Singapore, 16 July 2020 — Following the successful wave of digital programmes featuring a strong music focus earlier in June and July, The Necessary Stage invites audiences into the world of The Year of No Return through Digital Traces: The Year of No Return beginning on 15 August 2020. Commissioned by Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA), The Year of No Return by The Necessary Stage is slated for its world premiere at the festival in 2021 alongside three other Singaporean theatre companies. Written by Haresh Sharma and Rody Vera and directed by Alvin Tan, The Year of No Return features a diverse cast of Asian actors and artists in an international production that reckons with climate change and its irrevocable impact on our lives.
Over a Zoom play-reading session and four vodcast episodes released on the 15th of each month, audiences can catch a glimpse of the production through the lens of its various characters. Through film, sound, movement and text presented digitally, these vignettes consider the implications of climate change from the perspective of an advocate to the environmental scientist and the regular man on the street. These facets are introduced in a virtual reading of the play that unpacks the themes and ideas within a key strand of the narrative. These will merge in vodcasts that provide glimpses into episodes within the play, including one featuring some of the actors stepping out of their characters to contemplate their own relationship with the environment. Together, Digital Traces poses the question: How far are you willing to go to save the planet?
Melissa Lim, General Manager of The Necessary Stage and Dramaturg for The Year of No Return, shares that “We are thrilled to be able to share the world of The Year of No Return with the audience via digital media. This series of vodcasts will present various facets and characters from the play as is—before it undergoes rewrites for the eventual premiere in 2021. We hope that they will open up an intriguing audio-visual terrain for audiences to explore, as they imagine the universe of the play, and experience the intersecting narratives that will be expanded on at the staging."
The Necessary Stage brings the issue of climate change to the stage through an alliance of actors from Singapore and all over the region. The Year of No Return presents the environmental crisis from the perspective of different individuals and discourses, as conversations with researchers and scientists are translated into a dramatic constellation of light, sound, and multimedia elements on the stage. Known for their incisive social commentary and commitment to the representation of marginalised voices, The Necessary Stage’s The Year of No Return dialogues with an increasingly conscious, critical, and outspoken public, providing an Asian perspective to a global emergency on SIFA’s international stage. Peeling back science and statistics, this intensely relevant offering underscores the role of the arts as a site for a collaborative reckoning with critical social issues.
Accessible through the SIFA All-Access online platform, SIFA v2.020 features a series of curated virtual events including talks, workshops, performances and more from 25 May 2020 till December 2020. In addition to inspiring and entertaining audiences, the online iteration of Singapore’s pinnacle arts festival is also designed to create a space for artists to share their views on creating art in the new normal, for professional development, and as a platform to showcase work created for the digital sphere to engage audiences from here and abroad. SIFA v2.020 is presented by Arts House Limited as part of the #SGCultureAnywhere campaign.
Digital Traces: The Year of No Return
Accessible online via https://sifa.sg/all-access
Dates: from 15 August 2020, with new vodcasts released monthly till November 2020
Access to all programmes are free
For high-res images, please click here (credits: Arts House Limited)
For more information, please refer to the following annex:
ANNEX A – Programme Details for Digital Traces: The Year of No Return
For more information, please contact:
Arts House Limited
T: +65 6435 0240
M: +65 9274 7553
Arts House Limited
T: +65 6435 0176
M: +65 9180 7776
Notes to the Editor:
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About the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA)
As Singapore’s annual pinnacle performing arts festival, the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) presents captivating and diverse works across theatre, music, dance, film and visual arts. First launched as the Singapore Festival of Arts in 1977, the festival has gone through several evolutions and inspired generations of arts lovers and practitioners. Today, the highly anticipated festival is a high point on Singapore’s arts and cultural calendar. Under the helm of Festival Director Gaurav Kripalani, SIFA continues its festival mission to champion the creation and presentation of Singaporean and international works.
About Arts House Limited
Arts House Limited (AHL) is a not-for-profit organisation committed to enriching lives through the arts. AHL manages two key landmarks located in the heart of Singapore’s Civic District – The Arts House, a multi-disciplinary arts centre with a focus on literary programming, and the Victoria Theatre & Victoria Concert Hall, a heritage building that is home to the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. It also runs the Goodman Arts Centre and Aliwal Arts Centre, two creative enclaves for artists, arts groups and creative businesses, and performing arts space Drama Centre. AHL presents the Singapore International Festival of Arts, the annual pinnacle celebration of performance and interdisciplinary arts in Singapore commissioned by the National Arts Council.
AHL was set up in 11 Dec 2002 as a company limited by guarantee (CLG) under the National Arts Council and was formerly known as The Old Parliament House Limited. It was officially renamed Arts House Limited on 19 Mar 2014.
About National Arts Council
The National Arts Council champions the arts in Singapore. By nurturing creative excellence and supporting broad audience engagement, our diverse and distinctive arts inspire our people, connect communities and profile Singapore internationally. We preserve our rich cultural traditions as we cultivate accomplished artists and vibrant companies for the future. Our support for the arts is comprehensive – from grants and partnerships to industry facilitation and arts housing. The Council welcomes greater private and corporate giving to and through the arts, so that together we can make the arts an integral part of everyone’s lives. For more information on the Council’s mission and plans, please visit www.nac.gov.sg.