The new SGD30 million waterfront theatre at the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay is slated to open in the second half of 2021, Channel News Asia reports.
It will be “a place where arts groups can create something new, create something interesting”, said Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, who was the guest of honour at the ground-breaking ceremony on 18 June 2019. The Minister also noted that many young artists here had their start in non-ticketed, outreach events by the Esplanade.
Occupying a 3,000-square-metre area, the new 550-seat theatre will fill the gap in the arts landscape in Singapore, which comprises mostly studio-sized venues or thousand-seater theatres. Currently, the Esplanade has two main performing venues—the 1,600-seat Concert Hall and 2,000-seat Theatre—and two smaller venues—the 220-seat Theatre Studio and 245-seat Recital Studio.
Designed by a team led by local firm, architects61, the mid-sized theatre will also have flexible seating, and can go from a traditional proscenium theatre to a theatre-in-the-round or even a flat-floor performance space with no seats. The grassy lawn outside that connects to the foyer can host informal outdoor activities during festivals.
The Esplanade has also launched a series of new fundraising initiatives to raise the remaining SGD9 million needed for the theatre. The project will be named Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade for 15 years from its opening in 2021, for the telco, which donated SGD10 million in 2018. The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) has also committed SGD10 million to kickstart the effort. — Construction+ Online