Those Who Can't, Teach
Those Who Can’t, Teach turns the spotlight on the madcap lives of teachers and students in a typical secondary school in Singapore. As the teachers struggle daily to nurture and groom, the students prefer to hang out and “chillax”. With upskirting and Facebooking, griping and politicking, school takes on a whole new meaning as the colourful characters struggle to prove that those who can, teach.
Written by Singapore’s most prolific playwright Haresh Sharma, Those Who Can’t, Teach was first staged by The Necessary Stage in 1990 to critical acclaim. Twenty years later, Sharma revisits this classic to revitalise it for the Singapore Arts Festival 2010, transforming it into a powerful portrayal of the pressures and challenges facing teachers (and students) in schools in the 21st century.
“The play throws up questions on the roles of parents, students and teachers, but does not collapse into an impotent tirade against society. The script is joyous. The laughter is warmly wry, not caustic.”
—The Straits Times
“Those Who Can’t, Teach does much to do away with the stereotypes and fallacies of the teaching profession.”
—The Business Times
About the Playwright
Haresh is Resident Playwright of The Necessary Stage and co-Artistic Director of the annual M1 Singapore Fringe Festival. To date, he has written about 100 plays. One of these, Off Centre, was selected by the Ministry of Education as a Literature text for ‘N’ and ‘O’ Levels, and republished by The Necessary Stage in 2006. In 2008, Interlogue: Studies in Singapore Literature, Vol. 6, was published by Ethos Books. Written by Prof David Birch and edited by A/P Kirpal Singh, it presents an extensive investigation of Haresh’s work over the past 20 years. A collection of Haresh’s plays was also translated into Mandarin and published as <<哈里斯·沙玛剧作选>> by Global Publishing. In 2010, Epigram Books published Those Who Can’t, Teach.
Haresh was awarded Best Original Script for Fundamentally Happy, Good People and Gemuk Girls during the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Life! Theatre Awards respectively. In 2010, the abovementioned plays were published by The Necessary Stage in the Trilogy collection. Most recently, two collections of short plays by Haresh, Shorts 1 and Shorts 2, were published as well. In 2011, Haresh became the first non-American to be awarded the prestigious Goldberg Master Playwright by New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. In 2014, Haresh was awarded the prestigious S.E.A. Write Award.
Size: 145 x 210mm
Published: May 2010
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