2012 - October

Short Description
Maureen I used to think, when you get older, you can only look back. Think about the past and your regrets. People say, let's bring back the kampung spirit. What nonsense. If you want the kampung spirit, why you go and destroy all the kampung?

Dorothy: Last time, people didn't like to move house. Property had value, but not a price. We wanted to grow our roots... have families... memories... a connection to our community. Today, that is not a priority. We sell, we buy, we move. The rest... is nostalgia.

Mdm Lo: We may be old. But old doesn't mean we are all the same. Some may be healthy and fit—the role models of the aged. But some of us are sick. Some of us are not mobile. We can't speak even though we have a voice.

Saras: In life, we will always lose something—our home, our family... We experience loss all the time. But sometimes we will also find something. Something that keeps us going.

1999 - Exodus

Short Description
Director's Message
Jean Ng

We say that it is a small world but actually, the world is quite big—at least, big enough for everybody. Yet, from time immemorial, there are people whom no place will have. We call them refugees. East Timor, Kosovo, Rwanda, Bosnia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Mexico, Cuba—the list is so long and each time, the basic problems are frustratingly the same. Some camp fights another; some religion thinks it is supreme over all others; some race cannot tolerate a different skin colour; some power-hungry politician gone mad; some colonial power dividing the same land and people into pieces. And the result? Hundreds of thousands of innocent people have to run for their lives.

2017 - Sanctuary

Short Description
Don't believe less in mankind... even if people fail you. Don't believe less in God... even if your suffering seems endless. Don't believe less in yourself... even if you find no reason to live.

If someone tells you, go away, say no. If someone tells you, you don't belong here, say no. This is my home. No. This is my life. Today. Tomorrow. For generations to come.

2011 - Balek Kampong

Short Description
Director's Message
Alvin Tan

'Is home the kampong or the new nation?'—a question that intrigued both Haresh and myself, especially at a time when the worldwide rise of new nationalism acts as a resistance against the relentless emergence of an even more increasing borderless world. With new citizens at our doorstep, and living in a tiny island being constantly connected to the world, we are perpetually interacting with 'others' both in our daily realities and virtually.

Balek Kampong features two narratives/realities—a device to explore the complexities of home in a more wholistic way.


1995 - Rosnah

Short Description
From the Director
Alvin Tan

Alin and I were discussing the concept of home. Brought up in Singapore, in Asia, what it was like to be away from home, to be in a foreign land. halfway through the discussion, we began to go on Rosnah's journey instead—that means the feelings might be from ourselves but some decisions made in the play were strictly Rosnah's and not ours.

1997 - Land

Short Description
(Silence.  Then suddenly.  Heavy tremor.  They all fall all over the place, screaming and shouting.)

KW:  They are digging nearer and nearer.  Soon, soon...everything will be over.

R:  Everything is not going to be over.

J:  We will all die again

R:  No, we won't!

J & KW:  Yes, we will.  (They scream and shout)

R:  Wait, listen!  Look, they can do whatever they want.  The land will change, the tombstones will be thrown away, but they cannot touch us. They cannot do anything to us. (pause)  We will always be here.  This is our home.

2008 - Eclipse

Short Description
Son: My language is home. And it’s not here. As I look at the dark sky intermittently set afire with colourful and rather dangerous fireworks, I realise… this man is right. Why would I ever want to leave my father here?

Dad, you told me little about partition. But when I googled, I realised that about 15 million men, women and children had to uproot, crossing borders, to regions completely foreign to them. Whether they were Muslims or Hindus, their true identity, their true home, was where they were born, where their ancestors were. But, as you said, all that is unnecessary history.


1990 - TNS Office (Alvin's Bedroom)

Short Description
29 December 1990

Alvin Tan, president of The Necessary Stage, with Haresh Sharma, the first full-time staff taking on the role of publicity manager, secretary and resident playwright, operating from Alvin's bedroom.

1993 - Three Years in the Life and Death of Land

Short Description
What happens to a plot of land in a country that is constantly changing? What happens to the families which are affected by the plot of land in a country that is constantly changing? What happens to the friends and neighbours, and strangers and spirits that are affected...

Three Years In The Life and Death of Land looks at three different stories, in three different years, on the same plot of land.

Some things never change.

2001 - The Programme #3

Short Description
Zoom in on the Critic's Chair: Seven Years in Waiting (An Interview with Hannah Pandian by Haresh Sharma)

Haresh: I remember you asking me once why I don't leave. Why not Alvin and I just leave Singapore and practise somewhere else. I don't remember the answer. Do you ?

Hannah: Years ago, you said you made a difference, and I understood, appreciated and envied that. Very recently, you told me how much things have changed, how much the internet has opened up communication, how much more information Singaporeans expect than they did before. All good things. Good things in a country I love so dearly that its smells haunt me when I'm sleeping!

1993 - ONE-TWO-SIX Cairnhill Arts Centre Opening Ceremony

Short Description
ONE-TWO-SIX Cairnhill Arts Centre

Opening Ceremony & Open House

24 April 1993

1994 - Hope

Short Description
Haresh Sharma

I usually have a lot of problems with the Playwright's Message. I'd much rather give audiences a Playwright's Massage before the play [or after--I'm easy].

But having been away from Singapore for more than three months, not being able to see the premier of my play for the first time, being awarded the Shell/NAC Scholarship... I found I had plenty to write about. And I did. When I finally finished typing my message last night on my Apple Laptop it was long enough to submit as a thesis. Nevertheless, I printed it on my bubble-jet printer, and went to sleep. Then I had a dream. So, I've decided to write about my dream instead, and save my message for future publication.

1996 - Lizard

Short Description
Mother: Go. Go away. Leave this house. I want you to leave this house.

Son: Why? Why should I leave?

Mother: Because I say.

Son: So?

Mother: Because I say.

Son: So?

Mother: I’m your mother.

Son: So?

Mother: What I say you do.

Son: You do lah.

1994 - Staged News Issue 5

Short Description
Artistic Director's Message
Alvin Tan

Singapore needs her artistes. Those who have chosen to stay on in Singapore and struggled with the Arts development ought to be thanked and recognised for their foresight and sacrifice. It is these few who stayed on who should be awarded for their efforts. They have inspired the mushroom of new and significant theatre companies in recent years.

Artistes need to be in touch with a base, with a home. Artistes and Country—a curious relationship which challenge and enrich, always at some tension, yet needing each other, needing to belong to yet some plot of land.