Category: The Fourth Trimester
What happens when you become a parent? Do you suddenly, magically know what to do as soon as you bring a child into this world? Does your relationship with your spouse change, for better or for worse?
And what happens to your sense of self?
Those are the questions playwright Faith Ng addresses in The Fourth Trimester, directed by Claire Wong. This theatrical masterpiece is the highlight of Checkpoint Theatre’s 20th Anniversary Season.
In a day and age where people in Singapore are constantly pressured to achieve an “ideal” set by societal norms, this play tackles the beauty and pains of parenthood, adulthood, and what it means to be happy.
Inspired by the honesty and sensitivity with which Checkpoint Theatre confronts these matters, The Everyday People presents a brand new interview series that shines light on the people who work tirelessly to bring this original play in front of an audience.
“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 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!”
Isabella Chiam: The Actor Gets Candid About the Emotionally Demanding Role of Playing a First-Time Mum
“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.”