International Storytelling Festival Singapore 2021

Performance • Adult Audience

ReStory: Celebrating the Feminine in Folklore – Night 2
The Singapore Showcase

Artur Akhmetzyanov, Annaliza Bakri, Nandini Nagpal, Aswani Aswath, A Yagnya, Stephanie Dogfoot, Shivram Gopinath

Sat 26 June 2021
8:00pm – 9:30pm
Play Den, The Arts House (Map)

Advisory (Some Mature Content). Recommended for adult audiences ages 16 years old and above. No admission for ages 15 years old and below.

  • Due to Safe Management Measures, patrons may not be seated together.
  • We seek your cooperation in adhering to safe distancing guidelines for audience seating.

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In celebration of our fifth anniversary, we honour the extraordinary stories of women. Women who are silenced when they choose to honour their roots. Women who use their wits against those who feel entitled to their beauty. Women who uplift their sisters. Women who give men strength. Women who betray their own. Women who are painted as villains, even as their aggressors leave with sympathy.

While we have come a long way, these narratives remain all too familiar today. Through these stories, revisit female archetypes from mythology who revelled in their own skins and manifested power, even when the odds were stacked against them.

Experience the different forms each story can take with not one, but two collections. Each collection features 6 unique stories of betrayal, strength and more performed by oral storytellers, spoken word artists, dancers, writers and poets. Delve into the stories below. Featuring a different set of storytellers and host on each night.

Night 2 is hosted by Artur Akhmetzyanov.

Night 1

Puteri Gunung Ledang (Malay Peninsula)
Annaliza Bakri

There was once a celestial princess (puteri) who lived on Gunung Ledang (Mount Ophir) in Malaya. Having learned of her beauty, the Sultan was determined to marry her. In response, the princess made several demands before she would consent – including a bowl of blood from the Sultan’s son. Will the princess’ requests be enough to keep her suitor at bay?

The Princess and the Fool (Korea)
Nandini Nagpal

Princess Pyeonggang of Goguryeo cried all through her growing years, which infuriated her father, the king. To get her to stop, he did the unthinkable! He threatened to marry her off to Pabo Ondal, the beggar and the fool. Will the strong willed Princess actually succumb to her father’s threat? Find out what happens next.

The Wife Who Didn’t Eat (Japan)
Aswani Aswath

Female ghosts have a significant place in Japanese folklore, predominantly condemned to an afterlife as villainous ‘yokai’. But what often goes unheard are their tragic origins. In this folktale, an unmarried man’s wish for a spouse who does not eat is granted. Yet, the food supplies in his house start to disappear, leading him to uncover a monstrous secret.

The Dragon Tamer (Japan)
A Yagnya

Facing the small island of Enoshima in Japan sits the Dragon’s Mouth Hill. Legend has it that the hill was once a five-headed dragon called Gyozuru that plagued the villagers by destroying homes and eating their children. Accompanied by the plucked strings of the koto, learn how the goddess Benzaiten, guided the fiery dragon to transform and atone for his sins.

The Toilet Goddess (China)
Stephanie Dogfoot

When women gather in toilets, to cry and befriend each other, they invoke the spirit of Zigu, the toilet goddess who makes them feel safe. But before she found her squad, she haunted unsuspecting toilet visitors out of anger for her unjust death. In this adaptation of the Chinese legend, celebrate sisterhood and empathy through toilet confessions.

Surpanakha and a Mutilation of Our Understanding (India)
Shivram Gopinath

Surpanakha's failed seduction of Rama and Lakshmana resulted in her brother Ravana igniting a war. As characters recount that moment in The Ramayana, explore the ethics of alleged seduction, the gaslighting of Surpanakha and her subsequent mutilation. Bear witness to the dynamics of two men waging war over a “wronged” woman.


Photography & Video Recording Rules:

  • Unauthorised video and audio recording is not permitted for this event.
  • Photography without flash and without disrupting the artists/event is permitted within reason.

Admittance Rules:

  • All patrons are required to purchase tickets for admission.
  • Admission is subject to proof of tickets purchased.
  • Latecomers advisory: All latecomers must wait for suitable cue for seating.
  • No refunds, no exchange of tickets.


Artur Akhmetzyanov
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Artur Akhmetzyanov (Singapore)

Artur Akhmetzyanov is the winner of the 2018 Bangkok International Comedy Competition and Singapore’s only Russian comedian. He has performed live in Asia and Australia and has opened for international comedians including Neal Brennan and Jinx Yeo. He has been a part of festivals including Magners International Comedy Festival and Singapore Comedy Fringe. He also speaks and does workshops on using comedy in public speaking and brand storytelling.

Annaliza Bakri
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Annaliza Bakri (Singapore)

Annaliza Bakri holds an MA from the Department of Malay Studies at NUS. Her research interests include the intersection between translation, history and humanity. She edited and translated Sikit-Sikit Lama-lama Jadi Bukit (2017), a poetry anthology with contributions from Singapore’s best Malay poets, and she co-translated Alvin Pang’s ‘What Gives Us Our Names’ (2011) into the Malay – ‘Yang Menamakan Kita’ (2019).

Nandini Nagpal
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Nandini Nagpal (Singapore)

Nandini Nagpal is a passionate storyteller who performs a broad range of stories for adults, teenagers, and children at storytelling festivals, public events, libraries and schools across Singapore. She conducts storytelling workshops and has been a workshop presenter at conferences. Apart from being a storyteller, Nandini is a mindfulness trainer and coach and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in counselling.

Aswani Aswath
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Aswani Aswath (Singapore)

Aswani Aswath is an educator and a playwright. Her plays include Angry Indian Woman – The Trial for the Singapore Writers Festival and Locker Room God for the Esplanade’s Kalaa Utsavam. Most recently, was mentored by Haresh Sharma as part of The Necessary Stage’s Playwrights’ Cove.

A Yagnya
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A Yagnya (Singapore)

A Yagnya is a collaborative theatre maker and Japanese translator. She wrote Between 5 Cows and the Deep Blue Sea… which was read at Esplanade’s Raga 2020, and developed the Zoom play, Hi, Can You Hear Me?, under the mentorship of Haresh Sharma as part of The Necessary Stage’s Playwright Cove. Yagnya was also the devising playwright and co-director for subTITLED 1.0 and actress for Goddesses of Words: Angry Indian Women.

Stephanie Dogfoot
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Stephanie Dogfoot (Singapore)

Stephanie Dogfoot (she/they) is an award-winning spoken word poet and stand-up comedian. She has been featured at the George Town Literary Festival, Melbourne Spoken Word Festival among many others, and has toured internationally with her poetry. She wrote Roadkill for Beginners (Math Paper Press). She ran Story Slam Singapore, a true life storytelling event that ran from 2014 to 2018, and currently runs a poetry night called Spoke & Bird.

Shivram Gopinath
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Shivram Gopinath (Singapore)

Born in Chennai, Shivram Gopinath is a poet who has called Singapore a home since 2002. His work has been heard at Singapore Writers Festival, Jaipur Literary Festival and more. He teaches workshops structured around poetic identity at the Haque Centre of Acting and Creativity, and is a twice-winning Singapore National Poetry Slam champion. He is currently the Creative Director of UltraSuperNew Singapore, an advertising agency and art gallery.