Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay continues to roll out more online content to keep audiences engaged with the arts, even when stuck at home. Beyond archival content, this year’s cancelled season of The Studios continues to live on, with two of the scheduled works now being presented as part of The Studios Online. These new releases add to the range of online arts offerings that Esplanade has been offering, including The Show Goes On…line, a series of weekly releases featuring edited concert recordings from Esplanade’s archives, as well four video recordings from past editions of A Tapestry of Sacred Music which can be accessed till 21st May.
Says Yvonne Tham, Chief Executive Officer, The Esplanade Co Ltd: “For individuals and society, the arts have been a source of comfort and joy, a platform to seek answers to difficult questions, and a stage for communities to mourn or celebrate together. Especially in times like this, the role of artists and arts centres like Esplanade—while not on the frontline— continues to be important for people’s mental, social and emotional well-being. Many in the arts have already started to create or share music, stories, dance and theatre with audiences and communities online. Looking ahead, this will be the shape of things to come, even beyond the COVID-19 situation—creating, producing and presenting the arts will no doubt still involve the powerful physical and ‘live’ experience, but it will need to meaningfully engage the digital and online spaces.”
The Studios Online runs from 16th May to 12th June, offering up six productions from the archives, as well as two brand new works originally slated for this year’s The Studios season, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 situation. The two new productions are namely, a video recording of Lost Cinema 20/20 by Brian Gothong Tan and an audio presentation of The Heart Comes to Mind by Checkpoint Theatre, both of which were part of the original line-up of The Studios 2020. Although the live performances could not take place, Esplanade and the artists were able to make arrangements for alternative modes of presentation for the productions before circuit breaker measures were put in place. Supplementary resources such as digital artist talks will also be made available for The Studios Online and the other cultural offerings.
Throughout the month, audiences can continue to enjoy weekly releases of The Show Goes On…line, featuring snippets of performances by both Singapore and international artists. May’s schedule includes performances by Singapore artists bittymacbeth, Crystal Goh, Imran Ajmain and Ding Yi Music Company, as well as by Taiwanese singer-songwriter Eli Hsieh. And to help parents keep their children engaged during the school holidays which have been brought forward, family-friendly content ranging from quizzes to sing-along videos featuring original tunes from Esplanade’s well-loved PLAYtime! theatre series are available on Esplanade Offstage.
While these productions and programmes featured on the Esplanade’s site will be available for free, audiences are also strongly encouraged to support the featured arts groups within their means. Adds Yvonne: “We hope that everyone will find something to enjoy and to keep their spirits up. These are tough times for everyone, including our artists. So, where it is possible, we hope that our audiences will show their support for the arts groups featured.”