When COVID-19 hit, the arts and entertainment sector was, and still is, very much affected by this unexpected pandemic. Shows were cancelled or postponed indefinitely, tickets were refunded, deposits were lost but some theatre companies paid their actors and crew members their full wages despite not being able to put up a performance on stage.
Many have gone digital since the circuit breaker closure, streaming their past plays and productions online for the world to enjoy. If you watched and loved it, do consider donating to these arts companies to help offset the loss of income during this period.
We don’t know how our theatre-going experience will change after this; whether safe-distancing measures will continue to be in place in theatres, or shows adapting to virtual experiences. But one thing is certain, we need the arts now more than ever.
Here are a few local theatre companies, organisations and arts festivals whose productions are still online for you to catch them at the comfort of your own home.
Wild Rice launched its ‘Wild@Home’, a new engagement initiative to bring together audiences and artist in this age of social distancing. Apart from screening some of their prominent shows online, the arts organisation has also launched a director residency programme, a brand new YouTube mini-series ‘Feelings to the Max’ which is targeted at children, as well as a play-writing workshop.
Wild Rice / Facebook
Since 24 April, Wild Rice has screened Emily of Emerald Hill (which garnered close to 150,000 views), Supervision, Monkey Goes West and Mama White Snake, which is currently streaming on their YouTube channel till 7 June.
The live talkback panel for ‘Mama White Snake’ will be held on 28 May, 9pm, featuring playwright Alfian Sa’at, director Pam Oei, co-stars Ivan Heng and Glen Goei, set designer Wong Chee Wai, martial arts choreographer Gordon Choy and pantomime veteran Siti Khalijah Zainal.
Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA)
Singapore’s annual pinnacle arts festival, SIFA, will be taking their programmes online this year, starting from 25 May. Originally scheduled to take place from 15 to 31 May, SIFA 2020 has been postponed till 2021.
The digital edition will feature online works by local and international artists, performances and virtual talks across a range of genres that include across theatre, music, dance, film, and visual arts. The virtual events will be available through the SIFA online platform.
29 May (Fri), 8pm - In Conversation with Anne Bogart moderated by Edith Podesta (Talk)
1 June (Mon), 10am - Watch It Again: A Dream Under the Southern Bough: Reverie 南柯一梦之如梦 (Theatre)
5 June (Fri), 8pm - Panel: The Paradox of Art and Climate Change (Webinar)
10 June (Wed), 8pm - The World of Oiwa (Behind The Scenes)
Buds Theatre was conceived in 2007 as a non-profit group with the aim of providing a platform for young theatre graduates to practice their craft and refine their skills.
This period, join artistic director Claire Devine on Instagram and Facebook as she reads a children’s book – from Puss in Boots to Rapunzel. If your child loves storytelling, don’t miss this opportunity to have his or her favourite story read, as well as their name mentioned in the following videos!
Esplanade: The Studios
The Studios season has been a regular feature in the local theatre calendar, showcasing exploration works, thought-provoking plays and unique stories told on stage. From 16 May till 12 June, viewers will be able to enjoy 8 productions online, including two original works that were supposed to be staged for The Studios 2020. Two shows will be screened for a week, with a dialogue session with the artists each week.
Edith Podesta’s ‘Dark Room’ and Cake Theatrical Productions ‘Nothing’ are screening from now till 29 May; followed by ‘A Good Death’ and ‘Family Duet’ from 30 May till 5 June. ‘Lost Cinema 20/20’ and ‘The Heart Comes to Mind’ (an audio presentation) are the two original works, which will be online from 6 to 12 June, with a virtual dialogue session on 7 June.
Dream Academy decided to go big since the announcement of the circuit breaker in Singapore, launching its ’50 Days of Laughter’ via their social media platforms, releasing a hilarious snippet from their past shows each day. We can’t thank them enough for giving us all the much-needed laughter and joy during this time. Sometimes, all it takes is a short 3-minute video to make your day much better.
While The Finger Players may not be screening much of their past works online (for now, hopefully), the team has curated a puppetry craft kit for all the young puppet makers in Singapore. The Little Players Craft Kit ($19) is a series of thematic puppet-making sets aimed at fostering fine motor skills, creating meaningful interactions, and expanding imagination.