Siti Khalijah Zainal is a familiar face in Singapore's theatre scene. The theatre actress – who was given the Young Artist Award in 2014 – has been busy. In November last year, at a time when uncertainty still plagues theatres, Wild Rice's Funan theatre reopened with a one-woman show by Siti herself. 'An Actress Prepares' was a love letter to theatre; a promise that maybe, things aren't as bad as they seem. Evidently so, as the shows were all sold out.
There's no rest for the wicked. Siti is back at it again with her latest project, Haresh Sharma's 'Model Citizens', which forms part of The Necessary Stage's productions this year. But this won't be the first time she's performing the show. It first staged in 2010 to critical acclaim, followed by a restaging in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur the following year – each time with the same crew. Siti played her role so well that she was nominated as the best actress for The Straits Times Life Theatre Awards.
You would expect the actress to be a raging extrovert, given the loud, bold and vivacious characters she plays. However, you might be surprised to know that Siti outside of the theatre is a quieter, more toned-down individual – or so we'd find out when we got on a phone interview with her. We pick her brains on what we can expect from 'Model Citizens', her very unconventional journey into theatre, and whether or not theatre is only reserved for the privileged few.