Pangdemonium! Productions stages Rajiv Joseph’s Pulitzer-nominated play Gruesome Playground Injuries as their third and final show of the year. Gwen Pew speaks to Seong Hui Xuan to find out more about her character, Kayleen.
30 Oct 2013:
Tell us a little bit about your character, Kaylene.
Kaylene is someone who shies away from people and finds herself alone a lot of the time. She doesn’t have many people in her life who care about her. Doug is the exception. She comes from a broken family and doesn’t have / hasn’t had a happy childhood at all, and is deeply insecure about many things, which causes her many emotional and psychological problems in later life.
How did you mentally – and physically – prepare yourself for the role?
Well, I’m still preparing and researching the place, the different time periods, kids of different ages, the specific disorders that Kaylene has. It’s an on-going process I think.
How are the rehearsals going so far?
It’s going great! Starting rehearsals for a new project is always exciting because it’s a brand new journey, a blank canvas, and the possibilities are out there to be discovered.
Are you quite a squeamish person?
Not at all. Give me fake blood and cool wounds any day!
Do you relate to Kaylene in any way?
Definitely. In a far less extreme way than Kayleen, I never really felt like I belonged at school – I wasn’t one of the popular kids, or the geniuses, or even the rebellious kids. I had friends, but I always somehow felt alone and lost for the most part. So I can empathise with Kayleen’s struggles in that respect.
You and Alan are the only cast members for the play – what are some of the challenges?
Primarily I think sustaining the energy that’s needed to carry the show. It’s like playing soccer with only two people on your team – we’ll just have to work that much harder. But it will be crazy fun and I love a good challenge!
If you were to describe the play in three words, what would they be?
Funny, twisted, and strangely sweet.