Postdramatic Series

More than a fixed receptacle for content…theatre should challenge the boundaries and shatter the limits of theatre-making. 

– Liu Xiaoyi

The Postdramatic Series is a series of three plays that sets to challenge the existing framework of theatre making in Singapore.

Between 2017 and 2019, Emergency Stairs produced a series of three plays, Offending the Audience, Einstein in the Carpark and Four Four Eight under the Postdramatic Series presented by Esplanade for the Huayi-Chinese Festival of Arts. The series challenged the audience’s pre-conception and expectation of what time, space and body mean within the framework of a performance, and was also an artistic exploration and deliberation of what, how and who also constitute a performance in the context of the contemporary Singapore theatre.

The Postdramatic theatre, coined by Lehmann arises as a discourse in response to the omnipotence of the media in everyday life in the 70s, and the then new performance aesthetic puts the text in a special relation to the material situation of the performance and the stage. Hence the text as the key dramatic element of a play is challenged. 

Prevalent in the West, the Postdramatic form remains uncommon in our arts scene. Therefore, the three plays presented by the Emergency Stairs brought forth polarising responses and heated discussions at that time.