NIE Visiting Artist Programme

The NIE Visiting Artist Programme is one of NIE’s signature programmes designed to develop the arts, and arts education in Singapore.

The programme was created with the intention to invite professional artists from the visual arts, music and drama, to be part of the NIE community. Every semester, NIE will host a local or international artist for four months. During their residency here, these industry professionals will teach undergraduate or postgraduate modules related to their areas of expertise, and conduct engaging workshops, masterclasses or projects. The programmes are open to all staff and students from NIE and NTU, as well as in-service teachers. The undergraduate elective modules taught by the visiting artist are open to all NIE and NTU students.
The Visiting Artist Programme will prove to be an exciting and enriching opportunity for the NIE and NTU community as staff and students will have the opportunity to interact, learn from, and collaborate with renowned industry experts in new works of art. The programme hopes to nurture new artistic talent and develop the potential of young artist educators, and art lovers.

For the August 2017 semester, NIE is proud to host veteran theatre-maker and current Nominated Member of Parliament for the Arts, Mr. Kok Heng Leun. Heng Leun is the Artistic Director of Drama Box, a ground-breaking Chinese-language and bilingual theatre company in Singapore. He is also a prominent figure in the Singapore theatre scene and has a career that spans over 30 years. In that time, he has been noted for his cutting-edge and provocative work as a director, playwright and dramaturg. Some of his notable directorial works include Happy (2005), Drift (2007), Trick or Threat (2007), and Manifesto (2016). His explorations with multi-disciplinary engaged arts has produced works like Project Mending Sky (2008, 2009, 2012), a performance series on environmental issues, Both Sides, Now (2013, 2014), a project that seeks to normalise end-of-life conversations and It Won’t Be Too Long (2015), a performance project that engaged issues of space and memory in Singapore. For his contributions to theatre and the arts in Singapore, Heng Leun was awarded the National Arts Council’s Singapore Young Artist Award in 2000, and a National Arts Council Cultural Fellowship in 2014.


The modules that Heng Leun will teach in the August 2017 semester are:

  • AAU30B: Performance and Production: Rehearsing, Staging, Responding

    This is offered only to final year NIE drama students.

  • ADP26M: Applied Theatre
    This is an open elective, without pre-requisite, offered to all NIE and NTU undergraduate students.

Please note that both NTU and NIE course registration portals will show this as a restricted elective. As such, to register for the ADP26M, you will need to do so manually, i.e. a manual registration. Please complete the attached form found below and hand it to the Visual and Performing Arts Administration Office (NIE 3-03-51A). Once this is done, you will receive an email from NIE’s Office of Academic Administration and Services (OAAS) to inform you about the outcome of your registration. Please note that registration for this module is on a first-come-first served basis and that NTU students who have already elected to the ‘Minor Study in Drama’ will have priority in enrolment.


Heng Leun will also be conducting a Masterclass on ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ with a focus on ‘Forum Theatre’. The full-day masterclass will take place from 4-6 October 2017, 10am-5pm, and is open to all staff and students of NIE and NTU.

Pioneered by renowned Brazilian theatre director and practitioner Augusto Boal, ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ is a theatrical form that employs a series of techniques and games that motivate and empower audiences while drawing attention to the power of performance to shape social and political realities. Heng Leun will focus on ‘Forum Theatre’ – a short play or scene that dramatizes a situation with a particular oppressive ending. Audiences are then invited to re-shape the ending so that the victims in the play become liberated. In this Masterclass, Heng Leun will share with us the history, contexts and possibilities of Theatre of the Oppressed as he relates his experiences doing Forum Theatre in Singapore. Involving an integration of both theory and practice, he will introduce the considerations and approaches to creating Forum Theatre and co-create a forum piece with participants.

There are only 20 spaces for this workshop so early registration is advised. The Masterclass is free for all students but there will be a nominal fee of $150 for all other participants.

Please email the VPA office at for registration and payment (if applicable) details.

Please download and fill up the forms below: