Meet Our 2024 vAct Creation Lab Playwrights

We are so pleased to present our 2024 vAct Creation Lab Writers: Abi Padilla, Anju Singh, and Ariane Anindita Anantaputri and Melicia Zaini!

“The whole Creation Lab team is thrilled at the breadth of work and form that we’re set to explore this year, and so looking forward to inviting our vAct community to come share in the experience,” vAct Resident Dramaturg Leslie Dos Remedios says.

Previously known as the MSG Lab, the vAct Creation Lab is our annual new work development program, and is our commitment to the next generation of Asian Canadian playwrights. Over the next few months, they will be receiving development support for their new works with our dramaturgs. Look forward to the public presentations this December!

Abi Padilla – Grandma.Gangsta.Guerilla

Abi Padilla  is a first-generation Filipino-Canadian actor, playwright, and filmmaker. A graduate of the Studio 58 acting program, she has performed in numerous arts festivals and has steadily built up and amplified her creator voice. Her first two short plays The Banyan Tree and How to F*ck Up a Funeral were staged at the Six of One New Play Festival, while her first short film directorial debut Thank You Mila was showcased at the Mighty Asian Moviemaking Marathon. Grandma.Gangsta.Guerilla, which started as a 15-minute solo show, is Abi’s first full length play and will soon have its world premiere in 2025. Inspired by immigrant experience, anime, dance, and martial arts, Abi’s multi-disciplinary work is deeply rooted in reconciliation and cultural collaborations.


Anju Singh – The Coward

Anju Singh is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, performer, noise/sound artist and media artist working with and interrogating texture through the use of extended/experimental techniques, electronics, musical and non-musical materials, custom-built instruments, and processing. Her works use methods of deconstruction and reanimation to repurpose and contextualize materials in new compositional environments and to bring contrasting themes and dynamics into shared spaces. Expanding her practice into writing, Anju is interested in bringing her experience with sonic and visual expression into text and then onto the stage and screen. As a composer, Anju composes for film, theatre, opera, and contemporary music ensembles. She recently composed the score for Jessie Anthony’s documentary film OSWÉ: GE and her composition for Continuum ensemble CAVE premiered in Toronto in April.


Ariane Anantaputri – Mel and Ari’s Immigration Fund ($1,200,000)

Ariane Anantaputri (she/they/dia) is an Indonesian writer, stand-up comedian, actor, and musician currently working on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples known today as Vancouver, British Columbia. Her work centres on third culture experiences, climate justice, and finding comedy in the difficult parts of life. She served as Managing Editor for PRISM international and Associate Editor for Young Adulting Magazine and a featured stand-up comedian in IGNITE Youth Festival 2024.

Melicia Zaini – Mel and Ari’s Immigration Fund ($1,200,000)

Melicia  Zaini (they/them/dia) is a queer, Chinese-Indonesian multidisciplinary artist working primarily as a costume designer for stage and screen. They have designed costumes for vAct, ZeeZee Theatre, Playwrights Theatre Centre, Pacific Theatre, Aenigma Theatre, to name a few. In addition to costume design, they also paint, illustrate, make zines, collages, and colour-coded spreadsheets, and write a monthly newsletter. Melicia’s art celebrates colours, finding small joys, community building, and staying silly during hard times. They are eternally grateful to find home and create art on the unceded and ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Portfolio: