Milestones
1986
  • A group of undergraduates, calling themselves '!' staged an adaptation of Woody Allen's GOD for the National University of Singapore (NUS) Arts Festival and was awarded Best Production. Members of the group, led by Alvin Tan, went on to register themselves as a society.
1987
  • The Necessary Stage (TNS) is officially registered as a Society.
  • TNS takes part in the Singapore Drama Festival with Ovidia Yu's Dead On Cue.
1988
  • TNS' first ticketed performance, Happy Families (a doublebill of two plays), is staged at the Drama Centre.
  • The Company takes part in the Festival Fringe (Singapore Festival of Arts) with Over The Wall.
  • Round and Round the Dining Table, a devised play, was filmed by the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation.
1989
  • Rigor Mortis, a workshopped play by Haresh Sharma and Alvin Tan, is the first full-length play staged.
1990
  • Haresh Sharma is the Company's first full-time staff.
  • TNS' first production for the Singapore Festival of Arts Core Programme is Lanterns Never Go Out.
  • TNS is invited to create a new work to launch the opening of The Substation and Those Who Can't, Teach is staged.
1991
  • The Necessary Stage is accepted under the National Arts Council's (NAC)Theatre-in-Residence Scheme.
  • Apple Computer is the Corporate Sponsor for the Company's 1991 season.
1992
  • The Necessary Stage is awarded a SEED Grant by NAC.
  • Still Building is staged at the Cairo International Experimental Theatre Festival.
  • The Theatre for Youth Branch is launched. Singapore's first Theatre-In- Education (TIE) piece, The Legend of Bukit Merah, tours secondary schools and subsequently returns with reworkings in 1995 and 1997 due to popular demand.
  • The Triangle Project was started with the aim of providing opportunities for the less privileged to watch theatre. The Necessary Stage matches donors and charities with the former buying tickets to the company's productions for the beneficiaries.
1993
  • TNS forms a new Board of Directors whose members include Dr Kanwaljit Soin, Dr Jennifer Lee and Ms Tisa Ng (chair). Goh Su Lin is employed as the Company's first General Manager. The Necessary Stage employs three full-time actors/facilitators: Hossan Leong, Rajesh Krishnamuti and Geraldine Wee.
  • Alvin Tan and Haresh Sharma attend a Forum Theatre Workshop in New York conducted by Augusto Boal. They create two pieces at The Substation - MCP and Mixed Blessings. The form is a major hit with Singaporean audiences.
  • The collaborative partnership of Alvin Tan and Haresh Sharma reaches a high point with the critically-acclaimed Off Centre, which is hailed as marking a new maturity in Singapore theatre.
  • The plays Still Building, Lanterns Never Go Out and More, all by Resident Playwright Haresh Sharma, win a Merit Award in the 1993 Singapore Literature Prize and are published in a volume entitled Still Building.
  • TNS' Theatre for Youth Branch adds The Singaporean Teenager (three forum theatre pieces) to its repertoire.
  • The Theatre For Youth Ensemble, a programme where a group of young theatre enthusiasts attend a series of drama workshops and present works, under the guidance of theatre professionals, is launched. The programme continues for two years.
  • Portraits 1, a triple bill of works created by the Theatre For Youth Ensemble, tours libraries.
  • The company makes the first of its appearances in NAC's Young People's Theatre with Over The Wall.
1994
  • TNS takes part in the Singapore Festival of Arts with Three Years in the Life and Death of Land.
  • Still Building is staged at Mayfest in Glasgow and the Albany Theatre in London.
  • Still Building, a collection of plays (Lanterns Never Go Out, More and Still Building) is published by EPB Publishers with the support of the NAC Publishing Grant Scheme.
  • Haresh Sharma is awarded a British Council Fellowship. He is also awarded the Shell-NAC Arts Scholarship to pursue an MA in Playwriting at the University of Birmingham, UK.
  • Off Centre (the abridged version), is staged in conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Week '94, organised by the Singapore Association for Mental Health and National Council of Social Services.
  • TNS stages 'Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky, a new work based on the experiences of, and performed by, people who had attempted suicide.
  • TNS develops its first secondary school assembly show, Waiting. The company develops two more TIE programmes to tour schools including a version of Lanterns Never Go Out.
  • TNS launches its new Community Service Theatre Branch, with the aim of reaching out to non-theatre goers by staging accessible and engaging plays at neighbourhood venues at low ticket prices.
  • Waiting and Portraits 2: Picture of Innocence (a triple-bill of works by the Theatre For Youth Ensemble) tours Community Centres and libraries.
  • TNS stages Mari Kita Main Wayang, a Peranakan play written by Felix Chia.
1995
  • TNS sponsors Alvin Tan's postgraduate degree in the UK.
  • Alvin Tan is awarded a British Council Fellowship.
  • The collection of plays, Still Building, is given a Singapore Literature Prize award.
  • The company opens Young People's Theatre with a performance of I am Old.
  • While in Birmingham, UK, pursuing his studies, Haresh Sharma's plays There is No New Thing Under the Sun and In the Centre, Right in the Core are staged at Mayfest in Glasgow and the Midland Art Centre in Birmingham respectively.
  • TNS is the Resident Theatre Company of the new Tampines Regional Library. The Company tours shows such as The Chosen One, Mother's Day and Rosnah.
  • TNS stages There is a Tree with Tampines residents for Tampines Cultural Day, co-organised with Tampines Regional Library. Lelong Lelong is staged at the Tampines MRT Station.
1996
  • Alvin Tan is awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study at New York University.
  • TNS creates October, a play devised with, and performed by a group of elderly people.
  • The Necessary Stage's Assembly Plays for schools stand out because of their ability to entertain and educate on issues close to the hearts of youths. These include Ging-Gang-Goo (bullying), I Have a Friend (suicide) and Mirror Mirror (eating disorders).
1997
  • TNS is given more rooms at Telok Ayer Performing Arts Centre in addition to Cairnhill.
  • Haresh Sharma is awarded the NAC Young Artist Award.
  • TNS begins employment for six full-time actors: Julius Foo, Low Kah Wei, Mohd Fita Helmi, Zelda Ng, Sim Pern Yiau and Verena Tay. These actors were involved in almost all of the Company's productions from 1997-1998, until lack of funds forced the Company to revert to freelance actors.
  • TNS publishes 9 Lives: 10 Years of Singapore Theatre to celebrate the Company's 10th anniversary. The collection of essays and discussions remains a valuable reference to Singapore theatre till today.
  • TNS and Teater Kami co-present Pillars for the 1997 Festival of Asian Performing Arts. Pillars, along with the Company's other production Galileo [I feel the earth move] mark a new direction, where theatre embraced text, movement and multimedia. The former is hailed by a critic as 'a shining example of the best of Singapore theatre'.
  • Rosnah is staged at The Old Market Theatre in Melbourne and Invisibility at the Ping-Fong Theatre in Taiwan.
  • TNS launches its first festival of theatre for young people, EXPLOSION!
  • TNS presents the community tour Island Stories, staged at open-air venues. One Day at a Time, a play about Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, tours to various libraries.
1998
  • Alvin Tan is awarded the NAC Young Artist Award.
  • TNS presents Superfriends at the Hall of Justice for the Singapore Festival of Arts.
  • M1 becomes and still is the Company's Corporate Sponsor, with the festival M1 Youth Connection (renamed M1 Theatre Connect in 2004 and M1 Singapore Fringe Festival in 2005).
  • From 1998 to 2003, M1 Youth Connection includes an international component featuring groups such as Mostar Youth Theatre from Bosnia, Arad Goch from Wales, Frantic Assembly from the UK, Controluce Teatro d'Ombre from Italy, Zen Zen Zo from Australia and Theatre de L'E.V.N.I. from Belgium.
  • Peer Pleasure is also added to M1 Youth Connection. It is a process-based programme where two school groups are invited to create their own works with guidance from theatre professionals. This doublebill feature continues until 2002.
  • Walking Into Doors, a play dealing with different aspects of family violence, is staged with support from the Ang Mo Kio Family Service Centre, and is hailed as 'one of the group's best works'.
1999
  • Completely With/Out Character, a one-man show featuring the late Paddy Chew, the first Singaporean to publicly announce his HIV positive status, attracts the attention of TIME and Newsweek.
  • TNS employs nine full-time staff.
  • TNS launches its Associate Scheme, where selected artists are given opportunities to create works presented by the Company, as well as an honorarium. In three years, The Necessary Stage supported Jeff Chen, Jean Ng and Natalie Hennedige (Associate Directors), Alfian Sa'at and Chong Tze Chien (Associate Playwrights), Lucy Davis (Associate Artist), Dorothy Png (Associate Designer) and Serena Ho (Associate Actor). The controversial sex.violence.blood.gore launches a new generation of artists nurtured by TNS: director Jeff Chen, and playwrights Alfian Sa'at and Chong Tze Chien.
  • TNS launches [names changed to protect the innocent], a quarterly platform for artists creating new and experimental work, under the artistic direction of Jeff Chen.
  • Minerva Press publishes Haresh Sharma's second collection of plays, This Chord & Others.
  • TNS launches Development Through Drama, a process-based drama programme that uses drama as a tool to develop life-skills in students. A first for Singapore schools, the programme is conducted during curriculum time at Mayflower Primary School.
  • TNS collaborates with the National Institute of Education to organise a symposium titled "Creativity Through Drama: A Symposium on the Potential of Drama in the Singapore Classroom".
2000
  • TNS moves to its new home at the Marine Parade Community Building on 12 April.
  • TNS becomes one of 4 Major Arts Companies in Singapore, with a two-year grant by NAC.
  • The first major work by the Company after its move to the Marine Parade Community Building is 3some - works created by Alvin Tan, Haresh Sharma, Jeff Chen and Chong Tze Chien.
  • Talk and untitled women number one are invited (as Untitled Women Talk) to the Macau Fringe Festival.
  • Asian Boys Vol. 1 garners sold out performances and rave reviews.
  • Haresh Sharma's Off Centre is published by Ethos Books as part of its "One Play Series".
  • TNS organises its first fundraiser at the Shangri-La Hotel.
  • A new Board of Directors takes over: Dr Tan Chong Kee (chair), Vincent Lim and Yap Ching Wi. Chong Tze Chien and Jeff Chen join The Necessary Stage as full-time artists - Company Playwright and Resident Director respectively.
  • TNS launches The Programme, a new quarterly art zine edited by Chong Tze Chien, with the aim of reaching out to new audiences, and to increase discussion on the arts in Singapore.
  • The company collaborates with the Calgary Arts Centre, Canada on Playwright's Web, a cross-cultural playwriting and drama project involving students from Tanjong Katong Secondary School, St. Hilda's Secondary School and students from Calgary.
  • TNS, with the support of the NAC, publishes Development Through Drama: Towards Providing a Holistic Education in Singapore Schools - a documentation of the company's work at Mayflower Primary School.
  • The inaugural Marine Parade Theatre Festival, launched in August, sees the start of a series of collaborations between the company and grassroots organisations, such as Community Development Councils (CDC) and the People's Association. One of the highlights of the Festival is Imagined Boundaries, an exhibition of local artists whose works were created and presented in and around the Marine Parade Community Building.
2001
  • Playwright's Cove is launched with the aim of providing development and mentorship, as well as opportunities for emerging playwrights. The programme culminates one year later in a showcase of the playwrights' works at the Asian Civilisations Museum.
  • International Playwright's Exchange is launched, with the aim of promoting exchange between Singapore and international playwrights.
  • TNS launches focas [Forum On Contemporary Art & Society], a biannual journal that engages issues of contemporary art, politics and social change. Edited by Lucy Davis, the publication was highly welcomed with one academic/critic calling it 'an enormously valuable record of contemporary arts process, practice, thinking and critique in Singapore.'
  • One Hundred Years In Waiting, a first time collaboration between The Necessary Stage and The Theatre Practice, is presented as part of the Singapore Arts Festival. The play is directed by Alvin Tan and Wong May Lan and written by Kuo Pao Kun, Haresh Sharma and Chong Tze Chien.
  • TNS now has 16 full-time staff.
  • The Company partially funds Ngiam Su-Lin's postgraduate degree in Australia. She returns to take up the position of Company Manager.
  • TNS finds a new Corporate Sponsor in BAT (British-American Tobacco), which sponsors its Community Festival.
  • Sean Tobin joins TNS as Associate Artistic Director. His role includes being Artistic Director of the Theatre for Youth Branch (renamed Theatre For Youth and Community in 2002), as well as M1 Youth Connection (renamed M1 Theatre Connect in 2004). Natalie Hennedige and Serena Ho join the Company as full-time artists, making a total of seven full-time artists.
  • Mr Christopher Tan joins the Company's Board of Directors.
  • Jeff Chen is awarded a British Council Fellowship.
  • The company pioneers another new developmental programme during curriculum time, called Integrated Arts and Personal Development at East View Secondary School and Telok Kurau Secondary School.
  • The Necessary Stage presents FamFest, with the objective of exploring means by which theatre can contribute to communities and their quality of life. This festival sees the company collaborating with a record-breaking number of partners.
  • The Marine Parade Theatre Festival is renamed The Necessary Community Festival , and sees the company working with three CDC's - Marine Parade CDC, North-East CDC and Central CDC.
2002
  • TNS discontinues Playwright's Cove, The Programme, focas and [names changed to protect the innocent] and invests more time and costs into its Main Season works.
  • Artistic Director Alvin Tan initiates an Artist Laboratory, where each full-time artist creating a new work undergoes a minimum six-month process, with showcases to an invited audience, followed by discussions. The work is then publicly staged. Works created under this process include BOTE: The Beginning of the End; Close - In My Face; godeatgod and WWW.
  • TNS partially funds Stage Manager Isis Koh's degree in Australia.
  • The Theatre For Youth Branch is renamed Theatre For Youth and Community to reflect the wide ranging outreach and education work of The Necessary Stage.
  • Chong Tze Chien's maiden collection of plays, PIE to SPOILT, is published by The Necessary Stage. The Untitled Series, untitled women number one and untitled cow number one, is presented at the 2002 Asia Theatre Festival in Busan.
  • TNS continues its aim of reaching out to new audiences by presenting Close - In My Face, a play devised and performed by a mix of professional actors and residents from the community with South East CDC. Input for the play also came from residents through a series of focus group discussions.
2003
  • TNS presents Revelations as part of the Singapore Arts Festival.
  • koan, a brand new work directed by Alvin Tan, sees its world premiere at the 2003 Asia Theatre Festival in Busan. It is later staged at the Next Wave Festival in Seoul. The Untitled Series is presented at the National Theatre Festival in New Delhi and the ESB Dublin Fringe Festival in Dublin.
  • TNS organises its second fundraiser, Starlight! at Jubilee Hall, Raffles Hotel.
  • Dr Kenneth Paul Tan joins the Company's Board of Directors.
  • The Theatre For Youth Ensemble is re-launched with support from the South East Community Development Council.
  • TNS collaborates with Cumbernauld Theatre in Scotland to create Fires Within Fires, an original work produced by students from Singapore and Scotland. This was performed at M1 Youth Connection in Singapore and the North Lanarkshire Youth Arts Festival in Scotland.
  • TIE returns to schools after three years with What About Me? and Let Me Go!
  • Based on a similar methodology as Close - In My Face, and co-presented with South East CDC, Oh Man! continues the process of engaging with the community.
  • Staying Alive, a play on suicide, is commissioned by Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) and staged at the Marine Parade Community Building Theatrette.
2004
  • TNS restages Mardi Gras and godeatgod and created Top or Bottom, a spin-off from Mardi Gras. Haresh Sharma gets involved as one of the collaborators for the Lohan Journey/Asian Contemporary Theatre Project presented by Setagaya Public Theatre.
  • Ask Not: The Necessary Stage in Singapore Theatre, a collection of essays on examining the social, political, economic and artistic aspects of theatre-making in Singapore from the perspective of TNS, was published by Times Editions.
  • TNS has an administration restructure: Natalie Hennedige is promoted to Resident Director.
  • TNS receives the second consecutive two-year grant from NAC.
  • NTUC Income became our new corporate sponsor (until 2008).
  • The Company organised a fundraising dinner with Marine Parade Community Club & Metta School.
  • M1 Youth Connection is rebranded to M1 Theatre Connect with Such Sweet Sorrow and Mixed Blessings.
  • The Company co-presented Signs of Fire camp with The Esplanade.
  • Sing Song the musical was created.
  • The forum theatre piece Tie Me Up! toured to different venues in South East Community Development Council (SECDC).
2005
  • TNS has another internal restructure to release associate artists and to scale the entire Company to a compact size of 7 full-time staff. Melissa Lim becomes the General Manager of the Company.
  • The Necessary Stage and dramalab (Malaysia) co-present Separation 40 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Singapore's separation from Malaysia. It was first staged in Singapore before touring to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where it won awards for Best Director, Best Group Performance and Best Theatre Production at the 2005 BOH Cameronian Arts Awards.
  • TNS organises and curates the inaugural annual M1 Singapore Fringe Festival.
  • godeatgod tours to the Sibiu International Theatre Festival in Romania.
  • TNS launches Creative Communications Workshop for Secondary One students at Victoria School.
  • The Company facilitates the Creative Arts Programme Seminar 2005.
  • Supported by the South East Community Development Council, The Necessary Stage conducted drama workshops with residents from the South East district which culminated in a performance Crack: The Separation Project to commemorate the 40th year of Singapore's separation from Malaysia.
2006
  • Mobile, an intercultural collaboration is successfully created with artists from Japan, The Philippines, Singapore and Thailand and is presented at the Singapore Arts Festival, and tours to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Off Centre, a play written by playwright Haresh Sharma, is selected as a GCE 'N' and 'O' Level Literature text for 2007. Off Centre is the first Singaporean play to be included at 'O' Level Literature. TNS relaunches the generic and students' editions of the publication Off Centre, the latter including resource notes.
  • godeatgod tours to Sziget Festival in Hungary.
  • Fundamentally Happy is devised and presented at The Necessary Stage Black Box.
  • Ken Takiguchi joins the Company's Board of Directors.
  • TNS receives the third consecutive two-year grant from the NAC.
  • The Company scaled down to 6 full-time staff with the absolution of the Production Manager post, and began to hire production crew on a project basis instead.
  • In conjunction with Action for AIDS Singapore, The Necessary Stage presented the forum theatre piece The Seven-Month Itch to increase safer-sex practices among the men who have sex with men (MSM) community in Singapore.
2007
  • Fundamentally Happy wins Best Production and Best Original Script at the 2007 Life! Theatre Awards.
  • Fundamentally Happy tours to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and is restaged at the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2007.
  • Off Centre is re-staged as part of Esplanade's Studio Season to a sold out audience.
  • Good People, a collaboration with artists from Australia, Malaysia, The Philippines and Singapore, received critical and popular acclaim for its staging at The Necessary Stage Black Box.
  • Mobile tours to Tokyo, Japan where it received critical acclaim from academics and theatre practitioners.
  • Diana Lim-Chong joins the Company's Board of Directors.
  • Let Me Go!, a forum theatre piece for secondary school, is presented in September, in collaboration with the National Arts Council and the Esplanade – Theatres On The Bay.
2008
  • Good People receives nominations in the category of Production of the Year, Best Original Script, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Set Design at the 2008 Life! Theatre Awards, and tours to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Gemuk Girls is devised and presented at The Necessary Stage Black Box to sold out audiences. The play travels to Kuala Lumpur in December in the same year.
  • After touring to various theatres in Scotland the previous year, Haresh Sharma's Eclipse premieres in Singapore at the National Museum Gallery Theatre as part of M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2008.
  • TNS was commissioned to present Frozen Angels at the National University of Singapore's Arts Festival.
  • TNS receives the fourth consecutive two-year grant from the NAC.
  • Serene Tan joins the Company's Board of Directors.
  • Off Centre: Drama in Education, an interactive theatre piece for secondary school, is presented in September, in collaboration with the National Arts Council and the Esplanade – Theatres On The Bay.
  • With support from the Council for Third Age, TNS launches Theatre for Seniors, a 3-year drama programme for senior citizens, with the aim of equipping them with skills to establish an independent drama group for seniors.
2009
  • A collaboration with Tony Yap Company from Melbourne, Australia, resulted in a new work Past Caring, which was presented at The Necessary Stage Black Box.
  • Gemuk Girls was nominated for six awards including Best Director and Best Actress at the 9th Life! Theatre Awards. The production eventually won Best Original Script, Best Actor and Production of the Year.
  • The Necessary Stage collaborated with Russian theatre company Theatre KnAM, who was part of M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2008, to present Sofaman at The Necessary Stage Black Box, which also toured to the Drama Theatre in Khabarovsk, Russia.
  • Frozen Angels is restaged at the National Museum Gallery Theatre as part of M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2009.
  • Talentime is presented in collaboration with the National Arts Council and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay as part of the Free Your Imagination (FYI) programme.
  • Don't Forget to Remember Me, a commission by Alzheimer's Diseases Association on awareness of dementia, was presented at Jubilee Hall.
  • TNS is commissioned by Health Promotion Board to create and tour a work entitled Play Safe on safe sex practices.
  • Theatre for Seniors presented their first public performance, Encore: An Evening of Ageless Theatre, at Marine Parade Community Club Theatrette.
2010
  • Alvin Tan was awarded Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.
  • TNS is commissioned by the Singapore Arts Festival to present Those Who Can't, Teach at the Drama Centre Theatre, and the script was also published by Epigram Books. The cast also received a nomination for Best Ensemble at the Life! Theatre Awards.
  • A new work was staged at The Necessary Black Box, which received nominations in the following categories at the Life! Theatre Awards: Production of the Year, Best Director, Best Original Script, and two nominations for Best Actress.
  • A new work ______ Can Change, a trilogy comprising Singles Can Change, Homosexuals Can Change and Marxists Can Change was presented at the National Museum Gallery Theatre as part of M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2010.
  • TNS publishes Trilogy, a compilation of three plays Fundamentally Happy, Good People and Gemuk Girls by Haresh Sharma.
  • TNS receives the fifth consecutive two-year major grant from NAC.
  • Andy Yeo joins the Company's Board of Directors.
  • When the Bough Breaks, a commission by KK Women & Children's Hospital's Mental Wellness Service, focusing on post-natal depression is created and presented in public venues and the hospital auditorium.
  • The second installation of the annual Theatre for Seniors presentation, entitled Encore II: Heartland! Heartland!, was held at the Marine Parade Community Club Theatrette.
2011
  • Haresh Sharma received the Goldberg Master Playwright Award from New York's Tisch School of the Arts. He is the first non-American playwright to receive the award.
  • TNS presents a new play Balek Kampong at The Necessary Stage Black Box.
  • TNS was commissioned by the Singapore Arts Festival to present Singapore at the Esplanade Theatre Studio.
  • TNS restages Gemuk Girls at The Necessary Stage Black Box for another sold-out run.
  • TNS restages Model Citizens at the National Museum Gallery Theatre as part of M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2011, and toured to Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre after.
  • Model Citizens received nominations for Production of the Year, Best Original Script, two Best Actress at the 2011 Life! Theatre Awards, and won for Best Director (Alvin Tan) and Best Actress (Siti Khalijah Zainal).
  • The cast for Those Who Can't, Teach received a nomination for Best Ensemble at the 2011 Life! Theatre Awards.
  • A new collection of short plays by Haresh Sharma entitled Shorts 1 is published by the Company.
  • TNS was commissioned by Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) to create a play on child abuse. The skit, entitled Sweet Dreams, toured to primary schools and public spaces.
  • Theatre for Seniors Interest Group (TFSIG) performed Pantang and Mosquito in Bedok Comunity Centre as part of the Official Opening of the upgraded Bedok Comunity Centre cum Active Ageing Roadshow at the South East District.
  • TFSIG also performed three short skits titled Mother's Day, Grand-daughter's Boyfriend and Old Flames at Hougang Mall as part of Council for Third Age's Grandparents Day.
  • Encore III: Family Knots marked the third installation of the annual series by the Theatre for Seniors, performed at Marine Parade Community Club Theatrette.
2012
  • TNS collaborates with TRAFIK (Croatia) to create a new work Crossings which premiered at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay's The Studios Season before touring to the National Theatre in Rijeka, Croatia.
  • TNS restages an updated version of October at The Necessary Stage Black Box with cast from the Theatre for Seniors programme.
  • TNS restages Singapore at the Esplanade Theatre Studio as part of the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival.
  • A follow-up to Shorts 1 entitled Shorts 2, comprising short plays by Haresh Sharma is published by the Company.
  • TNS publishes Plays for Schools, the fourth collection of plays by Haresh Sharma, featuring works for students and educators.
  • Epigram Books published Model Citizens as part of their one-play series.
  • TNS presents a reworking of godeatgod with National University of Singapore (NUS) students at the NUS Arts Festival.
  • TNS receives the sixth consecutive two-year major grant from NAC.
  • Model Citizens: A Drama-in-Education Programme is presented in collaboration with the National Arts Council and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay as part of the Free Your Imagination (FYI) program.
  • National University of Singapore's Centre for Biomedical Ethics commissioned TNS to create a play on biomedical ethics called Future Perfect, targeted at secondary school students. The play was presented at various secondary schools and at Dalton Auditorium, Science Centre.
  • HCA Hospice Care commissions TNS to create a play on palliative care Don't Know, Don't Care, which toured to various secondary schools.
  • Theatre for Seniors Interest Group (TFSIG) tour to various Thye Hua Kwan Centres for the performance of Pantang and Mosquito.
  • The Necessary Stage conducted a 10-session workshop for Theatre for Seniors under the facilitation of actor/director Najib Soiman.
2013
  • Mobile 2: Flat Cities, an intercultural collaboration between TNS, Japanese and Malaysian artists premiered at The Necessary Stage Black Box before touring to The Actors Studio @ KuAsh, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • A new work Best Of, a monologue featuring Siti Khalijah Zainal, was staged at Esplanade Recital Studio as part of M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2013.
  • Best Of was staged in Penang at CausewayEXchange as part of The Georgetown Festival 2013.
  • TNS publishes Don't Forget to Remember Me, the fifth collection of plays by Haresh Sharma.
  • Crossings receives one nomination in the category of Best Supporting Actress and the cast of October receives a nomination in the category of Best Ensemble in the 2013 Life! Theatre Awards.
  • Future Perfect, the play on biomedical ethics, commissioned by National University of Singapore's Centre for Biomedical Ethics in 2012 continued to tour secondary schools.
  • Don't Know, Don't Care, the play on palliative care commissioned by HCA Hospice Care, continued to tour to various secondary schools. The play is also adapted for the screen.
  • The Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) commissions TNS to create and stage a skit called The Project on the maritime industry, which toured secondary schools. The Project was also staged at Ngee Ann Polytechnic as part of the Singapore Maritime Foundation's outreach initiative to the public.
  • TNS' Theatre for Seniors presents the fourth installation of Encore, entitled, Encore IV: Love Life at Marine Parade Community Building Theatrette. Unlike previous Encores, this edition performance featured an intergenerational cast and artistic team comprising senior and young talents.
  • TFSIG continues touring Pantang and Mosquito in community spaces as part of PAssion Arts Month 2013, and also at venues such as Ang Mo Kio and Bukit Merah Public Library, amongst others.
  • 8 Theatre for Seniors members go through an intensive 10-session Trainer's Workshop, designed and taught by Fanny Kee. Upon graduation, they were certified by The Necessary Stage as Senior Trainers to conduct a 5-session Basic Acting Workshop for fellow senior citizens. In collaboration with North East Community Development Council, they have taught the curriculum to seniors living in the North East district. TNS is also certified by the People's Association as a Private Operator to conduct the Basic Acting Workshop for seniors at Community Centres around Singapore.
  • TFSIC continue with their performances of their short sketches in community spaces as part of PAssion Arts Month 2013, and National Library Board venues, amongst others.
2014
  • Artistic Director Alvin Tan is awarded the Cultural Medallion, and Resident Playwright Haresh Sharma the S.E.A. Write (or Southeast Asian Writers’) Award.
  • Best Of, staged to critical and popular acclaim at the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2013, returns to the 2014's edition of the Festival by popular demand. The production then toured to Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre for a very well-received run.
  • The M1 Singapore Fringe Festival celebrates its 10th edition in 2014, achieving its most successful edition to date with record-breaking houses of 93% for ticketed performances, reaching out to almost 14,000 people through free and ticketed events.
  • Poor Thing, TNS' main season in February 2014, explored the issues of road rage and social media and had a sold-out run with critical and popular acclaim.
  • TNS receives the seventh consecutive Major Grant from NAC, this time on a three-year basis.
  • Our main season production, Gitanjali [I feel the earth move] was the largest interdisciplinary and intercultural production that the company has embarked upon to date. Inspired by the poetry of Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali explored various relationships - a mother and son, a teacher and student, and a writer and his muse - through traditional and contemporary dance and music, text and multimedia. The play was very well received by audiences.
  • The commissions, Future Perfect, Don't Know, Don't Care and The Project continue their tours to schools for the year.
2015
  • Resident Playwright Haresh Sharma is awarded the Cultural Medallion.
  • The M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2015 is headed for the first time by new Artistic Director Sean Tobin, as part of the rotational artistic directorship, each with a 3-year tenure.
  • TNS revisits two earlier works, untitled cow number one and untitled women number one, under the title untitled women, presented as part of the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2015.
  • The Orange Playground presents its inaugural showcase from 27 February-1 March, featuring presentations from 5 labs.
  • Pioneer (Girls) Generation, featuring an intergenerational cast comprising members from our Theatre for Seniors as well as young theatre practitioners, premiered at Gallery Theatre, National Museum of Singapore for a sold-out run from 26-29 March.
  • TNS publishes the script of Poor Thing.
  • Don’t Know, Don’t Care, commissioned by HCA Hospice Care, continues to tour to secondary schools.
  • International Friendship Day, a new commission of Singapore Kindness Movement dealing with integration issues premieres at TNS Black Box and is targeted at secondary school students.
  • Best Of tours successfully in September to Brisbane Festival and Something to Write Home About Festival in New York, USA.
  • Theatre for Seniors premieres Rise of the Phoenix, a doublebill comprising Waste and Loss, commissioned as part of Esplanade’s A Date with Friends festival in November.
2016
  • A brand new production entitled Manifesto premieres at TNS Black Box. A collaboration with Drama Box, Manifesto is an immersive and thought-provoking production that looks as the arts and politics through a 70-year history.
  • A bold interdisciplinary production, Ghost Writer, premieres in June at Esplanade Theatre Studio, and looks at the lives of characters struggling with ties that bind—and suffocate.
  • Best Of (His Story), a monologue featuring Sani Hussin premieres at The Necessary Stage Black Box in November. The intimate piece looks at Malay Muslin divorce, as well as the life, history, dreams and belief of the protagonist as he shares his story of his divorce.
2017
  • The Necessary Stage celebrates its 30th anniversary! A series of exciting events will be launched through the year, with the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2017—our 13th edition—kickstarting it all.
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