About

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Photo credit: Wilfred Weegee Photography

That’s me. Not always so immaculately lit, and not always so grumpy.

I’m a Singapore-born, currently London-based, writer and performer.

Most of my work is in the theatre, where I work as a playwright; though I sometimes direct, sometimes act and and sometimes dabble in sound-design, composing and lyric-writing.

Below is the bio I use for programme booklets and grant applications.

Joel Tan is a Singapore playwright and performer. His plays have found homes in a wide range of Singapore stages, from varsity theatres to main stage seasons. Recent productions of his plays include Tango (Pangdemonium, 2017), Cafe (The Twenty-Something Theatre Festival, 2016), Mosaic (The M1 Fringe Festival, 2015), and The Way We Go (Checkpoint Theatre, 2014). His work has received acclaim for its range and complex insight into contemporary Singapore, and many of his plays are collected in Joel Tan: Plays Volume 1, published by Checkpoint Theatre, where he is an Associate Artist. 

Joel frequently collaborates inter-disciplinarily, and has created performances with artists from visual art, poetry, and dance, most notably The Nature Museum (Singapore International Festival of the Arts, 2017), a museological performance tour created with visual artist Robert Zhao, and You Are Here (2016), a theatrical spoken-word memoir written and performed by Pooja Nansi, which he directed and dramaturged. Joel is also an essayist, and his non-fiction work has been published by Art Review Asia, POSKOD Singapore, Esquire Singapore, and The Substation Singapore. 

Joel is currently pursuing his Masters in Dramatic Writing at Drama Centre London, based in Central Saint Martins. 

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