Sunday, February 2, 2014

Bio and CV

Shanthini Venugopal

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Shanthini Venugopal has been in the theatre industry for over 30 years. She is a singer, actor, director, and teacher. She has free-lanced as a producer, stage manager, props and front of house for various theatre companies in Malaysia since 1981. She attended theatre training courses at Odin theatret in Denmark in 2001 and 2005 and in October 2012, attended a Director’s Workshop.

She started The Jumping JellyBeans (JJB). It was formed in 2000 specializing in productions for children.  

JJB has performed extensively throughout Malaysia, England, Denmark, Australia and has participated in International Children’s Theatre festivals in Iran, Singapore, India and Germany. She can also be heard on radio and TV commercials doing voice-overs and jingles. She acted in the Hollywood movie ‘Anna and the King’ co-starring with Jodie Foster and Chow Yuen Fatt in 1999. 

She shares her theatre training with students with learning disabilities since 2001. JJB’s work with special needs students was recognized by the theatre community in Malaysia and they were awarded the Cameronian Awards for Best Community Arts project’ in 2005 sponsored by The British Council Malaysia. As part of the prize, JJB had the opportunity to spend 10 days in the United Kingdom working with theatre groups there who did similar work with special needs youth and adults. This was a great opportunity for a cultural exchange and JJB brought back a wealth of information upon their return and incorporated some of these training techniques. JJB’s work with special children is supported by Nestle Malaysia since 2003 to present.

She conducts theatre workshops and seminars for adults on a freelance basis.

She also freelancers as an actor with various theatre companies. Her recent performance in the production ‘Chow Kit Road! Chow Kit Road, the Musical’ played to rave reviews in May 2013 at Istana Budaya, produced by Masakini Productions.

One of the reviews of 'Chow Kit Road! Chow Kit Road'

Currently she conducts storytelling workshops as a regular session during the school calendar year in National Type schools in Malaysia reaching over 1500 students.

Shanthini is a pioneer member of The Instant Cafe Theatre Co. since 1989 and still performs in their revue type shows.
She can be seen on ASTRO TV as “Auntie English”

Below are the details of her work starting from 1979 to present day. 


1989- CURRENT:
pioneer member of The Instant Café Theatre Company Sdn Bhd. Singing and acting at The Instant Café Theatre Company’s revue type performances. Have also been a producer for various Instant Café productions.

1990- CURRENT:
- Singing Jingles and doing Voice Overs for radio, cinema, and television
  commercials- Cannon Copier, Nestle Maggi Mee, Digi, MetroJaya Sale, Anchor
  Beer, Dynamo, and numerous others.

- set up theatre company The Jumping JellyBeans Sdn Bhd, on July 02nd, 2003. Currently the Artistic Director and Administrator of the company.

Cinzia and Shanthini started JJB

2003- CURRENT:
- Theatre training classes conducted by the team from The Jumping JellyBeans for
   students at SNLC (Special Needs Learning Center) run by the St John’s Parish at
   the St John’s Community Hall. Now re-located to Petaling Jaya.
   Every Thursdays 9-10.30am.

2011- CURRENT:
- Theatre training classes conducted by the team from The Jumping JellyBeans for
   students at the Kiwanis Down Syndrome center in Taman SEA. Four classes ar
   conducted once a week for 60 students aged 4-6 years. Every Tuesdays 11.00 to
   12.00 and 1.30 to 2.30.

Kiwanis Down Syndrome center- working with masks

- started Theatre training classes conducted by the team from The Jumping
  JellyBeans for students at Special Needs Learning Center, Ampang for children
  aged 8 to 25 years. Every Wednesdays 9-10.30.

students from MAGIC

While at University of Concordia, Montreal, Canada, formed a ‘Singing Telegram’ company with three other university students. Sang A Cappella at birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas and any special occasion.

returned from Canada with a Bachelors’ Degree from Concordia University in Business Administration. Got involved in back stage production – “Dolls House”, “The Proposal” and many others. Acted in her first play “My Three Angels” directed by Bosco D’Cruz. Did A Cappella with dances performed by Marion D’Cruz of Five Arts Centre. Assistant Stage Manager for Kee Thuan Chye’s “1984”.

went professional in her singing career- did 3 month stints in Kota Bahru (Kelantan), Mersing (Johor), Johore Bahru (Johore)

owned, managed and sang in pub called “Courtyard” in Johor Bahru

stage manager for “The Killing of Sister George” directed by Joe Hasham.

was performing and managing The Instant Café Theatre Company Sdn. Bhd.

had a role in TV movies- “Jodoh” (in Malay and Tamil) “Kuala Selangor”(in Malay) “City of the Rich” (in English)

- major supporting role in Hollywood Movie “Anna and the King” starring Jodie Foster and Chow Yuen Fatt. Role : - “Beebe”- Nanny to ‘Anna’s son’.

Shanthini as Bebee in 'Anna and the King'
- performed in The Instant Café’s production of “I Have No Gun but I can Spit
- Was part of the creation team of a puppet show “Colours of the Sky” to raise
   funds for the Oncology paediatric ward at the University Hospital, Petaling Jaya.
   Performed this show at other paediatric wards, Shelter homes for abandoned
   children and various international schools.
- conducted theatre workshops at schools- Sekolah Sultan Abdul Samad and
   Taylors College.
- performed in The Instant Café’s production of “Millennium Jump”

2001- 2013:
- For 13 years, JJB was conducting Theatre training classes for students aged 5 to
  16 years at MAGIC (Malaysian Association of Guardians for the Intellectually
  Challenged) – every Friday – 9am to 10.30am.

- Performed in the American Musical “Nunsense”- Gardner & Wife Theatre Company – main cast- role of Mother Superior. August-September.
- Performed in The Instant Café’s production of “Millennium Jump II

'Nunsense' - Shanthini as Mother Superior

- performed in the “Vagina Monologues” to raise money for AWAM (A Women’s Organization.)
- co-created & co-directed- “The JJB Cleaning Company” to raise funds for ‘MAGIC’ (School for the Intellectually Challenged) at the Actors Studio Box Theatre and in International schools.
This has since been performed for the public and various private schools in Kuala Lumpur.
- Actors Studio Dataran, Actors Studio Bangsar, French International School, Kindicare Nursery school, Charity performance at a carnival to raise funds for Persatuan Kanak Kanak Istimewa Ampang, Trisha and Sasha (children’s bookstore) Sri Cempaka International school, ThyssenKrupp Elevators - Family day organized at Genting View Resort, Actors Studio Penang.
After a huge success and feedback from the audience with the performances, she came to realize that there was a demand and need for children’s theatre as there was no company catering for this target audience at that time. The following year the company JJB was set up.

-The Jumping JellyBeans Investigative Company- the second show created;
  Performances were done at International schools:
-Sri Cempaka  - Sayfol   - elc International school   -  Alice Smith.
Shanthini as 'Magician for JJB investigative Company'

- performed in The Instant Café’s production of ‘Musical Chairs’- sang in a number   
  from the musical ‘Chicago’.
- Guest role in “Now Boarding” (a Singaporean sitcom), “Kopitiam” (a Malaysian  
- performed in The Instant Café’s production of “Bolehwood

- Performed in The Instant Café’s restaging of their production-“Bolehwood
- Voice of ‘Sunnee’ in an animated film “Sing to the Dawn”. Directed by Frank Saperstein. Based on a book by Minfong Ho. Release date first half of 2005.
- Performed with JJB at the YTL-Penang Arts Festival – June 11th to 13th 2004.
- Performed with JJB at Asean Childrens festival in Singapore – Dec 1st to 03rd 2004.
- Supporting role in ‘Chilok’ produced and directed by Adflin Shauki, – Dec 2005.

in collaboration with The Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Malaysia  JJB coordinated The Children’s Theatre festival held from 20th to 28th August.
- organized all the workshops and invited theatre companies for performances held at The National Art Gallery. The festival was fully sponsored by THE MINISTRY. Performances and workshops were done in Kuala Lumpur. Outreach programmes were organized at various locations in and around Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Malacca. 

- Performed in various Instant Café review’s - corporate functions - performed in various Instant Café review’s
- Co-created the performance ‘Terra Arata’ for The Jumping JellyBeans. 
Inspired by Joan Mirro's painting - 'The Tilled Field'

Joan Miro's Painting -"Te Tilled Field" 1923
   Performances done at KL PAC and The Asian Children’s Performing Arts Festival in
- Workshops for children at Krysalis Kindergarden in December
-  Commissioned by DIGI to do an original play. Created a play using elements of
   the environment ‘Memories of the Sun’ which was performed in Kuala Gula for
   their Amazing Malaysian event.

Lecturer- taught ‘theatre/drama’ at the Multimedia University in Malacca and Cyberjaya campus as a co-curriculum course.

- workshop in Perlis for DIGI’s Amazing Malaysian programme.
  Every Sunday for 8 weeks starting end January, February and March, we did
  theatre training, creating sets and costumes for over a 100 school children which
  culminated in a performance on March 27th 06 in Kangar, Perlis.
- Workshop “ Street Theatre’ at KL PAC.
- Barter of Dreams in Kuala Kubu Baru (KKB). This project was inspired    
   through JJB’s association with Odin Teatret, a Theatre group in Holstebro,
   Denmark. Programme ran every weekend from April 1st to June 4th with a 
   Performance on June 11th at the Bomba Academy in KKB.

-  performed Little Red Riding Hood at DiGi Kids’ party @ DiGiLand on 3rd Nov, 2007
- Commissioned by The Embassy of Italy – an original performance URANO and
  GEA - The birth of Time, son of Sky and Earth and a Three day Theatrical
  Workshop- Myths and Oceans
- participated as a workshop facilitator in the Singapore International Story
  Telling Festival 2007 from 24th August to 9th September.
-  performed at the Singapore International Story Telling Festival 2007

-  organized a holiday programme at KLPAC, Sentul; Story telling & Puppet
  Workshop and a performance of Little Red Riding Hood! March 14th.
- Performance ‘Terra Arata’ at Bustle Gallery, Galleri Petronas - 24th and 25th May

Poster for performance at Galeri Petronas

rehearsal shot- 'farmer tilling the field with bull'

Performance shot- 'Carnival scene'

- performed in India at the “Children’s International Theatre Festival "- 29th June   
  to 16th July
- A Wayang Kulit workshop for Galleri Petronas – 19th and 20th August.
- performed at the Kuala Lumpur Children’s Theatre festival on August 26th
- performed in Iran at the “15th Isfahan International Theater Festival for Children
  and Young Adults” held from 7th  to 11th October.
- Emcee at NASOM CHARITY CONCERT- Plenary Hall, KLCCC- Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre 13thMay 2012

2008 – 2010:
- started Theatre Training classes at NASOM center in Bandar Puteri, Klang for
  young adults. She ran the programme for 3 years.

2008- 2010:
- conducted weekly 1 hour theatre/drama classes at Global Indian International School for Year 3, 4 and 5. Performances were done at the end of each school calendar year.

- Judge for Masakini’s project The 24 hour theatre project, 14th and 15th March
- Performance of Little Red Riding Hood at KLPAC for underprivileged
  Children-31st May
- Performance in Germany, at the International Festival of Childrens Theatre
  KinderInsel, held in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Germany.- 3rd to the 7th July

Was selected to play the main character Aunty English for 8 programmes that was shown on all channels by ASTRO Malaysia. This was to promote the correct usage of spoken English to their audience. Re-runs are broadcasted from time to time to date.

- Performance at PJ Laugh Fest 2010 – The 1st PJ Comedy Festival- Comedy for Kids
  May 23 & 30
- Performance of Little Red Riding Hood at SRI IMPIAN CONDOMINIUM 29th May
  All Proceeds were donated to Pawsome Animal Supplies & Services
- Participated in The Malaysian International Storytelling Festival as a workshop
  facilitator organized by Capital Corporate Communications, October 1st to 3rd.
- Performance at The Malaysian International Storytelling Festival, Oct 3rd.

- Conducted classes with SPICES- a centre for Down syndrome and autistic
 Children- from 2011 till end of 2012
- Co-directed a play for students from Global Indian International school for their
  annual day January to March. Performance was done end March.
-Workshop for staff from Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery
  Twenty nine (29) participants from Bank Negara Museum attended a 6 ½
  hour workshop using theatre techniques for storytelling, team building, body
  awareness, role play and effective communication. - March 30th
- Judge for Spelling it Right (SIR) an event organized by New Straits Times Berhad.   
  Malacca April 23rd & 24th & Seremban June 25th &  26th.
-Performed in JJB’s production ‘The Party’ at PJ Laugh Festival- 24th to 27th May
- Holiday theatre camp ‘Unmasking Masks’ organized by New Straits Times for
  ages 6-12 years. 26th and 27th November.
- Holiday theatre camp ‘A very Jelly Christmas’ for children from elc International
  School- 19th to 23rd December

- Designed and facilitated Celebration of Charles Dickens for the British Council- Teaching English through Drama
Ø WORKSHOP done for TEACHERS- held at Ministry of Education Putrajaya for 30 participants from 10 schools-  March 9th
Ø     WORKSHOP sessions were held for 1200 students from 10 schools located in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor- from April to June