In the early stages of Singapore’s theatre scene, from the 1960s through to the 1990s, the concern was for the development of a distinctive Singaporean voice through theatre. This period saw the establishment of major theatre companies today, such as Kuo Pao Kun’s The Theatre Practice and those set up by people whom he had mentored, including TheatreWorks and The Necessary Stage. Since then, the theatre scene has continued to grow, and new voices have emerged such as Emergency Stairs and Arts Equator.
Today, theatre reaches a broad range of audiences through more than 500 local theatre companies and societies. Singapore’s theatre scene sees a base of professional companies and independent artists creating work that explore various themes across genres, languages, and cultures. The theatre calendar is packed throughout the year, with bursts of activity and special commissions for festivals, including ground-up festivals by theatre groups.