In my work, I look to address the following questions:

  1. Why does this story need to be performed in real time, in front of real people, right now?
  2. How is this story connected to the time, place, and space where it’s being staged?
  3. How is the story relevant to the community of artists and audiences who will be able to access the performance?

Okay, but that doesn’t tell me too much about you as a person.


In 2005, while I was still young and naive, I wanted nothing more than to play Christine Daaé in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. Yes, really.

In 2010, my first attempt to write and direct a short play ended up banned by my high school following its first performance because of the play’s stance on homosexuality. Devastated, I swore that I would never ever write or direct another play. (Famous last words.)

carol ann tan

In 2011, I earned a Grade 8 (Distinction) in Singing from Trinity College London. One step closer towards that Christine goal! Shortly afterwards, I relocated to the United States for college.

In 2013, I was approached by the Singaporean and Malaysian Students’ Union at the University of Chicago to write and direct a play. The success of this play, Domestic Departure, convinced me that I should quit acting for good. (Famous last words — yup, sensing a theme here.) But I mean, why settle for playing Christine when I could be helping to chip away at existing systemic inequalities, right?!

In 2014, SAMSU threw more money my way, this time to stage my senior thesis, Apartment Complex. Thanks, SAMSU!

In 2015, after obtaining a fancy and overpriced piece of paper (you probably call it an “undergraduate degree”), I thought I’d try sticking around the city of Chicago for a little while longer.

For four years, I was so lucky to be able to collaborate with and learn from some of Chicago’s best. Today, I’m an artistic associate with Silk Road Rising, where I previously served as the resident dramaturg for two seasons. I’m also an artistic associate with The Comrades, as well as a Directors Inclusion Initiate for the 2017/18 season at Victory Gardens.

In fall 2019, I moved to Providence, RI to begin pursuing an MFA in directing from Brown University/Trinity Repertory Company as part of the Class of 2022.

Need help bringing your story to the stage? My favorite response to new opportunities and ideas is “YES.” So if you’ve got something big and exciting to share — let’s talk.