About the Show
ItSelf TerJadi is a text-based, experimental performance about the memories, feelings and thoughts of a woman dealing with cancer, Covid-19 and aging. Drawing from real life experiences, Marion D’Cruz, writer and performer of this work, shares her stories, perspectives, questions, and concerns about life in a troubled world. The performance engages audiences in thinking about health, hope, pain, beauty, love, and loss, with humour, heart, and a strong somatic sensibility.
Content Advisory: cancer, medical procedures, adult material
Creative & Production Team
Writer & Performer
Marion D’Cruz graduated with a BA in Performing Arts and an MA in Dance from Universiti Sains Malaysia. She has studied traditional, modern, and contemporary dance in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, London, and New York. In 1983 she formed Marion D'Cruz and Dancers, who have performed extensively both locally and internationally. Marion began dancing at the age of six and started making dance at 16. One of the pioneers of contemporary dance in Malaysia, her work has gone through many phases – the search for a Malaysian identity in contemporary dance; the socio-political commentary; working with ‘non-performers’; the democratization of the artistic space. Marion continues to break many rules in search of interesting projects that empower performers and audiences alike. More recently, she has been creating unique performance structures that allow artists and non-artists to come into and tell their stories.
Marion has received numerous awards including the 2019 Hai-O Arts & Culture Grants Lifetime Achievement Award. Marion teaches part-time in the Dance Faculty of the National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage (ASWARA – Akademi Seni Budaya dan Warisan Kebangsaan). She continues to produce, perform, and choreograph. She is a founder member of Five Arts Centre.
Janet Pillai began her career in the teaching and practice of children's theatre in the 1970s. In 2007, Janet founded Arts-ED, a non-profit organisation which provides non-formal arts, heritage, and culture education for young people. Her pioneering work involved collaborations with Malaysian performing artists and young people resulting in more than 25 major productions and an online resource, the Arts Education Archive Malaysia.
Currently Janet is an independent consultant and resource person specialising in arts education and community engaged arts. She researches and publishes on community-based arts in the Asian region, designs programmes, and provides training for community arts workers in Malaysia.
Charlene Rajendran is a Malaysian theatre educator, writer and dramaturg who is currently on sabbatical and wandering through varied spaces to listen, learn and unlearn. She is interested in questions of difference interdisciplinarity, play-based pedagogy and thought- leadership in urban multicultural contexts. Her involvement in theatre began in the 1970s with Teater Kanak-Kanak led by Janet Pillai at the Kompleks Budaya Negara, and then later in the 1990s with Five Arts Centre. She is thrilled to be back at Five Arts collaborating on this work.
She works as Associate Professor at the National Institute of Education – Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and has been Co-Director of Asian Dramaturgs’ Network since 2017. Her work as dramaturg includes interdisciplinary and community arts projects such as Kepaten Obor (2022), In the Silence of Your Heart (2018), Both Sides, Now (2013-2018), Ghost Writer (2016) and The Malay Man and His Chinese Father (2016).
Publications include (Asian) Dramaturgs’ Network: Sensing, Complexity, Tracing and Doing (lead editor, 2023), The Routledge Companion to Theatre and Young People (co-editor, 2022), Changing Places: Drama Box and the Politics of Space (lead editor, 2022), Performing Southeast Asia: Performance, Politics and the Contemporary (co-editor, 2020), and Excavations, Interrogations, Krishen Jit and Contemporary Malaysian Theatre (lead editor, 2018), academic articles and creative texts.
Syamsul Azhar works across theatre, film, and contemporary art as a multimedia and lighting designer, often employing technology as a performative element in his work. He has designed across diverse places and spaces, and collaborated on many projects.
Syamsul is a member of sans, a loose interdisciplinary collective of artists creating works for performance and exhibition. He is a graduate in Film and Digital Media from Deakin University, Australia, and he is also a member of Five Arts Centre.
ItSelf TerJadi Team:
writer & performer: Marion D’Cruz
provocateur: Janet Pillai
constant: Charlene Rajendran
intervener: Syamsul Azhar
ensurer: Armanzaki Amirolzakri
holder: Wyn Hee
graphic design: Foo Chiwei
photography: Kubhaer T. Jethwani
apprentice: Meshalini Muniandy
production assistant: Ng Yuh Ning
coordinator: Mark Teh
ItSelf TerJadi is supported by Yayasan Sime Darby, Creador Foundation and The Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur.