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Back to Live, Back to Normality (?)

With 2022 seeing the gradual easing of pandemic restrictions across the world, theatres in Singapore have welcomed audiences back in full for the first time since 2020. In tracking Singapore Theatre in 2022, we have seen a total of 137 shows, including:

  • 123 live performances
  • 8 digital theatrical performances (these includes performances that were performed live online or pre-recorded for streaming/video on demand)
  • 4 hybrid theatrical performances (simultaneously performed live and online)


This year, we decided to utilise an interactive version of the timeline where you can track the production dates for each show. Click and drag around the timeline to explore individual events and their respective source links.

Click on ‘Full Screen’ mode for the best viewing experience.

A couple of things we observed  as we look through the timeline:

  • Firstly, the easing of venue audience capacity for indoor and outdoor shows took place most rapidly within 6 weeks, from 15 Mar to 26 Apr. You will be able to trace the different stages of SMMs (Safe Management Measures) relaxation by following the grey markers on the timeline; 
  • Secondly, most of the theatre festivals occur between the months of May and September, with the weekend of 21st September seeing a total of three festivals happening concurrently: The Studios, SeptFest, and Lepaskan Sesalan (Both Sides Now). You can easily see the festivals displayed in the bottom half of the timeline. Shows that were presented as part of a festival are grouped together and labelled with the respective festival names in blue.;
  • Thirdly, in scrolling through the entire year, it seems that the weekend of 19th March seeing the most productions staged on a weekend with nine productions happening concurrently.

Pandemic to Recovery: Statistics 2020 - 2022

From this data, we have also put together a series of infographics presenting Singapore Theatre in 2022 in numbers. We have been tracking a similar set of data for a few years now, over the course of the pandemic, and we see trends emerging from the data. From our own count, the proportion of in-person shows increased dramatically between 2021 and 2022, from 50% of all productions to about 90% in 2022, reflecting the eagerness of theatre makers to return to the medium of live performances. 

However, the total number of shows has been decreasing, from 219 productions in 2019 to just 137 productions this year. Assuming that most of the productions in 2019 were live, it is reasonable to say that the number of live productions has not recovered to the levels last seen before the pandemic. Furthermore, the number of shows by collectives and independent artists have gone down, from a high of nearly 70 shows last year to just under 40 shows this year. It seems that it has certainly been a rocky year for everyone!

Take a look at our infographics to find out more.


A Year of Restagings

Of the productions that we have tracked for this year, we have identified at least 14 restagings of previous productions. Check out the past stagings of these productions on the C42 Archive of Singapore Theatre!

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For the sixth year running, Centre 42 is documenting Singapore Theatre's year through data collection and visualisation. In tracking the data for Singapore Theatre in 2022, we relied primarily on listings of productions from two sources: the Channel NewsTheatre Telegram Channel as well as the ArtsRepublic website. We also drew information from various theatre companies’ websites. 

As with the previous iterations, we rely on the public to help us build a comprehensive picture of the year. An open call was made on 2 December 2022 for additions and edits to be made to the data tracker sheet. The open call was closed on 10 December 2022, and the Singapore Theatre in 2022 was first published on 19 December 2022.

If you want to suggest shows to add to the timeline, please email us at info@centre42.sg.

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Acknowledgements

RESEARCH
Adelyn Tan
Eugene Koh

DESIGN & LAYOUT
Eugene Koh
Jaclyn Chong

DATA VISUALISATION TOOLS
Timegraphics
Visme

SPECIAL THANKS
Nabilah Said
Denise Dolendo
Ke Weiliang / Channel NewsTheatre

Published: 20 December 2022