The Necessary Stage (TNS) celebrates its 30th birthday staying true to its roots by remaining indispensably necessary. TNS unveils one more collaborative platform this year – The Orange Production, in the same vein as The Orange Playground that advocates an exploratory environment to nurture emerging and existing talents in 2014. We are honoured to have Melissa Lim, General Manager of TNS share with us the spirit behind it.
1. How did The Orange Production come into being?
The Orange Production coincides nicely with our 30th anniversary, though it wasn't initiated because of that. We decided to launch this new platform because we have been excited about the new, up-and-coming voices emerging in the local theatre scene. TNS has also had a long tradition of nurturing young talent, from our early Theatre for Youth Ensemble days in the 1990s, to Playwrights' Cove in 2001, to Fringe Commissions at the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival since its inception in 2005, to The Orange Playground laboratories from 2014. Over the years, Alvin and Haresh have also received scripts from young playwrights who write to them and ask for feedback. So basically, all these elements came together, and we felt it would be great if we could create a platform to work with young artists, to create portable works in our black box theatre. In a way, it is also to introduce them to our working methodology. The Orange Production is also a sort of natural extension of The Orange Laboratory—it carries the same spirit of experimentation, but instead of focusing on developing performance vocabularies, The Orange Production pushes it one step further towards full stagings of works.
2. How did The Orange Production select the artists they want to work with for this inaugural production?
Alvin had met Liz Lazan and Jeane Raveendran in the US in 2014, and was keen to explore a new work with them. At the same time, he was also interested in collaborating with Faith. In early 2015, we had an exploratory workshop with everyone, and when it was clear that everyone felt a synergy and wanted to work together, then Whale Fall was born.
In late 2016, Nabilah sent a copy of an earlier draft of Drip to Alvin, who shared it with us. Haresh enjoyed it tremendously, and suggested including it in the line-up alongside Whale Fall. We then auditioned actors for the different roles, and were very impressed in particular with the ones who now form the cast of Drip.
For the design team, they're all young designers who we have always wanted to work with, but on smaller projects to start with. So The Orange Production became the perfect avenue for them to flex their muscles and inject really interesting, fresh voices to the two works.
3. What is the plan for The Orange Production in the long run?
We plan to run The Orange Production every two year, alternating with The Orange Playground. For now, yes, the plan is for Alvin and Haresh to be involved in all iterations of The Orange Production.
4. To TOP it off...
You'll notice that the ticket prices are relatively low (in comparison with other TNS productions, and possibly with many works out there at the moment). The full price ticket is $28 inclusive of any ticketing fee; concession rate is $20—and this is for two works within the double-bill.
In a way, it's our way of making a night out at the theatre as affordable as possible for the public. The fact of the matter is: times are getting tough, our spending power have all been curtailed to some extent. We want to enable as many people as possible to go to the theatre, to continue supporting the arts via purchasing tickets they can afford. Also, we want people to take a chance with us at The Orange Production (again, in the spirt of experimentation :) ) and to come support works by younger artists who are working with established ones at TNS. Pricing tickets at an affordable rate does help to encourage folks to do so.
Hopefully this little initiative—along with our hopes and belief for new voices in the theatre scene—works and encourages folks to spend time with us on thought-provoking Singapore theatre!
The Orange Production
Date: 10 - 13 Aug 2017, Thu - Sun
Venue: The Necessary Stage Black Box
Ticket price: $28 (General), $20 (Student/NSF/senior citizens/PWD card holders)
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