A Man Waiting For The Leaves To Fall

A man waiting for the leaves to fall is a digital performative narration that chronicles the pivotal events in a man’s life. This 20-minute long digital production explores the relationship of the film medium within a new theatre paradigm where theatrical design takes center stage as characters.

The film focuses on the theatrical design language intersecting with screen medium to create a new experience, in the absence of dialogue and actors.

“I think the best way to explore the evolution of Theatre would be to go back to what we love about theatre - telling the story.” says Judee Tan, director.

Helmed by director Judee Tan, A Man Waiting For The Leaves To Falling examines themes surrounding broken and lost communication, the societal gaps caused by modern society’s rapid evolution that force generations and social tribes apart.

No dialogue. No actors. How do we present a narrative that is driven by theatrical design choices and the camera?

We invite you to join us on this journey of creating a new expression of film and theatre.

  • Judee Tan
  • Judee Tan
  • Judee Tan
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    drama, theatre
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 18, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Chinese, English, Mandarin Chinese
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Judee Tan

Judee Tan is an experienced actor with a history of working in the entertainment industry skilled in acting, screenwriting, stage direction and musical theatre. Her acting credits include “Titoudao: based on a true wayang artiste” and “The Noose” on Mediacorp Ch5, “ Boeing Boeing" by Wild Rice, and “Meenah and Cheenah” by Dream Academy. Her directing credits include The Noose & Kakis Stage Show (2016) and select theatre shows staged by secondary schools participating in Singapore Youth Festival. She has also assisted directors such as Goh BoonTeck in Glass Anatomy The Musical (2013, Esplanade theatre and 2014, Shanghai Cultural Center). Her first digital production, ‘A Man Waiting for the Leaves to Fall’, combines the filmic medium and theatre design elements to tell a story, sans actors and dialogue.

Connect with Judee on @judeetan or https://www.facebook.com/Judeelicious.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Dear Audience,

In the middle of 2020, COVID 19 fell upon us and many of us freelance arts practitioners suddenly found themselves out of jobs. It struck me then that while the move towards digital projects created job opportunities for actors, a special group of people who created the magical world of live theatre on stage was neglected. I am referring to creative designers in theatre, and I started to dream about conceptualising a show that featured them as the key actors.

I also wanted to subvert the notion that film can only be used as a functional recording device in the theatre. In the early days, there was only set and costume design, no such thing as fresnels, speakers or multimedia to speak of. If we can embrace technology like lights, sound and multimedia as basic design elements, why can’t the camera then be seen as the newest, 6th design element?

Progression of theatre has always been about enhancing and building upon existing experiences audiences have.

Now, we can’t have people coming into the theatre space, then I shall reverse the process and bring theatre to audiences. Of course it’s because of the current pandemic, but that’s how theatre has always been - it evolves with time.

The designers and myself agreed unanimously to look at local stories, and we also decided to create something moving and indistinguishably us, Singaporeans. We started to conceptualise the story by identifying themes that resonated with us. 

In the midst of all this, my Papa passed away. I found myself writing about him, my relationship with him, and what his death meant to me. My siblings and I had always been Papa’s pride and joy. Although life together was not always a bed of roses, the love he had for us was palpable - something I miss deeply.

This story starts at the peak of his life, chronicling a man’s relationship between him and his children, the world around him, and himself. Threading together milestone events in his life, we bring you on this poetic visual and aural journey. 

When we embarked on the creative designing process, the very first challenge my designers and I had was to think about how we wanted to represent the characters sans actors. What resulted was a main feature set piece that personifies Papa, and distinct objects to represent his children. 

We are all used to seeing actors on stage. But what if a show had no actors? 

I dedicate this show to anyone who has ever faced existential loneliness, been impacted by inter-generational and social gaps caused by modern society’s frantic progress, endured grief and loss, felt powerless against the inevitability of time, and had moments where solace, respite and beauty can only be found in memories.

As this experience is meant to be intimate, I recommend you watch it alone, in the comfort and sanctity of your own private space. And it is my wish that this journey draws you back…

…to yourself. 

With love and gratitude,