We have identified that the once celebrated grand, large-scale and elaborate full-stage production back in its Bangsawan heydays before the 1940s Singapore is still very much appreciated by our community now. The Bangsawan MainStage initiative looks into the production of such scaled productions. Usually performed at distinctive theatres, MainStage productions usually last for 2 ½ to 3 hours. Typically taking about 2 years to produce, a MainStage production involves a large troupe as well as significant budget (similar to that of a Broadway production). It is also a time-intensive endeavour. To be performed by its Principal Troupe, Anggerik Temasek Bangsawan plans to raise the curtain in December 2022 with an epic piece.
Details of our MainStage Production will be released soon!
While Bangsawan MainStage focuses on large-scale productions, our Community Bangsawan initiative brings forward outreach-focused productions, aimed at introducing Bangsawan to audiences new to this artform. Performed at community spaces, Community Bangsawan productions typically last from half to one hour. Often, excerpts from existing productions, or abridged Bangsawan versions are showcased as tasters and pre-cursors to the full Bangsawan productions. Two of such productions that we currently have prepared for the public are Hang Nadim and Indrabangsawan. From these stories, our audiences can begin to appreciate the elements of Bangsawan – its format, language use, costume and set design – elements that clearly differentiates Bangsawan from the typical “purbawara” (classic theatre) artform.
Another unit with Anggerik Temasek Bangsawan is our Junior Bangsawan, which features school children from 5 to 15. These children are mentored on the use of basic Malay language through exposure, and training using Bangsawan dialogues in scripts. We seek to seed the love of the Malay language and literature in the children we engage. Engaged through curated speech and drama methodologies, our Junior Bangawan participants will also have opportunities to perform in their own Bangsawan productions, and also streamlined into our MainStage or Bangsawan Community performances, performing alongside our seasoned performers from the Principal Troupe.
In bringing different Bangsawan practitioners together, Anggerik Temasek Bangsawan plans to lead in launching the region’s first-ever Bangsawan Festival. The Festival, which acts as an outreach, performance and engagement platform will see the different Bangsawan genres coming together, presenting a myriad of experiential moments for the community.