Ivan Heng to receive honorary doctorate, Latest Music News - The New Paper

Ivan Heng to receive honorary doctorate

Wild Rice’s founding artistic director Ivan Heng, 60, will receive an honorary doctorate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, one of the top institutions for the performing arts in the world.

One of Singapore’s most prolific theatremakers, Heng has directed, acted and designed for theatre productions in more than 20 cities. His landmark acting roles include Peranakan matriarch Emily Gan in one-woman monologue Emily Of Emerald Hill and his directing credits include the five-hour-long historical epic Hotel, which travelled to Adelaide.

Heng, who founded Wild Rice in 2000, has led the theatre company to stage distinctively Singaporean classics and develop new work, reaching an audience of more than one million people.

In 2024, Wild Rice’s satire of middle-class prudery G*d Is A Woman was awarded Production of the Year at The Straits Times Life Theatre Awards.

Heng made his UK directorial debut at the Edinburgh Fringe and won the Scotsman Fringe First, as well as the Scottish Daily Express New Names of ’93 Award. Wild Rice will take playwright Amanda Chong’s critically-acclaimed one-woman monologue Psychob***h to the Fringe this August.

In 2013, Heng was awarded the Cultural Medallion – Singapore’s pinnacle cultural award.

He is one of three pioneering artists who will receive honorary doctorates on July 4. The other recipients are award-winning English choreographer and dancer Akram Khan – who has collaborated with the likes of Australian singer Kylie Minogue and British-Indian visual artist Anish Kapoor – as well as English singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan.

In a press statement, Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “Akram Khan, Ivan Heng and Vashti Bunyan are three visionary artists who are being recognised for their exceptional contributions to the world of music, dance and theatre and the unique artistic imprints they have made on arts and culture.

“Their honorary doctorates acknowledge their incredible accomplishments and hope to inspire our graduating students, the next generation of artists, to push the boundaries of creativity.”