Juno Hoay-Fern

Do you often go to the theater?


Sadly, no.

What play would you never write?

Tell us about your first play. What motivated you to write it?

The first draft was titled ENTER EVER EXIT, originally written for a playwrighting workshop, The New Play Project by The Actor's Studio Malaysia/Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre with Tung Jit Yang as facilitator. This now exists as PLAYS WITHOUT WORDS & ACTION published/produced as a staged reading by TAS/KLPAC as well.

Did you learn to write plays?

I wasn't taught a particular method but I was guided by Tung Jit Yang and the other actors/directors and playwrights I’ve worked with, Adiwijaya Iskandar, Joseph Ng Zhen Ye, Terence Toh, Ridhwan Saidi. In other words, they would gently... politely... tactfully let me know whenever I was being STUPID.

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on a triptych with Tung Jit Yang, Sandee Chew and Theyvapaalan S Jayaratnam. We will be debuting these three plays as a staged reading/performance at the Pacific Modern Theatre Festival - Тихоокеанский фестиваль читок современной драматургии, Метадрама in Vladivostok, June 2019. I am also hoping my LORD AND SAVIOUR Ridhwan Saidi will agree to direct a scene from one of my plays for his Playlets Festival - Pesta Playlet in May 2019.

Can you recall the brightest episode from your childhood?

I was happy anytime I wasn’t in school.

Can you advise interesting playwrights and plays?

I wonder who uploaded so many of Boris Charmatz’s works on porn sites.

What do you think of Shakespeare?

Some years ago I was a Shakespeare fanatic.

What problems do contemporary Malaysian playwrights face?


Are there topics in the Malaysia that are not taken up in drama?

On the surface, yes but I think we’re working deliriously fast to remedy that.

What do you think about Russia?

I have great respect for Russian theatre/performing arts. I hope I don’t disappoint by comparison.

Are there any social lifts (opportunities) for playwrights in the Malaysia?

Yes, BUT ...

Tell us about your creative plans.

Triptych this year ... large scale physical/landscape theatre, another triptych next year ... words as manifesto. Fuck (sur)realistic dialogue of any kind, I give up. If I can’t write like Ridhwan Saidi there’s no point even trying. My other creative plans include figuring out: how to live a dignified life with a mere monthly budget of RM___, how to survive on ___ hours of shit sleep, how would we wield the Bataillean informe in theatre?

How do you write a play? Process, algorithm, mechanism.

I think my perpetual desire to evade writing my dissertation fuels my playwrighting. I wish I were joking. I don’t think I have a method, I structure my plays then I write, edit. I need monstrous amounts of caffeine to function. I ask for help from director/actors. Maybe I’ll have a mental breakdown then swear I’m quitting theatre. I’ll go to the playground and get drunk. Adiwijaya Iskandar will talk me off the ledge.

Have you ever written a play to order?

No. What sort of psycho… would commission a play from me… anyway...

Have you ever worked on a play together with a director or a theater?

Have I written a play with/for a director/company, no. Have I written a play with the support of a director/company, yes.

Is the contemporary play in demand in the Malaysia?

Yes, BUT ...

Tell us about your daily life

I don’t know how to answer this question. Life Is a Dream, Pedro Calderón de la Barca: ‘What’s life? A frenzied, blurry haze. What’s life? Not anything it seems. A shadow. Fiction filling reams. All we possess on earth means nil, for life’s a dream, think what you will, and even all our dreams are dreams.’

Tell a few words about your "Plays without words and action".

The process: disaster, disaster, sheer fucking disaster. Fear and loathing. Alright this works now. I don’t know what I’m doing. Great, the deadline is here. Great … great. Oh, people actually showed up to watch the play. Oh, Jenya likes it too.

How are you represented on the internet? (links)

Someday I’ll have a website … until then, ooihf.juno@gmail.com