Still young at art
Arts and theatre production companies in Singapore face challenges despite the decades of experience in the scene under their belts. Issues that all long-running arts groups struggle with include leadership renewal, funding and staying relevant in an increasingly packed performing arts scene.
For example, Singapore Repertory Theatre’s (SRT) outdoor event ‘Shakespeare In The Park’, an annual event since 2011, could not be staged this year due to budgeting problems. The challenge comes from other visual arts festival, museums and also digital media which most of the time, are free of charge for the public to enjoy.
The problem of leadership succession and renewal is also faced by companies, such as Malay drama group Teater Ekamatra, who are finding trouble finding capable people to replace the management in the face of growing numbers and troupe size.
Theatre faculty member Mr Fared Jainal, who is the artistic director of Teater Ekamatra, said that the group wants to help younger artists grow as their voices add diversity to the artistic community. "We want to give them space to explore. We want to support one another through sharing resources."
Teater Ekamatra has big plans for its 30th anniversary next year. It will invite six drama companies to reinterpret plays from three decades of its repertoire as short, one-man performances. Mr Fared said, "It's for us to engage with people we've not thought about or talked to, to understand what's out there so we are connected to the larger community."
[28 Nov 2017]
The Straits Times
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