The Studios at Esplanade

The sentiment that 2020 was an unprecedented year of violent disruption to almost every aspect of our lives and livelihoods has been echoed and repeated in many a reflection of the year past.

We find ourselves hesitant to plan for the future; caught in a limbo state of uncertainty.

Ongoing until 24 April 2020 | $35 |Esplanade Theatre Studio

However, as we head into 2021, we press ‘play’ on some of the live performances that had to take a pause in 2020, as well as new ideas that have been lying fallow and waiting for the right time to emerge.

We look forward to artists playing and working in our spaces again, and we anticipate welcoming an audience back to watch the result of this play. Play connotes a sense of enjoyment, continuity, flow, interactivity, and alive-ness, of creation, and an optimism for what is to come. And it is in this spirit that we go on.


Dragon Ladies Don't Weep

Co-commissioned by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay and Asia TOPA
Co-produced by Chamber Made and CultureLink Singapore
Margaret Leng Tan (Singapore)

1 – 4 April 2021 | Thursday – Saturday, 8 pm | Saturday & Sunday, 3 pm | 1hr 15mins(no intermission) | $35 | Esplanade Theatre Studio

New York-based Singaporean pianist Tan forged a path as a major force within the American avant-garde, serving as muse to giants such as John Cage and George Crumb, and transforming the toy piano into a serious instrument. Her stellar career is a touchstone for the past 40 years of experimental musical innovation.

Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep combines spoke and recorded text, projected images, and original music for prepared piano, toy piano, toys, and percussion by Tan’s long-term collaborator Erik Griswold.

Created by a team of Singaporean and Australian artists led by Chamber Made director Tamara Saulwick and performed by Tan, this cross-cultural collaboration is a riveting collage of the forces that have shaped Tan’s life and how music has been both her passion and her refuge.

Supported in Australia by the Department of Communication and the Arts; the Australia Council for the Arts; Creative Victoria; The SUBSTATION, Playing Foundation, Asia TOPA, The Robert Salzer Foundation; and in Singapore by the National Arts Council and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.

A co-production by Chamber Made and CultureLink Singapore, co-commissioned by Esplanade Theatres on the Bay and Asia TOPA.

Creative Team

Musician/Performer: Margaret Leng Tan
Composer:  Erik Griswold
Director: Tamara Saulwick
Dramaturg: Kok Heng Leun
Video Artist: Nick Roux
Lighting Designer: Andy Lim
Costume Designer: Yuan Zhiying


Lost Cinema 20/20

An Esplanade Commission
Brian Gothong Tan (Singapore)

14 – 18 April 2021 | Wednesday – Friday, 8 pm | Saturday & Sunday: 3 pm & 8 pm | 1hr 30mins(no intermission) | $35 | Esplanade Theatre Studio

Dreams are the cinema of our subconscious—we are all inherently filmmakers who create films through the act of dreaming. These films often become lost upon waking.

Drawing links and juxtapositions between filmmaking and the nature of dreams, Lost Cinema 20/20 highlights the curious state of awareness when we dream while exploring how our subconscious creates cinematic narratives that blur the lines between imagination and reality.

Through a conversation with the rich visual culture of films—including those from the golden age of Singapore cinema—the work deconstructs tropes in filmography and looks at what shapes and defines our shared subconscious.

Created and directed by multimedia artist Brian Gothong Tan, the work was first developed as a six-channel video installation titled Lost Cinema at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. The Studios' commission of Lost Cinema 20/20 expands this into a multi-disciplinary performance with text and combines film, theatre, and video art to create an immersive theatre experience.

Creative Team

Creator & Director: Brian Gothong Tan
Producer: James Jordan Tay
Writer: Kaylene Tan
Lighting Designer: Lim Woan Wen
Sound Designer: Teo Wee Boon
Set Designer: Allister Towndrow
Costume Designer: Moe Kasim

Performers: Karen Tan, Lim Yu-Beng, Ma Yanling, Irfan Kasban, Munah Bagharib, Sun Phittaya Phaefuang


By Design

An Esplanade Commission
By CAKE (Singapore)

Friday & Saturday | 23 & 24 April 2021 | 7.30 pm & 10 pm | 1hr 30mins(no intermission) | $35 | Esplanade Theatre Studio

By Design is an art excursion where graphic design and performance meet in playful collaboration. A performance jam conceived and directed by CAKE, graphic design artists Vanessa Ban, Zach Lieberman, and Amber Vittoria are invited to create new pieces in collaboration with a startling array of live performers.

About CAKE

CAKE is a contemporary performance company committed to seeding and engineering works and excursions that embody the experience of performance and art. CAKE designs and presents the Decimal Points series, an exploratory space that serves to investigate contemporary modalities of artistic expression reflecting the multiplicities and diversities of lived experience, cultural influence, and worldviews, offering performance-based experiences in unusual spaces of creative experimentation.


Posted in Live in Singapore Website, Marina Bay | Posted on January 28, 2021
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