Esplanade Performing Arts in Singapore is celebrating 15 years of glory since its inauguration on October 22, 2002, and the theatre has been revamped according to the taste of its transforming audience.
As part of 15 years of celebration, also known as #mydurian, the performing arts center has announced new plans, which include backstage tours led by artists such as Hossan Leong, Inch Chua and Benson Puah. An online auction of 38 works by Singapore artists will be added to the event from October 19.
Esplanade Theatre, also known as 'Esplanade - Theatres on Bay', is a performing arts center that covers 60,000 sq mt in Marina Bay and consists of the concert hall to accommodate 1,600 and a theatre with a capacity of 2,000 visitors.
The latest addition to the change is "The New Annex area", which started in 2016 as a venue for live music, immersive performance and rehearsals with 550 seats and one waterfront theatre. Of late, they have announced that the building is going to provide space for staging performance for young children, student's community and traditional art group in order to revive scope for traditional arts.
However, the theatre faced problems since the opening day itself 15 years ago. On the previous night of its inaugural day, the Singapore Dance Theatre group had planned for a water performance but the new theatre experienced a short circuit due to leakage of water in the entire stage floor. Although the crisis was eventually averted, all the crew members were on high alert as VIPs started to make their entry led by late former President S.R. Nathan. Even Chief executive of the theatre, Benson Puah made sure everything went seamlessly during the show.
"During the performance, in the control room and wearing the radio coms, I just cried," Benson Puah told to Channel News Asia, recollecting how the crew members were ragingly troubleshooting the issue using towels and fans to dry the electricity board.
Though Puah and his team remained alert after the incident, they were embroiled in a controversy by the media which termed them as "White Elephant" running an expensive Esplanade Theatre.
But the Esplanade theatre put the controversies to rest, with an increase in the number of audience during its first year of the opening and again in 2003 and 2004 when it drew around 949,906 visitors to watch their shows. The theatre also hosted numerous shows like Moasic Music Festival and also conducted associate music programmes by a local artist.
Puah has served for 19 years and he is one of the longest-serving leaders of Singapore Cultural Institutions today. Esplanade Theatre is set to go a long way in the field of performing arts.