2004 - Ask Not

Short Description
What Art Makes Possible: Remembering Forum Theatre
Sanjay Krishnan

A historical sensibility will emerge only if we learn to open ourselves to the present as historical, in all its complexity and imperfection. This requires being open to more than one way of thinking about the present and a willingness to take seriously differences of opinion. For, unlike the past, which has come to be frozen in a particular representation or idea, the present is always open to contestation and debate. When we learn to trust people to investigate the present for themselves, we simultaneously open a path back into the past, and different ways of understanding how we got to the present. This is how we restore the pulse and life-blood to history as an activity that genuinely concerns us as individuals and as a people, as something that grows and changes just as we grow and change as a nation. This open and free historical reflection is the only way to ensure that people, not least young Singaporeans, will establish a committed relation to the country. For historical reflection is that relation.

1987 - The Waiting Room & Dead on Cue

Short Description
President's Message
Alvin Tan

But to form a group on the mere premise of interest in theatre is insufficient for long term survival. Two points were clear to me then. Firstly, I wanted to explore the approach to drama through Literature and secondly, I wanted to do local plays. So the teething problems began for us. We recognised the resource of talent around but impoverished by the lack of a vision, we had to postpone our yearning to register ourselves as a society. Anxiety propelled us to discuss matters with other drama practitioners and enthusiasts. One such person was Dr Max Le Blond. The other was Mr William Teo.

1990 - Those Who Can't, Teach

Short Description
A Note from the President
Alvin Tan

We have been dreaming of realising a vision ever since our inception in 1986... However what we wanted suffered from the vagueness of a "Beginning". What exactly is it do we want? [...]

What we want, what we dream for indigenous theatre, we have to earn it. To earn it, we have to learn. These years have been dedicated to learning, to application of principles we have picked up along the way, to the evaluation we have made of our triumphs and failures, and these have begun to shape our future plans and, more importantly, our direction in years to come.

1991 - Boxes

Short Description
President's Message
Alvin Tan

Changes are taking place at The Necessary Stage. In June last year, the group employed its first full-time administrator. In September, we were allocated a room at the Telok Ayer Performing Arts Centre (TAPAC). Later in the year, the Theatre-In-Residence status was granted to us. This year, Apple Computer has agreed to be our Corporate Sponsor. All these changes have helped tremendously, in terms of supporting The Necessary Stage, and enabling us to further our vision of nurturing new indigenous talents.

1992 - Staged News Vol 1 Issue 1

Short Description
History of TNS
Lisa Marie Tan

It did all begin in 1986; The Necessary Stage, that is. However, it is then known as the "!" and the group was propelled into public limelight with its performance of "God" at the NUSSU Arts Festival where it won the Most Outstanding Production award. Those were the days when members of the group were still students in the university. It has come a long way since and today, here at ONE-TWO-SIX, Cairnhill Arts Centre, there are now 4 full-time staff handling the different portfolios to keep the group running smoothly since it turned professional this year.

2008 - M1 Singapore Fringe Festival: Art & History

Short Description
Fringe Foreword
The Festival Team

History is not necessarily about the past. Time and time again, humanity has exposed its folly and hubris by repeating its previous mistakes. hence, as we investigate the role of history and its dialogue with art, we are also compelled to deal and contrast with its antithesis: the future.

2009 - Past Caring

Short Description
Director's Message
Alvin Tan

If we can see and visit the past form the vantage point of the present and/or the future, would we care for the past differently? In the age of green consciousness why is it still difficult for us to change our habitual behaviour?

Perhaps it's because we are not living in the actual conditions of the future. Hence it's understandably less urgent to take any concrete and relevant action in the present, which is the past of our future. We can't feel the stakes.

2005 - Separation 40

Short Description
Teacher's Educational Pack

What do you find most interesting/confusing about Singapore-Malaysia history and relations, including things that may not have been highlighted in the play?

Is there anything you would like to change about Singapore-Malaysia history or relations?

Which events that you have seen or might see in your own lifetime do you think will go down as important historical events in the future? (both positive and negative)

1997 - 9 Lives

Short Description
T. Sasitharan: You know there’s no understanding that this is important and this money has to be spent, otherwise the whole project loses its historical significance. Nothing has historical life unless it’s put down on paper somewhere, recorded on a video somewhere, and we can retrieve it at sometime in the future and look at it and talk about it. So things cannot exist without histories and in Singapore we do art as if history doesn’t exist.

2001 - The Programme #4

Short Description
The Void Left By Them...

These actors were once prolific stage performers who left an indelible impression on the audience during their respective heydays. For various reasons, they have faded away and retreated behind the curtains to tackle new roles in their lives. The Programme catches up with these much missed actors.

2000 - Princess Diana is Dead

Short Description
A Mockumentary, A Mockessay? - Princess Diana is Dead

"Revitalization and rejuvenation of history through the pedagogical framework of the other."

2012 - Plays for Schools

Short Description
History, Whose Story?
Haresh Sharma

More importantly, I wanted to merge fact and fiction, myth and reality, so that the audience could have a discussion afterwards about the intricacies and different facets of Singapore's history. Ultimately, the play tries to stay true to its title by pointing to the fact that there are many sides to history and many stories to be told.

2013 - Mobile 2

Short Description

Caregiver: Your memory, Hiro-San, is full.

Hiro: Option to erase memory?

Caregiver: Please select memory to erase, Hiro-San.

Hiro: I don't know which.

Caregiver: Your memory, Hiro-San, is full. Love and move on.

1987 - God's Favourite

Short Description
The Necessary Stage

The Necessary Stage aims to support local drama by staging local plays so that local playwrights may have the opportunity to see their plays produced in order to re-work them. Essentially they hope to be a writer's drama group. Besides doing unpublished local plays, they will also be staging established works and hope to learn from these plays the principles they need to apply to their local production.