Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) Arts Management Resident shares her time at the company. Article contributed by Ashley Song.
Every new graduate would be familiar with the question “What are you going to do next? What are your future plans?”
As a new Diploma in Arts and Theatre Management graduate back in 2019, I admittedly had no fixed plan. I would only have an answer to those questions a couple months later after catching a screening of National Theatre Live’s War Horse at the Esplanade that SRT was coincidentally involved in. I received a phone call by SRT, where I had my internship, and was invited to pursue their Arts Management Residency for 21 months. Seeking to elevate my exposure in the arts, garner more real-life experience and a more rounded perspective outside of what was covered in school, I accepted the offer.
In the first year, undergoing the department rotations and being mentored by different staff gave me a clearer picture of the many different important aspects of putting up a production. They include seeking support from individuals and corporate organisations, driving ticket sales via marketing efforts and sales pitches, and enhancing the theatre experience with engaging programmes. Some shows I worked on include Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Lifespan of a Fact and Tuesdays with Morrie.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 disrupted my full experience as a resident as the number of projects I was looking forward to were interrupted and some, cancelled. However, despite the unexpected year, I have had the rare opportunity to witness what it is like to work in a theatre company at a time of crisis and how the arts industry supports one another.
One of such opportunities was stepping into the production of Classic Stories from Around the World for the online The Little Company (TLC) Children's Festival. It was one of SRT’s many innovative ideas to continue inspiring and entertaining audiences, specifically children, during a time when there could be no live performances at our theatre. Through this project, I had the chance to step in a new role and work with the production team, an experience I never foresaw and getting to work side-by-side with people I would rarely work with. Over the circuit breaker period, I had also picked up a new skill of captioning and sharing that with few others. Together, we utilized this new skill to ensure our videos were accessible and enjoyable for everyone.
The experience working on the TLC Children’s Festival is one of many examples of what being an SRT resident is like – An exciting adventure, with no two days being the same.
The exposure garnered has been varied and priceless. The exposure during a difficult and critical time has especially further cemented my desire to contribute towards Singapore’s arts scene and be a part of championing what some may see as a non-essential service, to become an indispensable part of Singapore’s arts and cultural landscape.
Seeking to be involved on the other side of the stage, would you consider SRT’s residency programme?
The focus of the Arts Management Residency is on business development at SRT. Over two years, Residents will receive direct mentorship from the Managing Director and head of Business Development. Residents will also undergo department rotations for a holistic immersion at SRT. Click here to find out more about the residency.
For further information on the Residency Programme in Arts Management or to apply, kindly send in your resume and cover letter to Emmanuel at firstname.lastname@example.org and Debbie at email@example.com.