About Nine Years Theatre
Nine Years Theatre is a Singapore Mandarin theatre company co-founded by Nelson Chia and Mia Chee. The company focuses on the re-imagination of classic work and the creation of new work. Our Mandarin productions (with English surtitles) have attracted audiences from all backgrounds with their consistency in quality and a cultural sensibility in translation and adaptation.
We believe in actor training, our works are therefore often being described as grounded in the actors' art. We are the only company in Singapore that works with an ensemble of actors that train regularly on a long-term basis via systematic methods. Furthermore, we also share these training methods and philosophy with the community through classes and open training platforms. Under artistic director Nelson’s leadership, the NYT Ensemble is currently developing a performance approach known as the “NYT Actors’ Work”
In order to engage our audiences beyond the productions, the company continues to explore various ways of holding dialogue sessions with them. Our efforts are rooted in the belief that audiences should not merely consume art, but be offered the opportunity to discuss art.
Artistic Director & Co-Founder
A graduate of Goldsmiths College, London (MA in Directing) and the National University of Singapore (BA Theatre Studies), Nelson has headed the Department of Theatre at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, and also lectured at Lasalle College of the Arts and the Theatre Studies Programme at the National University of Singapore. He was the Associate Artistic Director of Toy Factory Productions (2003 - 2013), a Resident Artist with The Theatre Practice (2000 - 2002), an Associate Artist with The Substation (2007 - 2009), and a founding member of the ensemble collective A GROUP OF PEOPLE (2008 - 2012). In 2017, he was awarded a 3-year fellowship with the International Society for Performing Arts in New York. He currently sits on the examination board of the Intercultural Theatre Institute in Singapore.
As a director, he has directed 26 major productions and is known for his detailed and tight ensemble work on stage and his translation and re-imagination of classics in Mandarin. He was the first local artist to be commissioned for a consecutive three years by the Esplanade to present works at the Huayi Chinese Festival of Arts, at which he won Best Director for two consecutive years at the Straits Times' Life! Theatre Awards for Twelve Angry Men (Nine Years Theatre, 2013) and Art (Nine Years Theatre, 2014). His other works include Oleanna, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, An Enemy of the People, Tartuffe, The Lower Depths, Red Demon and Red Sky, to name a few. In 2017, he was commisioned by the Singapore International Festival of Arts to open the festival with Art Studio, a stage adaptation of the novel by local award-winning author Yeng Pway Ngon.
In 2012, Nelson co-founded Nine Years Theatre (NYT) with his wife Mia Chee. Within a few years, NYT has grown to become one of the key players in the scene. Through his work as artistic director, he has not only managed to rejuvenate the Singapore Mandarin theatre scene with his work, but has also raised the awareness of training among the acting community. Since 2008, he has been training regularly in the Suzuki Method of Actor Training and Viewpoints. He studied both methods with SITI Company in New York, and trained in the Suzuki Method and performed in the Toga Festival with the Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT) in Japan. He was later invited by SCOT to collaborate as a member of its international wing but declined the opportunity in order to invest his energy in NYT and the research of actor training.
In 2013, he created the NYT Ensemble (NYTE) with an aim to establish a company of ensemble actors who train regularly in a systematic way, and create work together over an extended period of time. To date, the NYT Ensemble is the only actor ensemble of this nature in Singapore. Under Nelson’s leadership, the NYTE is currently developing a performance approach known as the “NYT Actors’ Work”.
Company Director & Co-Founder
Mia is an actor, theatre producer and theatre educator, also co-founder and Company Director of Nine Year Theatre.
She found her love in performing at the age of 9 when she joined Rediffusion's children radio drama group. Since then, she has been performing in school through her teenage years and eventually graduated with a BA in Theatre Studies and Chinese Language from the National University of Singapore.
In addition to that, Mia was in the 2nd batch of students training under the former Theatre Training and Research Programme (now known as Intercultural Theatre Institute) and studied close to 2 years, before becoming a proud mother to her twin daughters.
She has worked with various theatre companies such as Toy Factory Productions Ltd, Dramabox, The Theatre Practice, The Necessary Stage and TheatreWorks. Recent works include Art Studio, Red Sky, Red Demon, The Lower Depths, Tartuffe, An Enemy of the People, The Bride Always Knocks Twice and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Macau Arts Festival 2013.
Mia studied Viewpoints with SITI Company (New York) and Suzuki Method of Actor Training with SITI and Suzuki Company of Toga (Japan).
Nelson is an actor, director and theatre educator.
For more than two decades, he has been seen on the Singapore stage, taking on numerous major and leading roles in English and Mandarin productions. He is a two-time winner in the Best Actor category in The Straits Times' Life! Theatre Awards for his performance in a 100-minute, one-man show White Soliloquy (Toy Factory Productions, 2010) and A Language Of Their Own (Singapore Arts Festival 2012).
To be a significant theatre company that engages the audiences and artistic community by continuously redefining the ways artists and audiences make and appreciate theatre.
To create high quality stage productions that inspire, engage and entertain the audiences.
In order to fulfil the above, Nine Years Theatre will work towards the following goals:
• To build a company of full-time actors that train regularly and create work in an ensemble environment through the NYT Ensemble Project.
• To study, develop, share and champion the notion and practice of systematic actor training through NYT Developmental Platform.
• To engage the audience in the discussion of art through various projects under the NYT Audience Sharing Platform.
• To continuously develop new modes, methods and models in creation, training and audience engagement.
Nine Years Theatre Ltd. is supported by the National Arts Council under the Major Company Scheme for the period from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2019, and a member of the Singapore Chinese Language Theatre Alliance.
Nine Years Theatre Ltd. is a non-profit organisation with IPC status.
UEN No.: 201221584C
Incorporation date: 31 August 2012
Board of Directors
- Albert Chan
- Mia Chee
- Nelson Chia
- Johnny Ng
- Linda Tan
- Audrey Wong