In May 2004 three organisations - Yayasan Budi Penyayang Malaysia, YTL Corporation Berhad and The Actors Studio Malaysia – set out to build a common platform to develop the performing arts in Malaysia.That platform is the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac), or PentasSeni KL. klpac is a not-for-profit company dedicated to the practice of traditional and contemporary performing arts, as well as education and community outreach.
While klpac provides a cutting-edge facility to aid the growth and advancement of performing arts practitioners, it is the essence of community that fuels its vision.
Diverse, innovative performances cater to a broad spectrum of artists and audiences while outreach programmes seek to develop public participation in all aspects of the performing arts regardless of race, class or creed.
Central to this participation is access. Our mission is to demonstrate how the arts play a central role in all our lives by helping us shape our understanding of the world, and to express that understanding so that it deepens our experience.
One of the many ways the performing arts can benefit society is by enhancing the quality of our future workforce. They open new horizons and experiences to our young. The creative process, for example, is crucial to solving problems and thinking strategically. Likewise, clear expression is the cornerstone of effective communication and confidence.
Our goal is to show how learning about, and appreciating, the performing arts will enrich our lives and yield concrete, practical benefits in our everyday world.
The Klang Valley’s leading presenter of performing arts in Malaysia, nurturing and refining the standards of services practices and production value for the performing arts that is internationally recognised and admired.
The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre promotes cultivates and sustains the performing arts for the betterment and enrichments of communities within the Klang Valley and for the Nation.
In 1995, two individuals created history by building the first privately owned and operated theatre in Malaysia below Dataran Merdeka. The individuals were none other than Faridah Merican and Joe Hasham. The said theatre was the The Actors Studio@Plaza Putra.
Then in 2003, flash floods inundated KL and destroyed The Actors Studio’s underground complex entirely. It was out of this tragedy that the The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac) was born.
The arts community needed a new home. And history was made yet again. The Actors Studio, YTL Corporation and Yayasan Budi Penyayang joined hands to establish the country’s first fully-integrated arts centre. klpac, a non-profit organisation, opened its doors in May 2005.
Four years on, it has not only been a home to the arts community and a foster home for foreign troupes but it has become the very lifeline that keeps the arts and cultural life in Malaysia breathing.
An arts and cultural icon. Historical landmark. Award-winning architectural design.
There is nothing quite like klpac, really.
Establishment of klpac
10 June 2003: Floods devastated The Actors Studio’s Plaza Putra complex
20 June 2003: In search of a new space, Joe, Faridah, Teoh Ming Jin & Ng Seksan visited an old National Railway (KTM) warehouse in YTL Corporation’s Sentul West.
9 & 10 August 2003: At the fundraising event Banjir, Faridah met the late Datin Paduka Seri Endon
Mahmood (then Chairman of Yayasan Budi Penyayang) and told her about the
Late Aug 2003 – Early Sept 2003: DPS Endon met Tan Sri Francis Yeoh of YTL Corporation and mentioned
The Actors Studio’s interest in the old warehouse
September 2003: Joe and Faridah presented a proposal of klpac to Tan Sri Francis Yeoh who responded
with the now famous words “Go for it!”
21 May 2004: Launch of klpac attended by members of the media and arts community
9 May 2005: klpac team moves in
1800s: Began as a woodcrafting workshop and sawmill
1906: Became part of Sentul Works, region’s most important railway depot & workshop
1940s: Bombed during tail end of WWII but was re-built in mid 1940s
Late 1960s: Converted into a make-shift golf clubhouse but abandoned in early 1990s
Read more from the media:
@dd Magazine, March 2011