“Society puts a huge pressure on us to be attached to someone, to want children and to reach other societal milestones. Ann is wondering: ‘Do I really want that? And on what terms do I want that? Is it possible to find what you want, and what does it require of our partners?’”
We take a look at the weeks and months of rehearsals that went into bringing Faith Ng’s latest play on adulthood, parenthood, and what it means to be happy in contemporary Singapore, live on stage.
“I hope audiences who watch ‘The Fourth Trimester’ will have more empathy and compassion for others. Stop putting pressure on and asking people when they’re going to have kids. It’s such a sensitive question…”
“And to everyone who’s watching this play, I hope you come to realise that it’s okay if your life is turning out differently from what you thought it would be. If you want to remain unmarried until the age of 35, so be it. Don’t want kids? That doesn’t make you any less normal. Go write your own story.”
“I’m very happy when I see her because I miss her so much when I’m in the Philippines. My mum is like my best friend and I can tell her everything and anything.”
“I think it’s important to tell this story because often, once children come into the picture, especially in a city as stressful as Singapore, everything becomes about them and whether you, as parents, have enough to provide for them. If we neglect that relationship, then problems may arise and eat into how we feel about parenthood.”
“What convinced me to take up this role were the many cultural touchpoints that I very much identify with. Faith talks about our struggles with work-life balance, societal and self-imposed pressures, and the gender roles that we conform to or rail against.”
“With stories like ‘The Fourth Trimester’ painting a very realistic picture of parenthood, I hope more people understand that dads need help and support too. And if you’re a dad who may not be doing that much right now, I hope this play reminds you that parenting is a team effort!”
“My biggest fear is dying and not having tried, and I have a lot of visions that I want to make a reality. At the same time, I am afraid of putting myself out there because there’s always a fear of failure. But I’d rather fail now than not try at all.’
“When the audience watches ‘The Fourth Trimester’, I hope they understand that at the end of the day, it’s not about embodying or being an ‘ideal’. We shouldn’t be so dogged by the idea of perfection that we lose what it means to be in the present.”
“So it always comes back to the same question of ‘Are you happy?’ And what does it even mean to be happy? Does it even matter? Because it’s really hard to be happy in Singapore. There are so many expectations and it’s all very heartbreaking.”
“You can’t stop doing what you love because it’s hard or because you keep getting rejected. Keep on doing it. If you work hard enough and show persistence towards your craft, it’s just a matter of time before you get recognised.”
Wesley Leon Aroozoo pays tribute to Singapore’s unsung immigrants who helped make Singapore the global trading port and maritime powerhouse it is today.
Humans of Sentosa | “I’m 74 now. When I joined the army, I was in my early twenties. Back then, many thought Singapore was too small to have an army. But in 1967, the government began to publicise the need for a Singapore Armed Forces…”
“The worst thing I feared came true when I left the company. I was accused of stealing clients’ money. Debt collectors started chasing me and I started receiving death threats from the company’s clients…”
“Age 15, fascinated by the Pixar movie Wall-E which inspired an idiosyncratic habit of collecting toilet rolls, I kickstarted a national environmental initiative – ToiletRollSG – with the aim of recycling cardboard toilet rolls to be sold…”
A few days shy of Hari Raya 2022 in Singapore, Hafiz Spencer visits the iconic mall during the month of Ramadan to capture the stark difference in activity from 2021.
“A lot of people fail to understand that most of the time, the situation these parents are in is not a matter of choice for them. They are in survival mode. It’s not that they don’t have initiative or don’t want the best for their kids. They’re just trying their best to make ends meet.”
Humans of Sentosa | “If your job isn’t your cup of tea but you still work for financial reasons, then work will feel like a drag. But if you love what you do, you’ll look forward to work everyday.”
People of Legends | “In the ring, you’re by yourself. You may get punched or knocked down, and regardless of whether you win or lose, you gotta stand up and keep going. That’s how things go in real life.”