Li Xie is a theatre practitioner and mask maker. She performs, writes, and directs, and has taught acting/movement at LASALLE College of the Arts and School of the Arts Singapore (SOTA). She was formerly the associate artist of local Chinese theatre company, Drama Box, as well as mentor tutor for NUS Chinese Drama.
She has trained with Odin Teatret, Biomechanics by Bodganov Gennadi (Russia), Alexander Technique by Niamh Dowling (UK), Commedia Dell'arte by Antonio Fava (Italy) and Theatre of the Oppressed workshops by Headlines Theatre (Canada), and has learnt mask making from Donato Sartori (Italy).
Formerly Associate Artistic Director of Drama Box (Singapore) for community theatre, Li Xie has directed and facilitated forum theatre pieces, working with youth and prisoners from Selarang Drug Rehabilitation Centre. She has also directed, written and facilitated forum pieces dealing with issues of SARS, AIDS, domestic violence, and problem gambling. In 2002, she was invited to work with Headlines Theatre in Vancouver (Canada) in a series of forum theatre workshops with youth. Since then, she has been actively involved in community outreach, including working with female inmates to devise and write storybooks for their children.
Her works include: “ShitHole” (as writer and director); anti-war solo performance “Heaven”, in conjunction with the International Lysistrata Project; “The Magnanimous Cuckold” (as writer and director), inspired by Meyerhold’s biomechanics; and the re-staging of critically-acclaimed one-woman performance “The vaginaLOGUE”, which was voted the Best Play of the Year (2000). Her other work, “House of Sins” was also nominated for Best Script and won her a Best Director award at the 2009 Straits Times LIFE! Theatre Awards.
In 2003, Li Xie was invited to the Hong Kong International Sars Festival to perform an original solo mask work, Hell, which was also included as a guest performance by the International Magdalene Project 2003 (Singapore).
In 2004, she created the first mockumentary news theatre “Newsbusters!!!” in Singapore, which has toured in many communities in Singapore since. The work was also one of the opening performances at the new Drama Centre Black Box in November 2005.
In 2006, Li Xie was awarded the Young Artist Award by the National Arts Council, and was also awarded best supporting actress in the Straits Times LIFE! Theatre Awards. She has also been nominated twice as best actress and best original script in Straits Times LIFE! Theatre awards. In November 2006, she was one of the nominees for “Great Women of Our Time” by Women’s Weekly magazine.
In 2007, she was selected by the National Arts Council of Singapore to stage the late Kuo Pao Kun’s “Little White Sailing Boat” at the Singapore Arts Festival; the new version of the play won raving reviews from audiences and theatre critics. Her first book of poetry and paintings was published at the same time.
In 2010, she directed and adapted the late Kuo Pao Kun’s “The Coffin is Too Big for the Hole”, for Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts, presented by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. She has collaborated with renowned Hong Kong experimental theatre company Zuni Icosahedron to stage “Hundred Years of Solitude” at festivals in Hong Kong and in Singapore. She also conceptualised and created site-specific mystery theatre, “BODY X” for Singapore Writers Festival at The Arts House.
In 2012, Li Xie set up SOBX - School of Biomechanics for Theatre, after 10 years of research, teaching and application, incorporating the Heart Sutra into the biomechanics training system for the first time. She was invited to Taiwan and Macau to teach a series of masterclasses.
Her recent participatory project “The Lesson” (SIFA 2015) has toured Macau, Taiwan and Rotterdam.
As an experienced voice talent and radio play producer, she was also the creative director of the audiobook “A Symphony of Our Voices” by the Ministry of Education, Committee to Promote Chinese Learning in 2017. Her interactive online creation “WHUT Happened?!” which fuses both radio and theatre, was awarded a digital creation grant by National Arts Council of Singapore in 2020.
Coming up at SIFA
Step into The School, and join fellow participants on a series of communal assemblies, group lessons, solo journeys, unexpected assignments, and strange encounters across multiple sites in Stamford Arts Centre. Just like school as we think we know it, yet nothing like it at all.