Not Just Child’s Play: The Theatre Practice Launches the Inaugural Berries Chinese Theatre Festival: Family Edition

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Searching for June holiday activities? The Theatre Practice (Practice), Singapore’s longest standing bilingual theatre institution, and Berries World of Learning School is excited to announce the launch of the inaugural Berries Chinese Theatre Festival: Family Edition, happening from 18 May to 9 June. The festival includes two theatrical productions and two interactive experiences — suitable for the whole family!

Rediscovering the Magic of our World through the Eyes of a Child

For almost six decades, Practice has championed arts education with a play-centric approach, while creating multi-faceted opportunities to expose young minds to Chinese language and culture. Nurturing generations of young minds through its Theatre For Young Audiences (TYA) productions, long-term classes and school programmes, Practice has been recognised by the National Arts Council Singapore as a pioneer organisation under the Enhanced Arts Education Programme (NAC-AEP).

Extending this legacy into a family-oriented theatre festival is a natural next step. Curated to encourage intergenerational bonding and mutual learning, the festival is positioned towards families rather than children specifically. “Children are naturally curious and often find unexpected discoveries that grown-ups miss because we’re not paying attention. In fact, many of us become locked into certain mindsets when we get older,” notes Kuo Jian Hong, Artistic Director of The Theatre Practice. “The festival is an invitation to rediscover the magic of our world through the eyes of a child. Big and small kids alike — let’s get to know each other, and grow together through play!”

Making Mandarin Fun Again: Get Grooving with Two Interactive TYA Musical Productions

The wildly popular Here Comes the Breakfast Kakis: Imagine Our Songs! series returns once again with two stories: Don’t Catch Me and Going Home, stories from the series’ pandemic-era Digital Theatre edition now given a fresh remake for the physical stage. Featuring familiar nursery rhymes like Poplar Tree and Catching Loaches, the interactive production is guaranteed to have kids, parents and grandparents alike all singing along! Additionally, audiences can look forward to a pre-show arts and craft session where they’ll be tasked with creating parts of the set, using foraged and recycled materials.

More than a performance, the Imagine Our Songs series is an innovative approach to help young children embrace the Chinese language at a tender age. Part of Practice’s long-running The Nursery Rhymes Project (which also include music albums and illustrated lyric books), the Imagine Our Songs productions have been seen by an international audience of over 20,000 since 2017.

The festival’s second production is a much anticipated restaging of The wee Question Mark and the Adventurer, which won Best Production for the Young at the The Straits Times’ Life! Theatre Awards 2016. The production’s original creative team include director Kuo Jian Hong, Mandopop lyricist Xiaohan and composer Julian Wong — who are also three of the creative minds behind Practice’s critically acclaimed mainstage musicals Lao Jiu: The Musical, If There’re Seasons…, and Liao Zhai Rocks!.

The family musical invites audiences to join intrepid storytellers wee Question Mark, Comma and Exclamation Mark as they spin a nautical tale of Mai Mai’s adventure to find her father. Combining wacky storytelling, original music and audience participation, the highly interactive play-within-a-play is a joyful work that tackles difficult questions and ably discusses failure through the series’ signature light touch.

A Culture of Play: Artful Participatory Experiences for the Whole Family

Beyond theatrical productions, the festival also includes two parent-child experiences, which can be combined for a full day out!

The first is Play With: The More We Move Together!, conducted by veteran Practice Education Project Children’s Courses instructor Ang Lay Hoon, affectionately known as Teacher Red. Informed by her 20 years of teaching experience in the movement and arts field, the 2-hour experience combines music, movement, games and crafts to unlock the imagination and creativity of the young and young at heart alike. Parents and children are asked to cast aside their inhibitions, embrace silliness and get to know each other as equals, in a different context! With her regular Play In Arts classes fully subscribed with long waiting lists, this is a rare opportunity to experience Practice’s play-centric approach to Arts Education.

The festival’s other experience, Play With: Pickles!, is a family-friendly version of Practice Tuckshop’s long-running community pickling programme Pickle Pop-Up. “Cooking can be a form of artistic expression,” says Practice Associate Artist and Pickle Pop-Up creator Ang Xiao Ting. “At the same time, pickling is an easy entrypoint to teaching young ones about cool science concepts, and to explore the different ways we can preserve food and reduce food waste.” Featuring child-friendly recipes for pickles, jams and preserves, and requiring zero cooking experience (for kids AND adults), the highly interactive experience is also a great way to get the entire family comfortable in the kitchen.

Nurturing Young Minds and Inspiring the Next Generation

Established in 1993, festival title sponsor Berries World of Learning School has a long history of developing children’s Chinese language proficiency at the nursery, kindergarten and primary school levels. They have also been a long-term supporter of Practice, while Practice has also participated in their Growing Up Parent-Child Night Bazaar (2018, 2023).

“Over the years, Berries World of Learning School has been dedicated to creating an enriching Chinese language environment, transcending traditional boundaries, and extending Chinese language learning beyond the confines of the classroom,” explains Berries’ Managing Director Ms Wynne Li. “I am also committed to integrating life and art, offering both children and adults multifaceted experiences with the Chinese language. May this festival spark joy and wonder in the hearts of our children as they embark on an unforgettable journey. Together, let us unite our efforts in inspiring the children of today, to light up the world of tomorrow!”

Tickets for Berries Chinese Theatre Festival: Family Edition are now on sale now! For more programme information, ticket discounts and get your tickets, please go to

Featured image credit to The Theatre Practice


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