About Goh Boon Teck
Boon Teck enjoys adapting classic texts into relevant stories for a contemporary theatre audience. Since his 1991 full length directorial debut in Redear, a fusion of theatre and dance based on the story of Madame Butterfly, Boon Teck has continued to produce shows that question humanity and morality. This includes K (1996), an original work inspired by Franz Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’, Posteterne (1992), a modern take on the tale of The Butterfly Lovers and I Have a Date with Spring (1995, 1999).
Boon Teck’s original work Titoudao – which he wrote and directed in 1994 – was a lovingly crafted piece inspired by the life of his mother, a Chinese opera artist. It garnered a slew of accolades at the inaugural LIFE! Theatre Awards in 2001 including Best Play, Best Original Script, Best Production Design, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor. The production went on to tour Cairo, Shanghai, Beijing and Hangzhou.
In 2001, Boon Teck was also conferred the National Arts Council Young Artist Award in recognition of his contribution to the development of Singaporean theatre. It encouraged him to create more inspiring works like Prism (2003), a piece commissioned by the Kageboushi Theatre Company of Japan, which premiered in the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space Theatre, and then went on to play in Singapore, Bangkok, Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta. In 2005, he was further recognised with a Singapore Youth Award for Arts & Culture.
Boon Teck was invited to be the Creative Director of Singapore's National Day Parade in 2007 and 2008. He was 35 years old then, thus becoming the youngest Creative Director in the history of Singapore’s National Day Parade. Boon Teck was also appointed the Creative Director for the opening shows of Asia on the Edge Festival, organised by The Arts House in Singapore in 2008 and 2009. In 2011, he was appointed as Creative Director for Singapore Day in Shanghai.
In order to reach greater global audiences, Boon Teck continued to tour his shows in Asia and beyond. These productions include Spirits (2009) which was performed at the International Theater King Festival in Velikiy Novgorod, Russia and The Crab Flower Club (2009) which performed to full houses in Singapore and Beijing. Other productions that have toured include K (2012) in Shanghai and Innamorati (2017) at the Spring For Chinese Arts Festival in Beijing. More notably, Glass Anatomy (2014) was the first Singaporean Mandarin musical to be staged in China at the Shanghai Cultural Square, which awarded Boon Teck The Elite Director Award at 5th One Theatre Prestige Award organised by Shanghai Modern Drama Valley.
In Singapore, Boon Teck’s recent works have focused largely on Asian heritage and culture. Maha Moggallana – A Story of Filial Piety (2010), brought to life a historical Buddhist fable with cutting-edge costumes and modern dance. December Rains (2010), a touching musical about love in 1950s Singapore was another significant directorial achievement. In 2011, Boon Teck undertook his biggest Mandarin production to date – 881 The Musical – an adaptation of Royston Tan’s film and a tribute to the uniquely Singaporean phenomenon of Getai (street performances).
A light-hearted and comedic show, Masters of Comedy (2018) paid tribute to iconic comedians in Singapore at the Cultural Extravaganza 2018, while Sometime Moon (2018) –charting the story of early settlers in Singapore – was the first professional Hokkien musical to be staged in Singapore. Following in the vein of adapting old classics for the contemporary audience, Teochew Opera The Severing Sword (2019) was a world premiere of a classic wuxia novel.
Boon Teck was also commissioned by Singapore International Festival of Arts to direct A Dream Under The Southern Bough trilogy from 2018 to 2020, a classic piece of work by Ming playwright Tang Xianzu. Savage Land (2015) and Infinite Island (2019) were productions with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra that traced the journey from olden to modern society, as well as the injustices, dreams and hopes of the community through song and theatre. A commissioned production by Esplanade for Huayi Chinese Festival of The Arts, 7 Sages of The Bamboo Grove (2020) was a contemporary stage adaption of the original historical figures who strived to break free from society’s censorship of artistic creativity.