“A Good Death” as Art and Arts-based Intervention

Medical Humanities - 2024-03-13
13 Mar 2024 11.00 AM - 12.30 PM Alumni, Current Students, Industry/Academic Partners, Prospective Students, Public
Organised by:
Daniel Kong

This sharing will be about the creation process for A Good Death, a 2018 Esplanade’s The Studios production, and its afterlife as arts-based intervention at the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre. A Good Death follows Dr. Leong, a palliative care doctor, as she journeys with her patients through their final days while navigating family relationships and caregiving for her father with dementia. The play was birthed from a year’s worth of research by playwright Faith Ng, who shadowed and interviewed palliative care doctors, nurses, and specialists, as well as patients and their families, and further developed in the rehearsal and devising process with actress Karen Tan and director Chen Yingxuan. It was last presented as a dramatised reading at Assisi Hospice in 2023.
Chen Yingxuan is a Singapore artist. Her directorial works include Tender Submission (Checkpoint Theatre, 2023), A Grand Design (Checkpoint Theatre, 2020), which she dramaturged with Huzir Sulaiman, Mergers and Accusations (Esplanade’s The Studios 2019), A Good Death (Esplanade’s The Studios 2018), and The Car (Esplanade’s Feed Your Imagination 2017), among others.

Yingxuan is also a screenwriter whose short film, Move Out Notice (2015), was nominated for Best Script at the Singapore Short Film Awards and received recognition at the Los Angeles Asia Pacific Film Festival, Seoul International Extreme-Short Image & Film Festival, Ile Courts International Short Film Festival, San Diego Film Festival, Beeston Film Festival, and APA Film. She co-wrote Mediacorp’s telemovie, Hong Baos and Kisses (2014), directed by Wee Li Lin. 

Passionate about supporting the Singapore arts scene and ecosystem, she worked at the National Arts Council for ten years on various policies, support schemes and pilot projects, and was Assistant Director (Theatre) from 2020-2023. 

She is also an arts facilitator navigating the intersection of arts and health. She works with Duke-NUS Medical School, using theatre to enhance medical education. She also conducted a faculty development workshop for the SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC titled, “Integrating Arts in Medical Education: A Medical Humanities Workshop”, and a humanities event for the Family Medicine ACP. 

She has a keen interest in arts access and volunteers and works with entities such as Beyond Social Services and Art:Dis, an organisation that aims to empower persons with disabilities through the arts.

Find out more about her work at www.chenyingxuan.com