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Boost for local theatre

Theatre practitioners and playwrights -- or those aspiring to be one -- will soon have a home dedicated to developing their writing. 

SINGAPORE: Theatre practitioners and playwrights -- or those aspiring to be one -- will soon have a home dedicated to developing their writing.

It is called Centre 42 and it hopes to be a place for them to come together, create, critique and present their writing for the stage.

But, that's not all it does.

It's more than just a stage for performances; it's a platform for artists to create new plays, whether it's for interested theatre companies or arts organisations.

"We recognise that playwriting is a process and requires a lot of time to incubate content and to nurture talent," said Grace Ng, Acting Director, Sector Development (Theatre & Music), National Arts Council.

"We see that for the Singapore theatre scene to grow in the future, it is absolutely critical that we have to continually create quality texts that can be developed into the next landmark production."

Their playwriting journey will be documented along the way. And it's not only for new pieces; forgotten ones from the past will be documented as well.

"You know that there is a full length play by written by a Singaporean playwright -- it has just past its 50th anniversary and nobody even remembers it," said Casey Lim, Executive Director, Centre 42. "It's Mimi Fan by Lim Chor Pee and it's now in its 52nd year.

"There's no documentation of the play, or of the playwright.

"A lot of our plays and our Singaporean theatre history just passes us by… there is no record and I'm not talking about just remembering, but really documenting the playwright process in creating that particular play and what that play means or meant at that time."

Public seminars will also be held to develop knowledge, and understanding of Singapore theatre.

And the centre will offer the use of its rehearsal and workshop spaces for developing new works and works-in-progress.

Applicants can also receive some funding support, training and artistic input from industry experts.

Texts and ideas selected by Centre 42 for development will be put through a comprehensive process of refinement.

Centre 42 is developed in collaboration with National Arts Council, Singapore and Centre 42 Limited and its official opening is slated for July.  

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