All the world’s a stage but you don’t have to look far for fantastic theatre companies in Singapore. Drama is always around!
Hey, you. Is your artsy calendar looking a little empty? So you’re done with museums and exhibitions and need some performance art to complete you? From stand-up comedy to outdoor theatre, here are the coolest theatre companies in Singapore you need to keep your eyes on.
Best theatre companies in Singapore
1. Pangdemonium: For inspiring, thought-provoking plays
Helmed by artistic directors Adrian Pang (also a prolific local actor) and his wife, Tracie, Pangdemonium aims to provide theatre aficionados with accessible, relevant and inspiring English-language works – without compromising on artistic and entertainment appeal. Some memorable ones that’ve touched the hearts of many include Spring Awakening, Rabbit Hole, Next to Normal and Dragonflies. Current and upcoming productions to check out include Urinetown: The Musical, The Mother and Girls & Boys.
Pangdemonium, #04-01, 9 Changi South Street 3, Singapore 486361
2. Wild Rice: For plays that tackle the social issues of today
Established in 2000 by Ivan Heng, an internationally acclaimed and award-winning theatre practitioner, Wild Rice is one of the leading professional theatre companies in Singapore. It typically offers productions that provide an open forum for the shared experience of theatre, as well as commemorate diversity and reflect on the issues of society. We love how its shows usually have a local touch to ’em.
Wild Rice, #04-08, Funan, 107 North Bridge Road, Singapore 179105
3. The Theatre Practice: Meet a diverse range of creative artists
Being Singapore’s long-standing, bilingual theatre institution, The Theatre Practice promotes quality content that reflects the complexity of Singapore’s diversity. The company believes in shaping Singapore’s cultural landscape through plays and art-making. Going by the principle of always entertaining respectfully, it has a critically-acclaimed collection of over 350 productions that range from musicals to classics to originals.
The Theatre Practice, 54 Waterloo Street, Singapore 187953
4. The Necessary Stage: For local and intercultural plays
This one’s led by two Cultural Medallion recipients: artistic director and founder Alvin Tan, and resident playwright Haresh Sharma. The Necessary Stage is a non-profit theatre company that has presented over 100 shows locally and abroad since its inception. These folks are known for creating challenging and innovative productions that tug at our heartstrings. It’s no surprise that they’re responsible for curating the annual M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, which features thought-provoking works.
The Necessary Stage, #B1-02, Marine Parade Community Building, 278 Marine Parade Road, Singapore 449282
5. Singapore Repertory Theatre: Musical lovers, unite!
Experience a mix of Broadway, the West End, and the richness of Singaporean culture. This local veteran name is recognised as one of Asia’s leading English-language theatre companies. Singapore Repertory Theatre is known for staging highly popular and critically acclaimed productions such as the famous Shakespeare in the Park series, Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress, and God of Carnage. Not to mention, it’s the first Singaporean theatre company to present its shows on Broadway. Do check out The Pitch, a comedy short film about the clashing egos of different theatre companies.
Singapore Repertory Theatre, KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT, 20 Merbau Road, Singapore 239035
6. Buds Theatre Company: Plays with a global perspective
Founded in 2007, Buds Theatre Company is a not-for-profit group. It’s a platform for young theatre graduates to practise their craft and hone their skills. Buds’ goal is to establish a community of socially conscious artists to address current issues. Offering a global perspective to its plays, the company attempts to create change through theatre-making.
Buds Theatre Company, #04-01, 52 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427374
7. Andsoforth: Engage in immersive theatrical feasts
While not exactly a theatre company, Andsoforth’s interactive events are affairs you should add to your checklist. Inspired by the fascinating dining sub-culture in London, the team wishes to introduce Singapore to pop-up restaurants that specialise in marrying art with dining. Imagine having a whimsical, theatrical feast where anything can happen! You might even end up playing the lead (or a villain). Anything can happen here…
Andsoforth, pop-up at various locations
8. Cake Theatrical Productions: For plays with unique theatrical effects
Steered by one of Singapore’s revered artistic directors, Natalie Hennedige, Cake Theatrical Productions is a contemporary drama company. These folks are dedicated to crafting original works by allowing bold experimentation that deviates from conventional theatre practices. Simply put, if you’re looking for a show with a unique delivery of text and mesmerising theatrical effects, Cake’s productions won’t disappoint. In fact, we’re certain they’ll keep you on the edge of your seats.
Cake Theatrical Productions, 242 Tanjong Katong Road, Singapore 437030
9. Dream Academy: It’s all about light-hearted laughs
This one’s founded in 2000 by well-known Singaporean actress, Selena Tan (you may know her as a Dim Sum Dolly). Dream Academy is funded almost entirely by ticket sales from audience members and its loyal supporters. Oh, and it’s known to dish out uber hilarious stand-up comedies: Meenah and Cheenah, Revenge of the Dim Sum Dollies, and Broadway Beng, just to name a few! When it comes to side-splitting jokes, this trumps the competition.
Dream Academy, #02-01, Henderson Industrial Park, 203A Henderson Road, Singapore 159547
10. Checkpoint Theatre: Asian plays with a complete theatre experience
Established in 2002, Checkpoint Theatre was founded by two brilliant artistic directors in the local performing arts scene: Claire Wong and Huzir Sulaiman. Creating contemporary Asian plays that aim to inspire and challenge, Checkpoint Theatre brings a slew of engaging productions that come in various themes and forms. We’re talking about socio-political satire, explorations of history and memory, rapid-fire comedy, powerful music and arresting imagery. Catch their upcoming production, Keluarga Besar En. Karim (The Karims), an intimate tale about family.
Checkpoint Theatre, #02-03, Goodman Arts Centre, 90 Goodman Road Block B, Singapore 439053
11. T:>Works: For plays with an educational perspective
Formed in 1985, T:>Works (formerly known as TheatreWorks) is an independent and international performance company that’s one of the most esteemed in Singapore. Led by artistic director Ong Keng Sen, it has staged over 200 productions and 2,500 performances in Singapore and beyond.
T:>Works, 72-13 Mohamed Sultan Road, Singapore 239007
12. Nine Years Theatre: Watch beautiful Chinese productions
If you’re a fan of Chinese theatre, add this to your list. Co-founded by Nelson Chia (artistic director) and Mia Chee (company director), this Mandarin drama company doesn’t limit its range of productions by genre and scale. Nine Years Theatre typically produces actor-centred productions that focus on how actors can affect the flow of production.
Nine Years Theatre, 28 Aliwal Street, Singapore 199918
13. Sing’theatre: French culture all day, every day
Whether you’re a closet Francophile or proud to be French, Sing’theatre will pique your interest. Founded by Nathalie Ribette in 2006, it’s a non-profit professional Singaporean drama company with a French twist. With its aim to promote cultural exchange, Sing’theatre creates productions by drawing inspiration from French cultural heritage – introducing the audience to French music, folklore and more. Past productions feature iconic French and European singers. Look out for Forever Young, the sold-out 2017 musical that’s back to tickle your funny bone!
Sing’theatre, #02-10, Heritage Place, 21 Tan Quee Lan Street, Singapore 188108
14. The Improv Company: Quick wit and going with the flow is how they roll
Imagine a crossover between “Whose Line is it Anyway?” and drama productions. Sounds like your cup of tea? Aspiring quick-quippers can have a dig at improv and polish any existing skills with Singapore’s biggest improv company. Besides providing you with the tools, tips and tricks to unleash your inner Amy Poehler, The Improv Company also produces regular shows. It even hosted Singapore’s first sold-out improv festival in 2016. You’re definitely in good hands with these pros!
The Improv Company, 62 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058692
15. Drama Box: Plays that evoke your civic responsibility
Formed in 1990, Drama Box has gained a respectable reputation for presenting works that raise social awareness and instil civic responsibility in Singaporeans. The works engage and immerse audiences with issues discussed in the play. Plus, the team holds workshops for budding actors who want to improve their performance skills.
Drama Box, 14A-C Trengganu Street, Singapore 058468
16. The Finger Players: The ones that give life to puppets
Catering to both adults and youths, The Finger Players fuse puppet theatre and other art disciplines for an entertaining hybrid like no other. The company’s unique style is evident in its 16 multidisciplinary productions that have won impressive accolades across the years. Time to flex those fingers for some puppetry fun!
The Finger Players, 126 Cairnhill Road, Singapore 229707
17. The Second Breakfast Company: For youths, by youths
This non-profit company advocates for an inclusive theatre culture. The goal? To create awareness among youths for the appreciation of arts and empower future generations through plays. It produces plays by young writers, re-staging the history of Singapore through a new lens and reframing classical literature. Look out for the latest online production, The Singapore Trilogy, which touches on political and personal adversities.
The Second Breakfast Company, available online
Let this A-list of theatre companies in Singapore be your guide for quality productions.