way of carrying on.”

Clearly, they are doing something right. Pang’s popularity continues to soar. In 2013, they launched PG season tickets, which have seen an average of 80 per cent increase in sales each year. Last year, both Falling and Rent were sold out. The theater company presents three productions a year, which run, on average, for two and a half weeks each.

WHAT COMES AHEAD

Says Adrian: “We seek to tell stories that are relevant to our community, that tackle challenging issues and ask difficult questions about our world.”

This year will see them further explore the topic of love with three plays grouped under the theme of family (and other “natural disasters”). The Pillowma,  a psychological thriller about a child murder investigation was first staged 10 years ago; Fun Home is adapted from a Tony Award-winning musical about a woman’s relationship with her gay father; and the world premiere of Tango in May marks a milestone as it’s the theatre company’s first foray into brand new scripts.

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