Born to the Chow family, Edmund grew up in Singapore in the mid 1970s learning to excel in academia in an all-boys mission school. In his formative years, he enjoyed being a member (and afterwards, an officer) in a uniformed youth organisation, where he also developed a keen interest in music and the arts. Following a miraculous 'passover' during the GCE 'O' Level (Cambridge, UK) Examinations, Edmund continued pursuing the arts in serendipitous ways, playing Shylock in one memorable school production in 1992. He got enlisted into the Army, as all strapping male citizens do!
During that time, Edmund earned himself a Teaching Bursary with the Public Service Commission to become a teacher, majoring in English Language and English Literature at the National University of Singapore, where he received a Second Upper Honours degree in the former, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education from the National Institute of Education.
The three years teaching in a public secondary school in Tampines became the furnace from which he emerged changed. Soon, Edmund applied for a teaching position in the Prison School (Singapore). It was during the next three years behind bars that greatly impacted his philosophy and pedagogy as he developed Drama within prisons -- an extra-curricular activity which proved beyond doubt its efficacy in rehabilitation. Having partnered with volunteers from Arts Without Limits and other celebrity actors, Edmund's Drama Club became acknowledged, and his prison work appreciated. This earned him the Arts Professional Scholarship by the National Arts Council to pursue a Master's Degree in Educational Theatre at New York University.
At NYU, Edmund won the William Vorenberg Scholarship for Directing, and a partial scholarship as the Graduate Assistant during the Study Abroad Program in Dublin, Ireland. He also received training with Augusto Boal in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In New York, he continued to perform in various professional settings while maintaining his speciality in Applied Theatre. He volunteered and worked in correctional facilities in New York, and assisted drama therapists in group sessions for parolees, as well as psychiatric patients. To further explore drama and theatre in various non-theatrical settings, Edmund taught drama and mask-making to Middle School youths in Queens, and tutored High Schoolers in the Bronx. Using Boalian techniques in Image Theatre and Forum Theatre, Edmund had also facilitated workshops for students to prepare them for college.
Edmund was later invited to lecture and facilitate a workshop for Graduate students at NYU on Prison Theatre.
Since June 2008, Edmund returned to Singapore to continue his exciting work in the Prison School. He also started the Life Skills programme where drama and other art forms are instrumental to the rehabilitation process, especially in role-playing scenarios of reconciliation with families, and tempting situations that might lead to one committing crime again.
His secondment period in the Singapore Prison Service came to a closure in 2009.
Edmund went to be become a Language Arts teacher at Raffles Institution, the oldest school in Singapore. Its all-rounded focus on gifted education and curriculum differentiation are trademarks of this premier school. He was instrumental in helping his students clinch the international championship at the Destination Imagination (DI Global Finals, at Knoxville, Tenneesee, US) in 2010, and the SYF Gold with Honours with the Raffles Players (aka Drama Club) in 2011.
A committee member of the Singapore Drama Educators Association (SDEA), Edmund has run workshops as a volunteer with community groups, including the Singapore Boys Home and Yayasan Mendaki.
Currently, Edmund is pursuing his PhD Research (Applied Theatre) in Manchester, UK.
2000 - Bachelor of Arts (Upper Second Class Honours), in English Language. Other major: English Literature.
National University of Singapore.
2001 - Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary), in English Language and Literature.
National Institute of Education.
2007 - Master of Arts, in Educational Theatre (in Communities and Colleges), with specialisation in Applied Theatre/ Prison Theatre.
New York University.
2014 (ongoing) - PhD in Applied and Social Theatre [Supervised by Prof James Thompson and Dr Jenny Hughes].
University of Manchester, UK.