Jean Tay graduated in 1997 with a double-degree in creative writing and economics from Brown University, USA. Plays produced include Senang (2014), Sisters (2013), Boom (2008, 2009, 2012), Everything but the Brain (2005, 2007, 2013), Plunge (2001, 2009), Hopper’s Women (co-written with Cindy Koh, 2000), The Knot (1999) and Water from the Well (1998). She has also written the books for musicals The Admiral’s Odyssey (2005), Man of Letters (2006) and Pinocchio (2010). Her plays have been performed in Singapore, the US, the UK, and Italy. She attended the prestigious monthlong International Playwriting Residency in 2007, organised by the Royal Court Theatre in London and has also participated in LaMama’s International Playwrights’ Retreat in Umbria, Italy in 2010. In 2000, her play The Knot was awarded first prize for Action Theatre’s 10-minute Play Competition and selected as a finalist for the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s 10-minute Play Contest. She has been nominated four times for Best Original Script for the Life! Theatre Awards, and won for Everything But the Brain in 2006. For her fiction, she was awarded the Weston Prize for Fiction from Brown University, as well as the first and third prizes for the National Arts Council’s Golden Point Short Story competition in 1995 and 2001 respectively. Tay’s most recent projects include being scriptwriter for the 2015 National Day Parade Golden Jubilee celebration and collaborating with Drama Box on the verbatim theatre piece It Won’t Be Too Long: The Cemetery for the Singapore International Arts Festival 2015. She presented her latest play, The Shape of a Bird at the M1 Fringe Festival 2016. She was attached to the Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) as resident playwright from 2006– 2009, and has been helming SRT’s Young Company Writing Programme since 2012. She was also writer-in-residence at the Nanyang Technological University in 2013 and is currently an adjunct lecturer in playwriting there. Her plays Everything but the Brain and Boom have been published by Epigram Books, and Everything but the Brain is currently used as an ‘O’ and ‘N’ Level literature text for secondary school students. Tay is the founding Artistic Director of Saga Seed Theatre, set up in 2015 to bring Singaporean stories to the stage, and provide a platform to showcase and nurture local talent.
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