I hope that as a self-reflexive creation, Offstage Series can serve as a review, a commentary and a criticism of theatre making in Singapore. The series was created to inspire our artists to rethink about their creations, and to interrogate the framework, which included the larger cultural environment and cultural policies in this city. I always believe that training platforms like Offstage is pertinent for our artists to expand their stages.
– Liu Xiaoyi
Offstage is a series of productions presented under Emergency Shelter. Through research and dialogue, the series of productions attempts to create a commentary of our current arts scene.
Through Offstage, we learn to interrogate and question the larger framework that determines what and how art is made here.
Through Offstage, we question why the art is valued through largely quantifiable costs and benefits. This consumer mentality has resulted in cultural policies that look at art as the procurement of cultural services instead of the development of cultural infrastructure.
Through Offstage, we raised concerns over the scene’s preference for tangible products over intangible processes. This preference translates to an over-emphasis of outcome creation over the investment of time and space in the pursuit of vision and long-term planning that artists and arts companies need to do.Our rush to achieve and accomplish has led us to churn out product-oriented theatre that meets key performance indicators, instead of process-oriented theatre with the potential to push our art forward.
As the cultural ecosystem continues to subvert, is it possible for artists to lead and to influence the sector? Emergency Shelter members seek their answers through Offstage 1.0, Offstage 2.0 and Offstage 3.0 between 2018 and 2021.