Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Meet the Awesome Mano Maniam!

Media Studies Students (HELP University) meet the Awesome Mano Maniam!
Moderated by Deepak Menon

Date: Wednesday, 18th January 2012
Time: 10am - 1130am
Venue: Main Block, LS6

Theatre goers will recognize Mano Maniam from his various roles on stage, TV and films and as a voice over artiste for animation and documentary films. A man of many talents, Mano also teaches acting in universities and at The Actors Studio Academy Theatre for seniors. He was cast together with Ming Lee, in the original production of “At the Plank Bridge” in Ohio University and in New York City in 2001, and in the off-Broadway production in 2003. He played a one-off one-man abridged version of the play at the Ministry of Cultures Theatre Week in 2004. This KL debut production of At the Plank Bridge reunites him with Ming and Kannan Menon, and should resonate with Malaysian theatre goers who can recall the Japanese Occupation and its aftermath.

Read more:

His Recent Work

AT A PLANK BRIDGE tells the story of two men during World War II, who meet accidentally on a back country road in Malaya 1945, just after the surrender of the Japanese occupation army.

Fook Leong, a Chinese middle school teacher, who is riding along a road on his bicycle, discovers a large handcart next to a bench on the road. When he stops to examine the cart, he is attacked by Chandran, who thinks that Fook Leong is a bandit.
While their initial confrontation is easily resolved, they discover very quickly, that there is a far deeper conflict between the two of them, as their destinies collide…

Date & Time
: Jan 17 (Preview),  Jan 18 – 20 @ 8.30pm,  Jan 21 @ 3pm & 8.30pm
Venue: Pentas 2, klpac
Ticket Price
: RM43 (Adults) RM23 (Students, Disabled, TAS cardholders, UNHCR cardholders)

The Cast: Mano Maniam, Ming Lee
Written and Directed by
: Kannan Menon

Associate Producer:
Mano Maniam

Executive Producer:
Dato Faridah Merican

In February & June, Mano Maniam will be  facilitating a course under The Actors Studio Academy for seniors with time on their hands and passion in their hearts. Read more about Theatre for Seniors here: http://www.klpac.org/?p=5295

Historical Background
AT A PLANK BRIDGE was the first Malaysian play to ever receive a professional production by a New York theater as part of its regular season. The play is based on the intersection of events during and immediately after the WW II, when Malaya (and Singapore) which were British colonies, were occupied by the Japanese. After subduing Malaya, and reaching an accommodation with the Siamese government, the Japanese hoped to push through Burma into India. To do so, they decided to build a railway stretching from west of Bangkok into Burma. In order to complete this railway, the Japanese resorted to forced labor.

Forgotten is that fact that the Japanese conscripted, hired or forced as many as 200,000 Asian workers to also work on this railway which became known as the Death Railway.
As bad as things were for the Allied servicemen, they were infinitely worse for the Asian laborers, many illiterate, without a common language, and basically leaderless. It is estimated that as many as 150,000 of them may have died.  The play also makes reference to the anti-Japanese resistance in Malaya.