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Do you have a burning question for Malaysia’s first lady of theatre? Ask Faridah Merican anything online this Saturday

The first lady of Malaysian theatre will be sharing about her life before taking questions from participants. — Picture courtesy of klpac

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PETALING JAYA, July 29 — Always wanted to know about the woman behind the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac)?

You can ask the first lady of Malaysian theatre, Datuk Faridah Merican, just about anything at a Zoom chat session taking place this Saturday.

No topic is off limits, including her husband and partner in crime Joe Hasham, her cats and her greatest fear.

Titled “Jom Sembang with Faridah”, the virtual session is held in conjunction with International Friendship Day for Faridah to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.

Ask the 81-year-old theatre stalwart about her cats. — Picture courtesy of klpac
Ask the 81-year-old theatre stalwart about her cats. — Picture courtesy of klpac

“In the early days, Christmas Island listeners used to tune into Voice of Malaysia network.

“Now that we are online, I hope we can reconnect with old friends we have not seen due to the pandemic and make some new ones. 

“Since we can’t open the doors to our theatre (yet!), we will be opening a virtual one for all of you,” Faridah said in a press release.

The klpac founder will begin the session by sharing a bit about her life and lifelong passions before taking questions from participants.

Attendees may submit questions in advance or post them during the chat session online.

Held in conjunction with International Friendship Day, Faridah wants to reconnect with old friends and make new ones during the pandemic. — Picture courtesy of klpac
Held in conjunction with International Friendship Day, Faridah wants to reconnect with old friends and make new ones during the pandemic. — Picture courtesy of klpac

Born in Penang, the 81-year-old began her acting career by appearing in plays such as Lela Mayang, Tok Perak, Uda dan Dara and Alang Serentak Seribu.

These works defined Malaysian theatre in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

In the early ‘60s, Faridah joined Radio and TV Malaysia and was involved in the formative years of Malaysian advertising.

Today, she sits on the board of directors at Ogilvy & Mather and is also a board member of several other institutions.

Faridah co-founded The Actors Studio her Australian actor and director husband Joe in 1989 in Plaza Putra, Dataran Merdeka that was destroyed in 2003 due to floods which led them to establish klpac.

“Jom Sembang with Faridah” will take place on Saturday, July 31 at 11am and will run for approximately 90 minutes.

Entry is by donation of RM10, RM50 and RM100 that will help keep klpac and The Actors Studio afloat during the Covid-19 crisis that has impacted the arts sector.

Interested participants can register through this link.

Klpac’s upcoming virtual sessions and workshops for the month of August include “S.O.S! Merging Psychological and Dramatic Techniques to Overcome Mental Issues” with psychology lecturer Pang Chia Yee and acclaimed playwright Mark Beau de Silva who is also a Taylor’s University School of Liberal Arts and Sciences senior lecturer.

Parents can also enrol their kids in klpac’s five-day School Holiday Programme “Let’s Explore the Woodlands!” with Teacher Vicky Ang and “Creating Online Theatre: Zeitgeist Circa 2021” with Teacher Jit.

Find out more at klpac.org.

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