The Singapore arts community will be welcoming a new player in the theatre scene when Wag the Dog Theatre opens its first production at the Drama Centre Black Box on Friday, 30 June, 2017. The Memory of Water, by Shelagh Stephenson, will be the first play produced in Singapore by a professional co-op theatre company. Wag the Dog was designed as a cooperative after the founders heard about the recent popularity of this structure being adopted by theatres in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia.
“Cooperative theatre companies mount stage productions which are selected, funded, produced and performed by the company’s ensemble,” said Wag the Dog founding member Warren Baumgart Jr.
“Co-op theatre gives artists much more control over their work.”
Baumgart, along with founders Krissy Jesudason and Victoria Mintey met often to discuss their dream of opening their own professional theatre company in Singapore . They explored many different traditional theatre structures when they heard about other theatres using the cooperative structure. “It sounded perfect for us,” stated Mintey. “Instead of a board of directors, a CEO, or an artistic director, we – the artists – wanted to be in control of the product.”
The three founders then held open auditions last year to build the ensemble. “We wanted to start out small with an ensemble of only six actors and one director,” said Jesudason. “We had no play in mind. We simply were looking for other actors who really inspired us; people we wanted to act with.” “Of course, they also had to have the resources to invest in the first production,” added Baumgart.
“We are very excited about the ensemble we have put together.”
“We all feel that the power of good theatre comes from the richness of great storytelling,” said Mintey.
“Wag the Dog hopes to be able to focus on the storytelling by challenging each other and welcoming more risk – taking within the cooperative environment.” The Memory of Water opens on Friday, 30 June, 2017, and runs through 9 July at the Drama Cent re Black Box. Tickets are available at SISTIC. Wag the Dog Theatre is an artistic affiliate of Phenix Arts LTD.