The National Arts Council (NAC) welcomes the statement from Singapore Theatre Company (STC) that it would be revisiting its name change, taking into consideration the feedback which it has received from peers, and to preserve the collective unity of the theatre community.
STC had consulted NAC, and discussed the change of name. Amongst various considerations, it was proposed by STC that the word ‘Repertory’ did not accurately reflect (then) SRT’s work, and that its new name was more in line with its programmes, activities and charitable objectives. It was also considered that (then) SRT had used ‘Singapore’ in its name for some 30 years prior. After some discussion, NAC supported the Singapore Repertory Theatre’s application to drop “Repertory” from its name.
In doing so, however, NAC does not view the organisation as becoming a national theatre company, nor akin to a national flagship company by reason of the name change. This was also understood by SRT, which has said that it does not claim to be the representative theatre company in Singapore and recognises that it is a part of a broader and diverse arts ecosystem.
Since the announcement of the name change, there have been some concerns expressed amongst the arts community. NAC understands these views, in relation to Singapore Repertory Theatre’s (SRT) name change to Singapore Theatre Company (STC), and also accepts that these are valid concerns which ought to have been considered when discussing the name change with SRT.
NAC has been engaging STC and members of the local theatre community on this issue, to encourage dialogue and consensus amongst the different members of the community. We are very heartened by and appreciate STC’s open and frank approach to revisiting its name change, and also commend the leadership demonstrated by various individuals in the arts community, in coming together to discuss the issue with respect and trust, and to identify a constructive way forward.
NAC reiterates that it values the achievements of our theatre practitioners and share in their passion to showcase the quality and diversity of Singapore’s theatre. Singapore's vibrant theatre scene stands as a testament to the collaborative spirit of many different theatre companies and dedicated individuals.