It’s a well-known fact that theatre brings stories to life but how can this art make a difference in the lives of under-privileged children? Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) has recently launched two community initiatives that help children bring their stories to life, cope with loss, support and educate the volunteers who work with them and give them and their caregivers the opportunity to enjoy the magic of live performance.
SRT has an unparalleled track record of providing edutainment to children with The Little Company so it’s a natural progression for us to team up with New Life Stories (NLS) to form a unique partnership that shares the common goal of reaching out to children and their incarcerated parents with stories and workshops that help them grow, discover creativity and strengthen their language.
NLS help provide children whose parents are in prison with essential educational skills namely reading and pro‐social skills. This ensures they aren't left behind in the crucial early years of their development in situations where they aren’t receiving parental support at home.
The marriage of such an important social initiative with theatre means that both organisations can enhance what they offer to make a real difference in the lives of these children. Together, mother and child are able to rewrite the stories of their lives and chart a more positive future.
In addition SRT will, with the support of the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism, be bringing back Upstairs in the Sky, a unique theatrical and learning experience for young children aged 3 to 6. The performance explores major aspects of a small child’s life – friendship and sharing, creativity and collaboration, coming to terms with bereavement and separation, all presented in a warm and intimate style. As well as being a learning tool to culture creativity at a young age, Upstairs in the Sky is particularly relevant for children who are facing challenges in life such as the loss of loved ones. The performance can be seen for free in a number of libraries – see www.srt.com.sg for the performance schedule.
Having seen the positive impact that an early introduction to theatre has on children, and building on the enormous success of our children’s performances, engagement with the community via such programmes is a key focus area for us at SRT.