1987. Premiered the hit Singapore comedy Army Daze by Michael Chiang.
1988. Premiered the first mainstage Singapore musical Beauty World composed by Dick Lee. This became the most successful musical ever written in Singapore with many a revival.
1990. TheatreWorks created the Retrospective of Singapore Plays, seven plays written from the 1960s to 1980s. This established that there was an oeuvre of Singapore theatre which has blossomed into the productive scene of today. David Hwang’s M. Butterfly with Ivan Heng in the lead role was presented at the Singapore Arts Festival that same year.
1991. Launched the Writers Laboratory which produced many of the respected playwrights of Singapore theatre today from Eleanor Wong to Ovidia Yu to Helmi Yusof.
1993. Tan Tarn How’s The Lady of Soul and her Ultimate ‘S’ Machine about a nation in search of soul overturned a restrictive censorship system to become one of the most beloved political plays of Singapore.
1995. Kuo Pao Kun’s Descendants of The Eunuch Admiral about political castration in Singapore made its world premiere in the Festival of Asian Performing Arts.
NOTABLE INTERNATIONAL MILESTONES
A visionary collaboration with the Japan Foundation Asia Center that brought together artists and traditional art forms from six different Asian countries.
With the international Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, the launch of TheatreWorks into a think-tank for rethinking Asian arts, their contexts, and their relationships with the world.
SEEDING COLLABORATION: ARTS NETWORK ASIA
Encouraging the seeding of collaboration projects across borders in Asia.
INTERGENERATIONAL ARTS ENGAGEMENT: CONTINUUM ASIA PROJECT
Connecting youth and elders through traditional performance in Luang Prabang, Laos.
ALTERNATIVE UNIVERSITIES: FLYING CIRCUS PROJECT (SOUTH EAST ASIA)
A nomadic artist residency that provides local participants with an alternative university of art and life to engage with the world, as well as to introduce the international artist sensitively to the local contexts.
THE NEXT CHAPTER — T:>WORKS
On 30 April 2020, the arts company formerly known as TheatreWorks unveiled its new visual identity — T:>Works. Read as ‘T works’, it is designed by the company’s chairperson, Heman Chong, who is the first visual artist to chair T:>Works in its 35-year history. The visual identity is inspired by the DOS system and the early days of computation. It hints that digitalisation is more than just about technology — the analogue, or the body, is still pertinent. Thus, the performance of the future will be about the considered integration of live presence, the body, and the virtual — what works, when and where.