T4YP 2011 : Art For The Soul

May 16, 2011 at 10:35 pm

No man in Kuala Lumpur knows better about being a mother hen than Christopher Ling, the Co-Associate Artistic Director at klpac. He is the man in charge of T4YP, the Theatre For Young Persons program run at klpac. This annual program is geared to encourage young people in Malaysia to be more actively involved in performing arts, in particular theatre. The program is in its fourth year, having started with 15 young people in its first try.

Anyone between the ages of 16 and 25 are welcome every year to audition to be part of this program. The T4YP program lasts for 6 months and those selected go through extensive training for the entire duration of the program. Plays featuring those selected are performed throughout the 6 months, and it can be a very challenging yet satisfying experience. What is like being part of T4YP? We posed that very question to one of the youngest of this year’s selected thespians, Devyani Gupta, a cheerful and energetic 16 year old, during our visit to klpac in Sentul recently.

She feels that its a test on her time, as T4YP is extremely demanding, with rehearsals and classes 4 to 5 times a week. But apart from the toning down of her social life, juggling school and T4YP seems to be easy for this bubbly teen. The one thing does make her involvement in T4YP very easy is the support she has from her parents, who are happy to see Devyani immerse herself in what seems to be the passion of her life.


The bunch of energetic youngsters in this year's T4YP batch together with Christopher Ling, the Co-Associate Artistic Director

Parental support, like what Devyani receives from her parents, is very vital to T4YP’s success. As Christopher pointed out, those involved are still young and tend to rely on their families for both financial and emotional support. Dealing with a bumch of young people is a very challenging prospect, yet Christopher seems to have it down pat, although he did not admit it. Every year brings a whole new batch of different faces, each with their distinct personality. In the past 4 years, he has seen nearly every sort of young person, from the joker to the quiet sensitive soul. Yet his task remains the same, to nurture the young potentials, hone and shape their acting skills.

To hear Christopher talk about T4YP is to listen to a man who firmly believes that the beauty of theatre provides a window of understanding to young souls, a different perspective to comprehending the complexities of life. Consequently, T4YP has been able to become a gateway for the young to find their footing in performing arts, and a platform for them to create theatre for themselves.

This year’s T4YP’s ensemble comprise of 5 talented individuals, namely Amanda Tan, Amir Yunos, Devyani Gupta, Kamini Senthilathiban, and Umesh Logandran. Together with Christopher, they will perform a series of 6 shows, opening with a comtemporary play, A History of Falling Things, and closing with a classic Shakespeare play, Much Ado About Nothing.

A complete list of this year’s T4YP shows are as follows:

A History of Falling Things
19th to 22nd May 2011

The Real Inspector Hound
28th to 31st July 2011

T4YP Sweatshop
30th to 31st July 2011

3rd to 7th August 2011

Food, Sex & Death
4th to 7th August 2011

Much Ado About Nothing
22nd to 25 September 2011

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