TheatreWorks (Singapore) Ltd is an international performance company based in Singapore. Established as Singapore’s pioneer Professional English Theatre Company in 1985, the company has played a significant role in the development of arts and culture in Singapore. Since 2002, TheatreWorks has developed two key strands; the ‘Singapore Wing’ and the ‘International Wing’ – a unique model for a Singapore Arts Company – to facilitate its growth both in Singapore and in the international arena.
In Singapore, TheatreWorks will continue to support and nurture Singapore artists and develop Singapore arts through its developmental programmes like The Writers’ Lab and The Education and Outreach Unit. TheatreWorks Educational and Outreach unit was set up in 1991 to work closely with schools and institutions. Since becoming a full-time unit in 2002, headed by Associate Artistic Director Jeffrey Tan, it has provided Acting, Playwriting, Directing and Production Workshops, Assembly Plays and Integrated Drama Camps for primary schools, secondary schools, junior colleges, polytechnics, corporate organisations and the public.
TheatreWorks Education and Outreach unit works with three principles for all its education and outreach programmes – 1. Encouraging Openness, 2. Emotional Engagement and 3. Active Learning. It believes that theatre offers Active Learning beyond just the art form. Through the exploration of characters in situations that may or may not be familiar, participants will also get to learn about themselves and the world they live in. In addition, ‘life skills’ such as feeling, thinking, expressing and reflecting are also included.
TheatreWorks Education and Outreach unit has worked collaboratively with partners (schools and organisations) to create comprehensive developmental Arts Education Programmes- either within or outside of the school curriculum. All its Education programmes are endorsed by the National Arts Council (NAC). Its partners include the British Council Singapore, Central Singapore Community Development Council, National Library Board, Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), National Kidney Foundation (NKF), Parent Advisory Guidance for the Internet (PAGi) and Danone International (Evian).
Its work for schools has expanded from the Theatre-In-Education (TIE) programmes; ‘Over The Wall’ (1993), ‘Silent Cry’ (1993), ‘The Gift’ (1994/95), to widely popular and educational touring productions like ‘The Mini 3 Children’ (1996), ‘Four For The Road’ (1996), ‘Ang Tau Mui’ (1997), ‘Hua Mu Lan & Wu Song’ (1998), ‘Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf’ (1998), ‘Let’s Play’ (1999), ‘Red Man, Green Man’ (2000), ‘Making The Right Decision’ (2001/02), ‘Footprints In The Sand’ (2003) and ‘Love, Lust & Infatuation’ (2003).
Ultimately, TheatreWorks (Singapore) Ltd Education and Outreach is dedicated to the development of high quality educational theatre programmes for schools and new audiences of today.
ASSOCIATE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Trained in Australia, Jeffrey has over 20 years of directing, writing and teaching experience for Children, Youths and Adults. Since returning to Singapore in 1996, he has worked as Resident Director with The Theatre Practice (1997 to 1998) and Drama Lecturer, Acting Head of School at LASALLE-SIA, School of Drama (1998 to 2001).
In 2002, Jeffrey joined TheatreWorks (Singapore) Ltd as one of its Associate Artistic Directors, to head the Education and Outreach Unit. He has since created and taught the majority of the educational programmes (both theatre skills and applied theatre) to both schools and corporate organisations like the National Library Board. Some of the plays Jeffrey has directed include ‘Footprints in the Sand’, ‘Love, Lust & Infatuation’ and ‘Sugar, Sugar, Sugar – the Diabetes Story’. Jeffrey was also Artistic Director for ‘ARTy pARTy - the Central Singapore District Arts Festival’ for 2002/2003.
Currently Jeffrey also sits on the National Arts Council’s Singapore Arts Festival Programming Committee (2003/4), and is the President and one of the co-founders of the Singapore Drama Educators Association.