Joe Hasham OAM and Dato’ Faridah Merican found each other and gave birth to The Actors Studio Malaysia in 1989; since then the road has been filled with much joy, some sorrow and an eclectic mix of wishing, hoping and fulfilment. Through necessity, the early years saw performances being staged in venues like the experimental theatre University Malaya, The Old Town Hall and Auditorium DBKL. In fact anywhere they could hang a couple of lights and plonk in a set. For two people whose lives were totally consumed by the performing arts, this was a frustrating and unacceptable situation.
However, history tells us that Joe and Faridah went on to become the indisputable Daddy and Mummy of Malaysian theatre, making history by building the first privately owned and operated theatre space, culminating in a string of theatres.
Over the years, The Actors Studio has been responsible for the nurturing and enabling of countless performing arts companies and individuals and is in no small way,responsible for the continuing growth of the Malaysian Performing Arts scene.
For Joe and Faridah, this is still the beginning of the journey. The end is nowhere in sight, not until there are dedicated performing arts venues in every state of the country.
This is their dream – and their hope.