A hotel in Singapore is opened at the turn of the century, when the island is still a jewel in the crown of the British Empire. Each day, new faces appear and swiftly disappear – guests and staff alike.
Every ten years, we check in to meet the hotel’s residents: a Cantonese nanny, an Indian spiritualist, a Malay film star, Japanese soldiers, transgender sex workers, wedding guests, suspected terrorists, and more. They live out the pivotal moments in their personal lives, as empires die and new ones are born from their ashes.
Even though the chambermaids clean up after them, readying the room for the next guests, traces of the past persist, and time reveals its cyclical nature. Ghosts communicate with the living, doubles are separated by decades, and a single moment of decision haunts the generations that come after.
An immersive, multi-generational epic, HOTEL explores the notions of empire, nationhood, migration and identity against the backdrop of a shrinking world. Spanning a century and performed over close to five hours in nine languages, this ground-breaking theatrical event highlights the eclectic energies born from the collisions between the old and the new, East and West, tradition and modernity.
About the Playwrights
Alfian Sa’at is the Resident Playwright of Wild Rice. He was the winner of the Golden Point Award for Poetry and the National Arts Council (NAC) Singapore Young Artist Award for Literature in 2001. His publications include Collected Plays One, Two and Three, the poetry collections One Fierce Hour and A History of Amnesia, and the short-story collections Corridor and Malay Sketches. Alfian has been nominated 12 times for Best Original Script at the Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards. He has won it in 2005 for Landmarks, Nadirah (2010), Kakak Kau Punya Laki (Your Sister’s Husband, 2014), and Hotel (with Marcia Vanderstraaten, 2016).
Marcia Vanderstraaten obtained her MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU Tisch School of the Arts Asia. She previously served as assistant director for Wild Rice’s The House Of Bernarda Alba (2014). Some of her other works include Micromanage Overwork Exaggerate (The Common Folk, 2014), a semi-docudrama on teachers and the Singapore education system and Mind Map of Love (Skinned Knee Productions, 2015), a dinner-theatre show staged in collaboration with ZOTT’s True Alps that was based on the novel of the same title by Christian Zott. She was an associate artist with Wild Rice from 2014 to 2016.