The Arts House Turns 10

The Arts House celebrates its 10th Anniversary by “disappearing” from the scene! The anchor show, which runs from March 27 to 29, is called The Next Page. An intriguing and apt title for the birthday celebration of the exciting literary arts venue.

Backdrop

From its website:

In a tongue-in-cheek tribute to its 10th year milestone, The Arts House creates an alternative universe/history where a mega bookstore (The Next Page) has taken over the premises from its previous tenants – a dance club and a posh 5-star boutique hotel!

Conceptualised as an immersive visual and performance installation, The Next Page is the anchor show of our 10th celebrations. It invites visitors to view remnants of the dance hall and hotel, which have been “preserved”, while it also offers them the full retail experience of a Singapore bookstore (BooksActually pop-up store).

At night, site-specific performances by the most celebrated thespians of Singapore theatre will regale the audience with a mock historical tour of the site, as they present an alternative history without The Arts House, celebrating its significance and contributions to the arts scene via its “absence”.

The Next Page is conceived and directed by Artistic Director Chong Tze Chien of award-winning theatre company The Finger Players.

1) The Opening

By Cake Theatrical Productions and Brian Gothong Tan

The opening outdoor segment will feature a colourful display of pageantry that celebrates the written word and literature amidst a dynamic multimedia video projection on the facade of the building. Expect a poetic and powerful opening to kick start the celebrations.

2) The Historian’s Tour 

Directed by Chong Tze Chien

Written by Lucas Ho

An alternative history of The Arts House will be presented by a trio of historians in a roving performance. They will regale the audiences with interesting anecdotes that shed light on the developments and turn of events regarding the site.

3) The Cleaner’s Account

Directed by Chong Tze Chien

Written by Lucas Ho

In this 5-min segment, a witness of history, the cleaner recounts the stories that transpired in the premises in its different functions: from Parliament House to The Arts House, to the dance hall and hotel.

4) The Couple in the Hotel Room

Directed by Peter Sau, Rizman Putra and Engie Ho

Written by Joel Tan

A couple checks into the hotel on its last day of operation. As they reminisce about their history together, they contemplate the significance of the hotel in their relationship and what it means to them as it is being turned into a bookstore. Written by Joel Tan, this 10-min play will be given three different interpretations by three directors.

5) The Voices in the Dance Hall 

Conceptualised/Directed by Darren Ng and Lim Woan Wen

Written by Ellison Yuyang Tan

A sound and light installation that transforms the former Parliamentary Chamber into a dance hall where it once stood, transporting the audience to a different space and time where they could still hear the patrons of the dance hall speaking through the walls.

Other 10th Anniversary programmes:

NIGHT WALK WITH THE STORYTELLERS

WRITER X WRITER

GOING PLACES

About Jee Leong Koh

My book of poems Steep Tea (Carcanet) was named a Best Book of 2015 by UK's Financial Times, and a Finalist by Lambda Literary. I also wrote three other books of poems and a book of zuihitsu. My work has been shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize, and translated into Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian and Latvian. Originally from Singapore, I live in New York City, where I edit the arts blog Singapore Poetry, and run the Second Saturdays Reading Series and the Singapore Literature Festival in NYC.

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