homas Lim Ting Wen had his dramatic moments played in public when he was a small boy. On his first day in kindergarten, he kept crying and asked the Principal to let him say “one last thing” to his parents. Many would have laughed at his crying antics but this was possibly the pre-cursor for this boy to take on the role of a dramatist in the future.
After taking his GCE ‘O’ Levels at Catholic High School, Thomas joined a top junior college but left after a month when he felt that the theatre studies subject did not go beyond the artistic merit of this art form. He did his research and discovered that the Diploma in Applied Drama and Psychology offered by Singapore Polytechnic (SP) uses drama as an outreach tool to reach out to communities, besides having the right combination of practical training, textbook knowledge and psychology. He instinctively knew that this course, the first to be offered in Asia at tertiary level, was the right choice. With his aggregate score of six points, joining SP was a breeze.
It was Thomas’ active participation in drama projects during his secondary school days that fuelled his passion for drama. He was the President for the School’s English Drama Group and even took part in two Singapore Youth Festival Competitions.
At SP, he had his hands in several applied drama projects such as the Drama-in-Education workshop that he and his course mates conceptualised and conducted at the Singapore Art Museum to secondary school students. He counts H, a devised piece he directed and staged with his course mates at Celebrate Drama! 2009, organised by the Singapore Drama Educators’ Association, as his proudest achievement to date.
In 2010, Thomas was selected to attend the International Drama Educators’ Association World Congress in Brazil. The exposure inspired him to think deep into using drama to influence the communities around him.
Throughout the course, he got to work closely with inwardBOUND, a drama school whose founder was the Director of his secondary school’s English Drama Group. So attached was he to the School that he chose it as his internship company. Now, after graduation, he is still there – as a drama trainer.
All of these experiences and exposures, in addition to Thomas’ ever-growing love and passion for drama, helped to groom him into becoming the top graduate for his course. The drama does not stop here. Thomas plans to get a degree in drama from one of the world’s top universities offering this programme. Thereafter, he will become an applied drama practitioner working with different communities, especially youth and the marginalised groups.
Toh Chin Chye Gold Medal
School of Communication, Arts and Social Sciences Gold Medal
Shell Companies in Singapore Prize