Dr. Loretta Chen ~ WOMAN of ACTION™

A Celebration of Women™

is elated to Celebrate the Life of yet another powerhouse,

a woman that has taken her creative talents and used them for the benefit of mankind.

Choosing to work inside the genres of controversy, this power of example is Taking Action to create positive change in our world. Today, she is here to help the Women of our World. Partnering up with A Celebration of Women, this woman will be directing our events, working with Team Celebration to Celebrate the Lives of all the ‘unsung heroes’ of our world ….

Please join us in celebrating this woman, her humanitarian efforts, her talents, her BEing!

 
 

WOMAN of ACTION™

 

Dr. Loretta Chen

Harper’s Bazaar describes Dr Loretta Chen as “a force of nature”, The Straits Times labels her “a Rebel with a Twist” and a “Wild Thing” whilst The Peak calls her a “critical arts entrepreneur”.

Dr Loretta Chen, Ph.D is a bilingual theatre director, actor and host. Some of her directorial projects include 13 Shaolin, a Singapore-China collaboration, 24 Pieties for Toy Factory Theatre Ensemble, Ten Brothers (2005), The Vagina Monologues (2006), The Swimming Instructor (2006).In 2007, her controversial project 251, based on the story of Singaporean porn-star Annabel Chong was nominated for two Life! Theatre Awards. She also directed the Postcards from Rosa, a monologue starring veteran actor Neo Swee Lin.

In 2008, she directed Magicbox (2008), a magical extravaganza in collaboration with the creators of Mindfreak and a re-staging of The Vagina Monologues which was nominated for two Life! Theatre Awards. In 2009, she directed Joe Orton’s What the Butler Saw and the Broadway classic Victor/Victoria, starring international jazz legend, Laura Fygi. She staged The Vagina Monologues in Toronto and premiered The F Word in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2011. The production was nominated for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award.

Loretta is Treasurer of the Association of Singapore Actors (ASA). In 2008, she was selected by the Mayor of the Northwest CDC to sit on the Arts and Culture Committee. In 2009, she was shortlisted as one of the Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) candidates for the Arts in Singapore, though openly gay.*

She holds a PhD in Theatre (Critical Theory) and was the Artistic Director of Zebra Crossing Productions and was also Associate Director at Toy Factory Productions and Action Theatre. She is an alumnus of Anglo-Chinese Junior College and St Theresa’s Convent.

Loretta is an activist and is the ambassador to The Body Shop’s Stop Sex Trafficking campaign, Hermes’ PS I Silk You outreach program for under-privileged girls and Evian’s Live Young campaign. She remains strongly committed to advocacy work and was named 100 most inspiring women for her work in theatre and social activism.

She is the creative director of an international creative consultancy, 360 Productions, that has offices in Singapore, USA and Canada.

She is the younger sister of Singapore actor Edmund Chen Zhicai.

 

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING …..

THE BRIEF says:A Critical Monologue

 

 

Loretta Chen, the director of critically acclaimed plays like the Vagina Monologues, talks about courting controversy and promoting arts entrepreneurship.

One should not court controversy just for the sake of creating a controversy, but it must be an issue that needs to be addressed and it takes research, time and commitment to create a coherent argument and then present it in a form of “entertainment”.

Indeed, being a director takes guts. And being a controversial one at that requires a healthy sense of self, a supportive network system of family and friends who believe in you, a deep sense of humility, a keen appetite for adventure and an immense capacity for humour.

I hope to see the art equivalent of Spring Singapore that could be established to help younger artists. For starters, there could be the increasing use of “entrepreneurial” rhetoric in tandem with the arts to encourage young artists to see themselves as “arts entrepreneurs” as opposed to the perennial “starving artists”. We have been very successful in creating a sexy, vibrant image of scientists in Singapore, and can do the same in highlighting artists as social or arts entrepreneurs.

I also hope to see greater competitiveness of small creative companies versus big corporate players — various corporations also venturing into the “live” medium, thereby threatening the viability of these smaller theatre companies.

Finally, I hope the theatre audiences will keep growing, as it is their presence that spurs us on to greater altitudes. Is that too much to ask for five years? We always work towards and hope for the best.

 

 

For me, the theatre is a microcosm of the world.

It trains you to solve problems, allows you to build close relationships, demands from you effective communication. As a director, you must be objectively detached and intensely humane all at once; you must be brave and passionate about creating life and at times – by providing measured observations of society – courting controversy.

It was the theatre, along with my family and friends, that helped me get through an extremely difficult period; it was my sanctuary during the year that my mother was diagnosed with a brain tumour the size of a tennis ball, my business venture failed, and I ended a stable relationship.

Focusing on the work I loved allowed me a physical and mental space that I could retreat into, let my creativity run wild, and heal; it restored my belief in the power of imagination, creation and passion.

Through my work in the theatre, I’m working towards mastering myself, trying to embrace life every day, not be afraid of failure, and view each adversity as a challenge to overcome.

The world can be a slightly better place when you have one better person.”

 

 

VICTOR/VICTORIA Singapore; Show to Close Over the Weekend on 11/29


 
“A glitzy, unconventionally conventional love story.” – Mayo Martin, TODAY”Stellar orchestra, which does justIce To Henry Mancini’s rousing score…” – Amanda De Guzman, Business Times”The elaborate costumes were a visual treat” – Boon Chan, Straits Times Life!
 
The limited run of Zebra Crossing’s Asian premiere of hit Broadway musical VICTOR/VICTORIA at the Esplanade Theatre in Singapore will end on November 29, 2009. The show stars international jazz songstress Laura Fygi as Victor/Victoria, and Philippine theatre’s favorite leading man Jake Macapagal as King Marchan.

“Victor/Victoria,” the 1982 musical comedy film was a remake of “Victor und Viktoria” penned by German screenplay writer Hans Hoemburg, and directed by Reinhold Schunzel in 1933. The film starred Julie Andrews as Victor/Victoria, James Garner, Robert Preston, Lesley Ann Warren, Alex Karras, and John Rhys-Davies.

It was later adapted into a Broadway musical in 1995, which also starred Julie Andrews. Mancini and Frank Wildhorn wrote the music with book by Blake Edwards and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse.

VICTOR/VICTORIA in Singapore is directed by Loretta Chen, and produced by Felina Khong.

Photos by Zebra Crossing Singapore

That is the essence and philosophy of ZEBRA CROSSING PRODUCTIONS. We aim and strive to be a locally respected, regionally renowned and internationally recognised company that promote artistic and cultural endeavours across the globe. We curate; debate and innovate just so we can constantly produce and stage more sophisticated, more provocative and more relevant productions that will appeal to all sensibilities – fuelling the mind; touching the heart, and inspiring the soul. But more importantly, the core of ZEBRA CROSSING PRODUCTIONS is its people. We value talents and aim to nurture and guide budding actors, directors, playwrights, production and stage management crew to reach their fullest potential. We pledge to create a principled, safe yet conducive environment for all theatre professionals as they embark on their creative journeys.Formed in 2008 by 5 independent yet like-minded creative individuals, ZEBRA CROSSING is the harmonious blend of fiery creativity (Loretta Chen – Artistic Director), principled management (Felina Khong – Executive Producer), compassionate efficiency (Doris Lee – General Manager), sartorial grace (Laichan – Production Design Consultant) and corporate finesse (Eric Chen- Business Development Consultant). Harnessing the best of our personalities and unique strengths, ZEBRA CROSSING PRODUCTIONS promises to deliver and is here to stay.

A Celebration of Women Foundation Inc. is honored to support Dr. Loretta Chen here in Toronto, Canada this spring of 2012. This coming INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, March 8-11, 2012, Dr. Loretta Chen will be directing her newest play named: The F-WORD.360 Productions brings you the year’s sexiest, most powerful and controversial play- The F Word. It premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Aug 5-27, 2011 and received a prestigious Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award nomination.It now tours to Toronto as part of the International Women’s Day celebrations.Written by Telly award-winner and Hollywood fight choreographer, Jennifer Phillips (Salt, 300, Eclipse), it is helmed by award-winning and provocative Singaporean director Dr Loretta Chen (The Vagina Monologues, 251 and Victor/Victoria) who joins the ranks of writer-literati, Margaret Atwood as Artist-in-Residence in University of Toronto, on March 8-11, 2012 in honor of INTERNATIONAL WOMAN’S DAY.
 
TICKET INFORMATION HERE

The F Word stars a stellar cast of diverse and dynamic actresses including television actress, Silvana D’Abate and thespians Samora Smallwood, Nicole McCafferty, Louiza Zhu, Stacey Gawrylash, Afshan Golriz amongst many others!The F Word is a powerful chronicle of all things F***ed : fun, fierce, feminine, fast, furious, foul, fearful, fluffy, fantastic. There is much, much more in The F Word! You name it, we F it!

 
PHILANTHROPY

In addition to all this theatre work, Dr. Loretta Chen holds another side to her existence. This leader is also extremely passionate about the healing for all women. Having physically been inside the trenches, working with victims of HUMAN TRAFFICKING, Loretta share with us ….. ” I was never so afraid in my life, sitting in this cab being driven into the backlands of Cambodia. These girls were shaking for days after we would pick them up from the streets and take them to a safe house.” The world is not paying enough attention to what is actually, really going on . There are girls as young as four years old being used inside houses of prostitution, and this must STOP.

It is something that does not happen only in poor or third world countries but virtually every country in the world. An estimate of 1.2 million people below the age of 18 are not just kidnapped and sold for sexual exploitation and cheap labour but also abused, beaten and raped. And total profits from this inhumane act totals US$27 billion yearly. Can you imagine anyone you know and care about suffering that???Of course I didn’t need to even think to agree to it. I mean, I know I’m just gonna be a very small part of it all. But hey, unity is strength. No?

So please have a heart and go to this link and sign the petition to help put an end to all these evil deeds!

http://www.thebodyshop.com/_en/_ww/values-campaigns/marketpetitions/singapore/stop-trafficking-sign-singapore-petition-Market.aspx

Here’s the Singaporean version of the video which myself and other personalities came together to convey the message to all.The Body Shop Singapore Launches “Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People” Petition. The 11 other personalities are Adrian Pang, Paul Foster, Lim Kay Tong, Jack and Rai, Anita Kapoor, Pam Oei, Gayle Nerva, Anna Belle Francis, Dr Loretta Chen and Joe Augustin.

VIDEO HERE.

PLEASE PLEASE do your bit and help the innocent souls from being taken away from the loved ones and tortured. *This is a joint movement between ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children) and The Body Shop.

In 2010, Loretta joined the advisory board to A Celebration of Women Foundation Inc., and is now here to direct global efforts to educate the women and young girls of our world to Take Action. Loretta’s focus will be on the zone including China, south Pacific.

She holds a PhD in Theatre (Critical Theory) and was the Artistic Director of Zebra Crossing Productions and was also Associate Director at Toy Factory Productions and Action Theatre. She is an alumnus of Anglo-Chinese Junior College and St Theresa’s Convent.
 

LORETTA With Dr Seet telling all about herself in her own words…..all the way from China.

 


 

 

A Celebration of Women™

welcomes this gem into our family of WOMEN of ACTION™,

and look foward to working many successes together making positive change for the Women of our World.

 

 

Brava, Loretta!

 

Comments

  1. Cathy McCallum says

    I was moved to tears by the young women’s performance regarding “Human Trafficking”. I was informed of Canada’s role. I was uplifted by the collective voices of women who make a difference in our world. I sang and danced with “Women of Action”. Thank you Dr. Loretta Chen for sharing your passion, time and awaking within us our voices to make a difference now. Thank you also to Catherine Clarke for bringing all of the women together!

  2. Dear Loretta,
    Congratulations

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