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Understanding Challenges of Terrorism through Theatre
Upon finding out that she would be involved in a play about terrorism, Ms Ulfahzatul Tysha Sher Zaman was worried that the performance would upset some audiences.
“I was quite worried the script was possibly sensitive material for certain groups of audiences. This is because the play suggests a relation between terrorism with one race or one religion,” said the Theatre Today actor, aged 24 years old.
“However in the play, the issue is framed well such that terrorism isn’t attributed to a single mistake of an individual but rather a reality of the world today” she added.
Ms Tysha is one of five actors in the play titled Crossroads which is staged at youth convention Comma Con 2016 last Saturday.
Theatre Today was commissioned to create this 40-minutes performance by the organizers of the convention, Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP).
The play is aimed at addressing centre stage a sensitive issue in Singapore society – terrorism – in an entertaining format. Crossroads chronicles the story of five graduates of a polytechnic aspiring to travel overseas in pursuit of furthering their education.
The character played by Ms Tysha has a boyfriend who is kept secret from her other friends. This boyfriend of hers later turns out to be involved in the terrorist organization ISIS.
For Ms Tysha, deconstructing a sensitive and important issue like terrorism enables the audience to understand it from various perspectives.
“Usually we receive information about terrorism through the news or ISIS video releases, which only show one side to the story.”
“But through the performance, viewers get to understand the psychology of the characters portrayed. They get to see and understand the circumstances which leads the character to make certain decisions.”
“Viewers get an insight to the characters’ train of thought as they follow the characters’ journey.”
“Nevertheless, all of this will only be communicated effectively and successfully if the play is written well and executed well,” said Ms Tysha.