Empower Arts, Animate Communities

Chapter 8:
Creativity Beyond the City Centre: Theatre for Young Audiences

DOI: 10.54165/9789887928522/08

Caleb Lee

Against the global backdrop of Singapore, the tension for Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) lies in the entangled relationship between the social role it is expected to fulfil and economic activities that are driven by productivity and profits. This chapter asks how far – and in what ways – TYA can be nuanced, creative and inclusive. Focusing on The Artground – an arts centre for children that opened its doors to the public in 2017 – it examines how this space is resisting commercialism and offering children alternative artistic and social experiences. Notably, The Artground is not a typical theatre building but a repurposed school hall nestled within Mountbatten – a local neighbourhood situated outside the urban centre. The chapter begins by contextualising TYA in Singapore and the development of The Artground. This is followed by an analysis of the centre’s approaches and practices in relation to its design, activities and spatial configuration. Finally, it identifies the challenges and opportunities this space elicits for artists and young people, and discusses The Artground’s continuous development.

pp. 105-121 (PDF)

To cite:
Lee, Caleb, “Creativity Beyond the City Centre: Theatre for Young Audiences”. In Empower Arts, Animate Communities, edited by Benny Lim & Hing-kay Oscar Ho, 105-121. Hong Kong: Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2021. https://doi.org/10.54165/9789887928522/08