Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Singapore cuts funds to theatre company

True to the government's lack of tolerance to alternative views and social and political critique, they've cut funds to local theatre company, Wild Rice, for daring to do what theatre is suppose to do...(read ST article below)

At least they didn't shut the company down entirely...

NAC cuts funds to company

THE National Arts Council (NAC) has cut the annual grant given to local theatre company Wild Rice. It will get $170,000 this year, down from $190,000 the year before.

It is the lowest annual grant that the company has received from the council. Artistic director Ivan Heng says the council told him funding was cut because its productions promoted alternative lifestyles, were critical of government policies and satirised political leaders.

In April last year, Wild Rice staged an all-male version of Oscar Wilde's The Importance Of Being Earnest, which had a sold-out two-week run at the Drama Centre. It was given an advisory of '16 years and above' by the Media Development Authority because of its all-male cast.

It also organises the OCBC Singapore Theatre Festival, a biennial festival showcasing local scripts, some of which take on political issues in a cheeky way.

Heng, 47, tells Life! he is disappointed with the council's decision. 'Shouldn't NAC be funding people's experience of theatre? What does support of the arts mean? What does moving into a more progressive society entail?'

He says he will continue to create works that are true to his beliefs. 'This is what artists do. We question how we live our lives in Singapore.'